Thailand's tourist arrivals exceed 22 million for first time
Bangkok - More than 22 million tourists visited Thailand last year, up nearly 16 per cent year-on-year, marking a record-high for the kingdom, industry sources said Monday.According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 22.3 foreigners visited Thailand in 2012, led by Chinese (2.7 million), Malaysians (2.5 million), Russians (1.3 million), Japanese (1.3 million), Koreans (1.1 million), British (870,164) and Germans (681,566).
"Last year, the world was generally at peace and there were no major geopolitical, economic, environmental or natural disasters and no health pandemics," Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Suraphon Svetasreni said.
Last year was also a relatively sedate one for Thailand, which has witnessed political conflicts over the past six years resulting in street demonstrations in Bangkok and periodic heavy flooding.
Tourism is Thailand’s leading source of foreign exchange. The Tourism Authority projects 24.5 million tourists in 2013.