From the white sandy beaches in Phuket, to the Club Sky Lounge and others of Bangkok’s nightlife, there’s plenty of reason for Thailand to be a tourism hotspot, and 2018’s numbers agree.
The Kingdom saw approximately 19.5 international arrivals within the first six months of 2018, which is a marked increase of 12% compared to the same timeframe in 2017, according to a report from Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry, which they released on Wednesday, 18th of July.
The report says that Thailand had 19.48 million foreigners travelling into it, during the January-June period, a 12% increase, with visitors from China amounting to the largest chunk of these arrivals, at approximately 6 million. The number of Chinese visitors into Thailand managed to outdo the number of total visitors from the surrounding Southeast Asian countries.
Notably, the Tourism & Sports Ministry released a small image regarding the data, which showed that Chinese arrivals into Thailand hit a total of 5,931,135, whilst Malaysia’s and Korea’s arrivals totalled 1,807,915 arrivals within 2018’s first half. According to the TSM, the capital and its Club Sky Lounge and hotels were among the favoured destinations, but so was Phuket and Chiang Mai.
However, Chinese tourism into the Kingdom hit a bit of a snag recently thanks to the boat tragedy on the 5th of July. A diving boat, the Phoenix, capsized off the coast of Phuket. The ship had 101 people on board, with only 2 of them not from China, plus the 12 crew. The capsize resulted in the deaths of 47 Chinese nationals. The last body was retrieved on July 16, Monday. As a result of tragedy, tourists from China cancelled a total of 7,300 hotel bookings across the island.
Permanent Secretary for Tourism and Sports, PongpanuSvetarundra, recently said that they remain confident on Thailand’s target for Chinese arrivals – 11 million, was still very much achievable for the Kingdom. Thailand, he adds, has already offered compensation to the injuries and the relatives of the departed, as well as put up increased safety and security measures in order to alleviate concerns and give tourists some peace of mind.