BANGKOK, Dec 11 (Bernama): Thailand is set to welcome 20 million tourists and generate tourism receipts of 2.38 trillion baht (US$64.5 billion - RM285 billion) next year.
In a statement to the media, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said the kingdom is expected to generate international tourism revenue of 1.5 trillion baht next year.
"This represents a return to 80 per cent of the pre-pandemic level seen in 2019,” it said.
Thailand, one of Asia's most popular travel destinations, was visited by nearly 40 million people in 2019.
However, the tourism industry almost collapsed due to the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the kingdom to introduce strict and costly entry requirements.
This year, Thailand’s tourism industry gradually improved and welcomed more than 10 million international tourists and generated more than 500 billion baht in tourism receipt this year.
Today, Thailand hit the 10 million mark of tourist arrivals with celebrations held at key airports and border checkpoints to welcome passengers arriving in the kingdom.
Thai Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan o-cha in his welcoming address during the "Amazing Thailand 10 Million Celebrations” at Suvarnabhumi Airport Saturday said the achievement of reaching the 10 million visitor mark before the end of the year is a clear sign of visitor confidence in Thailand as a preferred tourist destination.
"It also symbolises the kingdom’s well- established status as one of the world’s most popular holiday spots,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said hitting the target of 10 million arrivals this year was a milestone achievement that reflects the successful recovery of Thailand’s tourism industry.
"This is an achievement which has come about by the concerted efforts of all stakeholders in the public and private sectors.
"Thailand’s carefully planned road towards the full reopening to international tourism on Oct 1, had begun with the launch of the Phuket Sandbox in July 2021 and culminated in today’s milestone achievement of 10 million arrivals,” he said.
The Amazing Thailand 10 Million Celebrations event, organised by TAT in cooperation with public and private sector partners, was held at seven key international and regional airports in Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang), Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, U-Tapao, and Samui, as well as two border checkpoints in Songkhla (Sadao) and Nong Khai. (US$1 = 34.67 baht). - Bernama