Thailand welcomed a record total of 29.88 million international visitors in 2015, it has been confirmed.
The figure, released by the country’s Ministry of Tourism & Sports this week, marks a 20.4% increase compared to a relatively weak 2014, but still exceeds the previous record full-year total, set in 2013.
Thailand’s tourism revenues jumped 23.4% to THB1.44 trillion (approx. US$40 billion).
“It was another remarkable year in 2015. The performance endorses the scope and effectiveness of the 2015 ‘Discover Thainess’ campaign and its success in restoring travel confidence,” said Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor, Dr Yuthasak Supasorn.
The record tourism numbers are being driven by demand from other Asian countries. Thailand welcomed 21.28m Asian visitors last year, or 71.2% of the total.
Mainland China remains Thailand’s largest source market, generating 7.93m visitors in 2015, up 71.1% year-on-year. Malaysia (3.42m visitors) was second, followed by Japan (1.38m), South Korea (1.37m), Laos (1.23m) and India (1.07m).
The UK was Thailand’s largest non-Asian market, with 946,919 visitors, exceeding Russia which declined to 884,085. Singapore (937,311) and the US (867,520) were also in the top 10.
The TAT said it is now focusing on increasing visitor revenues in 2016. Dr Yuthasak commented; “Looking at the 2016 prospects… TAT could encourage more travel from Europe, but our 2016 goals focus on balancing the market share, driving higher spending and extending the length-of-stay by promoting secondary destinations and high value travel experiences.”