Trang province in Southern Thailand welcomed its one millionth visitor of the year on 29 November, signifying a major milestone in the growth of the local tourism industry.
As the average number of daily visitors is 3,200, it was calculated that the millionth visitor of 2012 would arrive on 29 November. The province is growing in stature and reputation, becoming as popular as Krabi and Phang-nga, receiving 910,000 domestic and foreign visitors through the first nine months of 2012. By the end of 2012, Trang is expected to record 1.15 million visitors, an increase of 14% over 2011. Official statistics show that 70% of total visitors are Thai and 30% are foreigners.
Most of the foreign visitors are European, especially from the Scandinavian countries who enjoy long-stay, leisure holidays at the beachfront bungalows, mostly between November – March. More recently, there has been strong growth in arrivals from neighbouring Malaysia, where TAT and the Thai tourism private sector have done extensive promotions.
Major factors that have contributed to the tourism growth are the increased flights by Nok Air and Thai AirAsia, the absence of natural disasters, and a stable social and economic situation which was orchestrated by a combination of private and public sector policies which are designed to ensure a balance between the local cost of living and income levels of the local people.