Thailand eyes 36-40 million foreign tourists this year

By VNA   March 10, 2024 | 04:50 pm PT
Thailand eyes 36-40 million foreign tourists this year
A group of Vietnamese tourists pose for photos in Bangkok in August 2023. Photo by Tran Lan Anh
Thailand is estimated to receive 36 million foreign tourists in 2024, thanks to the improving economy and the government's supporting policies, according to the Kasikorn Research Center (KResearch).

The center’s estimates are based on the 6.4 million foreign arrivals recorded in the first two months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 50%.

The center predicted that foreign arrivals by the end of the first quarter may reach 9.32 million, up 42.7% year-on-year, and showing a positive sign for the rest of the year.

KResearch attributed the jump in foreign arrivals to Thailand’s improving economy and the government’s short- and long-term tourism promotion policies.

The most outstanding one is the visa-free policy that has been implemented since September last year beginning with a five-month visa exemption for visitors from China and Kazakhstan, followed by India and Taiwan in November, the center said.

From March 1, Thailand and China have mutually waived visa requirements for their citizens permanently.

Other supporting factors include airlines opening new routes to Thailand as well as increasing flight frequency.

Data from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand indicates that Thailand enjoyed 34% more international flights in January-February than the same period last year, or around 68,000 flights, which are about 78% of those recorded in the same period of 2019.

The center expected to see more flight routes from countries like China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Scandinavian countries throughout the year from both normal and low-cost airlines.

KResearch's estimates are, however, lower than those of the Tourism and Sports Ministry, which has predicted around 40 million foreign arrivals in 2024, generating around 2.3 trillion THB (US$65 billion) in tourism revenue.

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