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Tourist arrivals to beat target by 15% as Phuket leads recovery

Tourist arrivals to beat target by 15% as Phuket leads recovery

BANGKOK: Foreign arrivals to Thailand in 2022 are expected to reach 11.5 million exceeding the government’s target by 15%, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said yesterday (Dec 23).

By The Phuket News

Saturday 24 December 2022, 09:00AM

As arrivals from Europe and the United States are accelerating during the last days of the year, Thailand can expect 11.5mn foreigners visiting the country in 2022, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said.

Total tourism revenue – including both international and domestic markets – is expected to reach B1.5 trillion, which is around 50% of the pre-COVID level, reports Bloomberg.

It was only three months ago, when Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, said Thailand could expect 12mn visitors in 2022, but only if Chinese tourists resumed travel before the end of the year. China has not reopened yet, but the actual arrivals are now closer to 12mn (which Mr Phiphat expected with Chinese travelers) rather than to 10mn (which he expected without).

The Kingdom had already recorded 10.9mn foreign visits from Jan 1 through Dec 20, according to Mr Yuthasak. The top markets on the national level had been Malaysia, India, Laos, Cambodia and Singapore.

In Phuket, the top markets currently are Russia, India, Singapore, Australia and the UK, according to the Phuket office of the Immigration Bureau.

The highest post-pandemic number of arrivals to Phuket was recorded on Dec 16 when 13,448 international passengers passed through passport control at Phuket International Airport.

Last week government spokeswoman Tipanan Sirichana said that as of Jan-Oct 2022 Phuket had been the top destination in Thailand in terms of both tourist arrivals and earning. The resort island had welcomed two and a half times more foreigners than Pattaya and earned ten times more. Top three destinations in Jan-Oct:

  • Phuket – 2.4mn foreign arrivals – B127 billion in earnings;
  • Chonburi – 975,026 arrivals – B13bn in earnings;
  • Suratthani – 606,812 arrivals – B7bn in earnings.

For the high season period from Nov 1 through Dec 23 this year, the island welcomed 475,654 foreign visits. The top-10 markets are as follows:

  • Russia – 130,016 visits;
  • India – 53,934;
  • Singapore – 29,483;
  • Australia – 25,475;
  • UK – 25,390;
  • Kazakhstan – 19,515;
  • Germany – 19,473;
  • Malaysia – 18,025;
  • South Korea – 13,380;
  • USA – 12,467.


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Pooliekev | 25 December 2022 - 14:18:18

@SWC2. Ok, that's 8 out of hundreds of thousands. A very small proportion, which, going by their parsimonious behavior, is a good thing. 

SEC2 | 24 December 2022 - 13:14:06

I know of eight people who have arrived in Phuket in the past two days who are friends and family of residents. They are staying with family, not in hotels, and eating most of their meals at home.  Counted as tourists by TAT. How many more people like this throughout the country are counted as tourists?Technically, they are and do spend money here, but maybe TAT should have a secondary category. 


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