Thai tourist arrivals up 25% to 24.3 m

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

BANGKOK,  (Reuters) - Thailand’s tourist arrivals for the first 10 months of 2015 rose nearly 25% on year, the tourism ministry said on Tuesday, as the industry showed resilience while other areas of the economy struggle.BUP_DFT_DFT-13-13

The increase in arrivals also comes despite a bomb attack at a major tourist attraction in Bangkok in August that killed 20 people.

The government expects a record year for tourism, which accounts for around 10% of the economy. It has raised its full-year visitor forecast to 29.5 million, with the biggest number coming from China.

The number of visitors in January-October was 24.36 million, a 25% jump from a year earlier, and 6.8 million of them were from China. Tourism revenue was 1.15 trillion baht ($32.07 billion), Wanasiri Morakul, deputy permanent secretary of the tourism ministry, said.

The 10-month total nearly equalled the full-year 2014 number of 24.8 million.

Wanasiri said tourists felt safe in Thailand, despite political unrest last year and the August deadly Bangkok blast.

“They still want to visit. The government has a clear tourism policy and we continue to find new attractions for them,” Wanasiri said.

The fourth quarter is traditionally Thailand’s high season for tourism.