The 31 Millionth visitor to enter Thailand in 2016 flew to the holiday island of Phuket and into the record books as Thailand marks its most successful tourist year ever.

Mr. Strafuss Michael, Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor – The Amazing, Smashing Success”, arrived at Phuket’s International Airport from Germany on 17 December, 2016.

Mr. Strafuss Michael was welcomed by the executives of related organisations that included Mrs. Pataraporn Sithivanich, Executive Director for Europe, Africa and Middle East Region of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Mrs. Pataraporn said, “With its warm seas and soft sandy beaches, Phuket is the perfect winter getaway for tourists especially at this time of year when the weather is at its nicest. Everyone flying to Thailand can expect sunshine, warm Siamese hospitality and a colourful culture to explore. So it’s little wonder we are today saying hello to our 31 millionth sun seeker with a warm welcome to Thailand.”

Mr. Strafuss Michael’s reward for the luck of being, “Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor – The Amazing, Smashing Success”, are two economy-class return tickets to Thailand, valid for a year. He will also be given a voucher for a five-night stay in one of Thailand’s luxury hotels in Bangkok, Pattaya or Hua Hin as well as a mobile phone with a 4G sim card and seven days of Internet usage, and a certificate that will ensure he remembers his lucky day forever. The final touch is an exclusive limousine drive to his hotel in Phuket.

Mr. Strafuss Michael is the big fan of Thailand. He has visited Thailand many times, and this is his first time in Phuket where he will spend seven days and continue the journey to Bangkok for three more days.

Phuket has long been one of Thailand’s most popular holiday destinations. The island province offers much more than islands and beaches, with national parks, culture and historical buildings to discover, not to mention the ease of access to other green areas of Thailand such as Krabi and Phang-nga.

The “Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor” campaign was originally started in 2015 to recognise and reward every millionth visitor to Thailand from June to December. The campaign was hugely popular with tourists and the media and enhanced Thailand’s brand image.

In 2016, Thailand is projecting total international tourism revenue of around 1.62 trillion Baht (US$ 46 billion), representing a year-on-year increase of 11.68 per cent over 2015.

To boost tourism numbers, various initiatives have been put in place to encourage tourists to visit and spend. This includes the waiver of tourist visa fees for visitors from 19 countries from 1 December, 2016, to 28 February, 2017, and the price of visas issued on arrival will be halved.

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