Thailand: 6m foreign visitors so far this year

More than 6 million internationals visited Thailand this year with a 90% surge last month alone when compared to average figures, according to officials.

From Jan 1 to Sept 1, the country welcomed 6.01 million visitors, a figure slightly higher than the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s goal of 6 million, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said on Sunday.

Of that, Mr Yuthasak said most were Malaysians with 972,699 visitors, followed by 561,656 Indians, 410,563 Lao, 311,567 Singaporeans and 309,034 Cambodians.

Suvarnabhumi airport saw the highest number of visitors with 3.25 million, followed by Phuket airport, Don Mueang airport, the Sadao immigration checkpoint in Songkhla and the Nong Khai immigration checkpoint with 828,684; 442,603; 348,121; and 180,023 visitors, respectively, he said.

“This shows it is likely that Thailand will achieve its target to welcome at least 10 visitors by the end of this year,” he said.

According to the TAT’s projection, Thailand will receive 1.5 million international visitors per month in the last four months of the year.

“From the lowest point of no international visitors received at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020, the number of visitors rose to about 400,000 last year and continues to rise towards the previous high of 39.8 million recorded in 2019,” he said.

Last month, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said 1.08 million international visitors came to Thailand, a 90.2% increase from the average 569,675 people visiting per month in the first eight months of the year.

“About 97.66% of the international visitors arriving in September came by air,” he said.

“And of all these air passengers arriving last month, 72% arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport, another 16% at Don Mueang airport and the rest at the regional airports.”

Meanwhile, the government is now encouraging Thais travelling overseas to download the Thai consular app on their smartphones in case of emergencies.

The app provides consular service assistance and features an SOS mode in the event of an emergency, said deputy government spokeswoman Tipanan Sirichana.

The app is available on the App Store for iOS users and Google Play for Android users, she said.