The Thai tourism industry ended 2015 on a high by welcoming its 29 millionth visitor of the year.
The arrival of Russian national Elena Slobodian at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on 23 December marked the first time Thailand had exceeded 29m visitors in a single year, and means that the country has now surpassing its full-year target of 28.8m international arrivals.
Thailand’s previous record was 26.7m visitors, which was set in 2013.
“This historic achievement is a tribute to all those who work in travel and tourism, all the way from the rank and file employees at the grassroots level up to the senior executives,” said Juthaporn Rerngronasa, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s deputy governor for international marketing.
“Our visitors and guests visit Thailand because of their confidence in our ability to deliver quality services with impressive total experiences. And it is the hospitality of the Thai people who make this possible.”
Following a poor 2014, which was impacted by a military coup, Thailand’s tourism industry started 2015 well, registering year-on-year growth of 30% in the first six months of 2015. The Bangkok bombing in August briefly threatened to derail this rebound, but, as has happened so many times before, Thailand rebounded quickly and strongly in the final quarter to exceed its full-year target.
“We would like to thank each and every visitor who came to Thailand. This year, travel and tourism has truly proven to be an economic mainstay for the entire kingdom. With the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) set to be launched, there is every reason to believe that Thai travel and tourism will retain its importance as a source of jobs, economic livelihood and income distribution,” Ms Juthaporn added.