According to Thailand's Ministry of Tourism, the country recorded the arrival of about 19 million foreign tourists from January to September 17 this year. From these visits, the country managed to generate revenue of about 795 billion baht (equivalent to US$22.26 billion).
In a statement, the ministry said that the state of Thailand's tourism sector has shown signs of improvement. It also said that the government's visa waiver policy for tourists from China is expected to provide an additional boost to the tourism industry.
It is expected that tourist arrivals will continue to increase as the tourism industry enters the peak season, especially during the long weekends from tourist source countries such as Malaysia and Japan.
The new Thai government has also planned efforts to increase tourist arrivals by announcing visa exemptions for tourist arrivals from China and Kazakhstan from September 25 to the end of February.
It is important to note that the tourism sector is the second largest economic contributor in Southeast Asia. The government estimates that it will receive around 28 million tourist arrivals this year.
By comparison, Thailand will receive around 39.9 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2019, with 11 million of those arrivals coming from China. The government has previously announced a target of attracting five million Chinese tourists this year.