Thailand’s visits up 6% in January

BANGKOK, 2 March 2017:  Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports visits to Thailand exceeded 3.19 million, an improvement of 6.52% in January this year.

Released last week, the ministry’s data showed the country attracted 3,197,053 visits in the first month of the year, compared to 3,001,327 visits during the same month last year.

The data is based on foreign passport holders, or ID holders, passing through international checkpoints (land, sea and air).  

This means the count includes cross-border visits from Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar, but according to UNWTO guidelines the stays should be 24-hours or more.

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said tourism is a key driver to help generate revenue for the country’s economy. She has identifed five priority segments.

They are: sports tourism; medical and wellness; weddings and romance; maritime tourism; and ASEAN connect.

The latter is a reference to promoting multi-destination trips that start with Thailand and extend to one or more countries in ASEAN.

During January, the ministry estimated visits generated THB169,272.10 million in revenue up 10.26% from THB153,522.32 million during the same month last year.

Unfortunately, revenue estimates are based on a rough calculation of daily spend, derived from exit surveys at airports and other considerations such as credit card spend data.

The top five markets based on estimated revenue were: China (THB43,417.39 million; +9.17%); Russia (THB13,703.36 million; +24.02%); the United States (THB7,575.88 million; +17.13%); Malaysia (THB7,259.79 million; -2.94%); and South Korea (THB7,122.11 million; -2.43%)

January highlights

By regions, all markets recorded increases in the first month of the 2017 year except the Oceania.

The Americas recorded the highest growth of 16.87% from 137,924 to 161,195 visits.

The US recorded the highest arrivals at 101,785 up 9.47% from 92,979 followed by Canada (29,186; +7.09%), Argentina (11,995; +89.40%) and Brazil (10,583; +108.37%).

South Asia represented an increase of 14.31% from 120,202 to 137,406 visits. India led the field supplying 107,227 visits growing 17.51% from 91,248 followed by Bangladesh (9,678; +4.18%), Pakistan (6,659; +13.71%), Nepal (4,575; +20.81%) and Sri Lanka (4,447; -15.28%).

Europe increased 4.77% from 748,065 to 811,741 visits. The markets that showed improvements were: Russia (+27.42%); East Europe (+23.80%); France (+5.90%); Germany (+5.69%); Austria (+4.96%); Spain (+2.91%); Belgium (+2.29%); Switzerland (+1.21%); and Italy (+0.32%).

UK visits increased from 94,085 to 94,087.

The markets that showed declines were: the Netherlands (-4.82%); Norway (-4.52%); Sweden (-2.54%); Finland (-1.49%); and Denmark (-1.29%).

The Middle East posted an increase of 6.90% from 61,032 to 65,246 visits.

Israel showed the highest arrivals with 16,568 visits increasing 18.36% from 13,998 visits.

Other main markets in the Middle East: Kuwait (7,820; +15.05%); the United Arab Emirates (6,998; -7.42%); Saudi Arabia (2,455; +34.96%); and Egypt (2,112; -6.92%).

East Asia (ASEAN included) grew 4.77% from 1,844,794 to 1,932,723 visits.

The markets showed improvements were: Hong Kong (+45.99%); Brunei (+19.94%); Cambodia (+19.06%); Vietnam (+14.82%); Myanmar (+13.58%); the Philippines (+12.21%); Indonesia (+11.66%); Singapore (+10.78%); Japan (+5.72%); and China (+5.53%).

Markets that showed declines were: Malaysia (-4.54%); South Korea (-1.99%); Laos (-0.56%) and Taiwan (-0.03%).

Africa showed a slightly improvement of 0.71% from 11,825 to 11,909 visits. The main market South Africa increased 5.87% from 4,738 to 5,016.

In contrast, Oceania reported a slight decline of 0.84% from 77,485 to 76,833 visits. The main markets New Zealand showed improvement of 2.92% (8,467) while Australia dropped 1.34% (68,131).


  1. This got to be white lies. All the Thai airlines suffer billions of loss. how can these numbers have any meaning at all?

  2. This is exactly the kind of fake news that should never be published. please validate the numbers before publishing, Don Ross!

  3. there are maximum 400K Chinese tourists according the total number of flights. This 859K is just lying.

  4. nok air lost B3.3bn, twice as much as last year. ATTA is down 20% same period. don’t think anyone believe this rosy spin.

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