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Tuesday, 29 January, 2019, 13 : 00 PM [IST]

Thailand Expects a Record 41.1 Million Foreign Tourists in 2019

The number of tourists coming to Thailand will hit a record 41.1 million in 2019, the country’s government said.

Arrivals are projected to climb about 8% from last year’s 38.3 million, the Tourism Ministry said in a briefing in Bangkok. To put that in perspective, the flood of arrivals exceeds the population of Canada.

Chinese tourists are returning after a slowdown sparked by a tour boat tragedy that triggered concerns about safety standards. The number of Chinese holidaymakers rose 2.8% in December from a year earlier, to 838,634.

Chinese visitors are the top source of foreign receipts in an industry that makes up about a fifth of the economy. Tourism is a key engine of growth, but managing the influx is a challenge amid pressure on the environment as well as clogged international airports.

"The 41 million is a projection from the current trend," Weerasak Kowsurat, Tourism Minister, Thailand said at the briefing. "If we actually really reach that level, I’ll have a headache."


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