Thailand has experienced a record number of visitors in 2012. According the Thai tourism board, Thailand has enjoyed a “golden year” for tourism as visitor numbers reached new highs.
The number of visitors to Thailand hit nearly 22 million in 2012, generating around £18.2 billion. Among the biggest contributors to the total amount of visitors were China, which delivered 2.5 million visitors, and Russia which delivered one million. Other countries that contributed to the tourism boost were India, South Korea and Japan which each delivered just fewer than one million visitors.
Within the first half of 2012, Thai tourism had already grown by 7.6 per cent. President of the Tourism Council of Thailand, Piyaman Techapaibul was said to be delighted by the figures.
Visitors to Thailand, especially Brits, are said to be attracted to the country’s shopping and street food as well as an increasing number of people visiting for medical tourism. Talking about tourist attractions, Piyaman Techapaibul said that the “Tourism and Sports Ministry will be asked to plan a strategy to attract tourists to a range of attractions wider than the traditional locations in the North and beach resorts along the Andaman Coast to other potential areas such as provinces along the Gulf of Thailand.”
The TCT have been given the target of extending the average tourists’ stay from five day to six days, and to increase daily spending by tourists from around £60 a day to £90. Techapaibul has also urged the government to lower import tax on luxury goods so Thailand can compete with other major shopping destinations in Asia such as Hong Kong and Singapore.