Thailand Tops 10 Million Visitors in 2012, Despite Setbacks
By James Ruggia
August 09, 2012 10:46 PM
Thailand, the most resilient of destinations, unveiled its tourism statistics in Bangkok. Last year was a successful and prosperous year for Thailand’s tourism industry, despite severe floods during the latter half of the year coupled with travel warnings from important source markets.
Some 19.1 million visitor arrivals (up 19.8 percent over 2010) went to Thailand in 2011 and, during the first half of 2012, inbound visitor arrivals to Thailand have already exceeded the 10 million mark with a 7.6 percent increase despite the unfavorable circumstances, such as the on-going global economic crisis in important long-haul markets in Europe and the U.S., as well as the appreciation of Thai baht against the euro and the U.S. dollar. China, as is often the case in Asia these days, is filling the breach left by long-haul Western travelers. It has become the number one top source market ahead of Malaysia during the first six months of 2012.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) cites the expansion of low-cost carriers in the region; strong traffic from China, India, Korea (ROK), Japan and the Russian Federation; value-for-money products compared to other competitive destination markets; and a successful rebranding of the promotion tagline by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports from “Amazing Thailand” to “Miracle Thailand” with promotional activities throughout 2012.
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