The six main airports of Thailand reached a record number of passengers last year : 110 million, or 21.3% more than in 2014.
The opening of Terminal 2 at Don Mueang airport could allow an even greater number of passengers this year.
Thailand’s six main airports saw robust growth in passenger traffic of 21.3% in 2015, setting a new record of just under 110 million, reflecting the marked upturn in Thailand’s tourism industry.
Aircraft movements (take-offs and landings) surged in tandem by 16.6% from the previous year to 727,750, according to figures from the Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT).
Such growth is partly made possible with the expansion at Bangkok’s Don Mueang in Bangkok and Phuket airports.
Don Mueang’s renovated terminal 2 is due to start full operation next month, ramping up its official passenger handling capacity to 30 million a year from 18.5 million.Also next month, the long-delayed expansion of Phuket airport should be completed, doubling its annual passenger processing capacity to 12.5 million from the current 6.5 million.
Thailand managed to attract just under 30 million international visitors in 2015, according to final figures released by the Tourism Department.
These 29,881,091 foreign arrivals represented an increase of 20.4% over the 24.81 million who visited in 2014, statistics posted on the department’s website showed.
The Thailand tourism industry has been defiantly strong despite challenges such as the Bangkok bombing at a busy central intersection last August which killed 20 and injured more than 120 people, reported Reuters.
This performance has a lot to do with the influx of Chinese tourists arriving in Thailand, with visitor numbers to the kingdom surging over the past year at one of the fastest rates in the Asia-Pacific region.
Arrivals from China soared 71% last year to 7.93 million, representing 26.5% of all international tourists.
Growth from East Asia overall was 36%, helped by a strong performance from Malaysia, up 31% to 3.42 million and accounting for 11% of all visitors. Japan and Korea each accounted for 4.6% of the total with arrivals from the former up 9% and the latter up 22.3%.