Thailand expects 4.5m foreign tourists from Jan to Aug

Thailand expects 4.5 million foreign tourists will have visited by the end of August this year as entry rules were eased to support the vital tourism sector, government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said on Thursday.

Between Jan 1 and Aug 16, there were 4.02 million foreign tourists, led by visitors from Malaysia, India, Laos, Singapore and the United Kingdom, Mr Anucha said in a statement.

The government is aiming for 10 million foreign tourists this year, he said.

On Wednesday, Bank of Thailand (BoT) governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said the country’s eonomic recovery remains intact, mainly supported by the tourism sector, but it is also a risk factor.

If the number of foreign arrivals is lower than projected, it would dampen the economic growth rate, the BoT chief said.

Global inflationary pressure and geopolitical factors could affect tourists visiting Thailand, but such factors are not key concerns, said Mr Sethaput.