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TAT counts 10 million tourists

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BANGKOK, 8 December 2022: Taken at face value, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has something to shout about based on the latest Immigration Bureau data that shows the country welcomed 9.78 million “foreign tourist arrivals” counting from 1 January to 5 December 2022.

But it’s a bit of a stretch to assume that all the arrivals were legit tourists in a year when Covid-19 hammered leisure travel leaving only the most persistent of foreigners heading for the country during the first six months of the year.

October saw the return of leisure travellers in earnest. That positive trend continues with the destination welcoming a steady stream of visitors enough to justify reopening restaurants and guesthouses that closed for more than two years.

TAT’s simple arithmetic allows it to claim the country will pass the “Amazing Thailand 10 Million Milestone” on 10 December.

Immigration Bureau data identifies visitors passing its checkpoints minus Thai citizens, but it takes a massive leap of faith to believe the 10 million are genuine leisure travellers.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn demonstrates unquestioning faith when he says: “Reaching the 10 million visitor mark so soon after Thailand fully reopened to international tourism on 1 October 2022 is the result of concerted efforts by all involved in the Thai tourism industry and all Thai people nationwide.”

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