Despite a number of challenges that the Thai tourism industry faced in 2018, particularly with groups from China, Thailand welcomed a total of 38,277,300 million international visitor arrivals in 2018, up 7.5% on 2017.

Thailand’s visitors generated just over 2 trillion Baht (roughly US$ 62 billion) in 2018, of which the lion’s share came from East Asia and Europe.

China arrivals, not including those from Hong Kong or Taiwan, were up 7.44% for the year, increasing from 9,806,260 to 10,535,955, while tourism receipts grew by 11.52% from 520.7 billion Baht to 580.6 billion Baht.

Arrivals from ASEAN increased by 10.31% from 9,322,508 to 10,284,050 and brought in 331.9 billion Baht, up 11.01% on the 299 billion Baht in 2017.

Arrivals from Hong Kong increased from 821,064 to 1,015,688 (+23.7%) and from Taiwan from 573,077 to 687,701 (+20%) while revenue from Hong Kong arrivals increased by 29.07% from 32.9 billion Baht to 42.4 billion Baht. Revenue from Taiwan arrivals jumped 21.9% from 24.9 billion Baht to 30.3 billion Baht.

Despite arrivals from the United Kingdom dropping by 0.73% from 994,755 to 987,456, revenue increased by 5.17% from 73.9 billion Baht to 77.8 billion Baht.

Arrivals from Russia increased from 1,346,338 to 1,472,949 (+9.4%) with revenue rising 12.72% from 102.6 billion Baht to 115.7 billion Baht.

The number of visitors from Japan and the USA increased by 7.23% and 6.33% respectively. In 2018 a total of 1,656,100 arrivals came from Japan, while 1,123,248 came from the USA. Tourism receipts from Japanese arrivals increased by 9% from 66.6 billion Baht to 72.6 billion Baht while receipts from American visitors rose 12.18% from 74.3 billion Baht to 83.3 billion Baht.

Arrivals from India increased by 12.83% from 1,415,197 to 1,596,772, while receipts jumped 30.64% from 54.7 billion Baht to 71.5 billion Baht.

On the negative side, some of the biggest drops in arrivals were from Sweden, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Brazil.

Arrivals from Sweden were down 3.64% from 323,736 to 311,959, Saudi arrivals fell 15.5% from 33,531 to 28,334, UAE arrivals decreased 6.52% from 137,218 to 128,271 and arrivals from Brazil dropped 15.47% from 78,186 to 66,087.

Thailand normally targets a yearly increase in arrivals of around 7 to 7.5%, and in 2019 is looking to welcome approximately 41 million people.