Neither the maritime tragedy of Phuket that killed 47 people in the summer, nor the toxic cloud that has stifled Bangkok for a month seems to have an effect on tourism figures in Thailand.
For 2019, the country expects 41.1 million tourists to spend 2.21 trillion baht. The number of visitors from China alone is projected to rise 11% to 11.69 million.
Tourism has now become a key engine of growth for Thailand, but managing the influx is also challenge amid growing environmental pressure and crowded roads and international airports.
“The 41 million is a projection from the current trend, if we actually really reach that level, I’ll have a headache.”
Tourism Minister Weerasak Kowsurat
Arrivals are projected to climb about 8% from last year’s 38.3 million, the Tourism Ministry said in a briefing Monday in Bangkok.