TAT joins the Thai tourism industry to welcome the country’s 21,000,001st visitor

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and travel-related offices of the Thai public and private sectors today jointly organized a welcoming ceremony for the group of international tourists that pushed Thailand’s tourist arrivals for 2012 to over 21 million people. The country is fast moving the number of 22 million. With this super growth, TAT is confident that the year 2013 will see 24.5 million arrivals and an income of 1.149 million baht.

At 11.45 hrs. today at the Arrival Hall of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, TAT Governor, together with top executives from Thai Airways International, Airports of Thailand Public Co., Ltd. and representatives of Thai tourism associations, held a lively ceremony to greet tourists by giving away Nong Sukjai mascot dolls to arriving passengers. Recipients emerging from the baggage claim area were surprised but delighted by the ceremony. There were photo opportunities with the executives by the Thai media, which came in force to cover the historic occasion.

Mr. Suraphon said, “This activity was held to mark a major milestone for the Thai tourism industry. We registered a 15% increase in arrivals over 2011 and we are confident of generating at least 965,000 million baht for the country, a healthy 24% rise over last year. Our statistics showed that Thailand welcomed 19,761,794 international tourists from January to November this year, which was an increase of 13.57%. The top ten countries that sent tourists to Thailand were China, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, South Korea, India, Laos, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. The main growth markets are from Asia. Both Suvarnabhumi Airport and Phuket International Airport showed a good increase in the first half of December of 35% and 47%, respectively. These figures bolster our confidence in achieving 22 million arrivals very soon.”

The trend for 2013 looks to be positive should the travel situation remain as stable as it is now. TAT expects international arrivals to hit 24.5 million (11% increase) and revenue generated to be 1,149,000 million baht (19% increase). The main contributing markets will likely be Asian countries and the launching of the ASEAN Community in 2015 will spur even further growth.

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