According to data compiled by the Thai Immigration Bureau and recently released by the Department of Tourism, a total of 2.65 million foreign tourists visited Thailand in the first month of 2015.
But while this was a substantial increase of 16.30% from January 2014 and Thailand’s starry-eyed tourism officials will obviously slap themselves on the back – if you look at the fine-print details things don’t look quite as bright as they seem.
Granted, tourist arrivals from East and South Asia have increased substantially but – and that’s the crux of the matter – the number of traditionally high-spending visitors from Europe dropped by a staggering 14,32% in January 2015.
As in the two previous years, China with 560.399 visitors was once again the biggest tourism source market, with Chinese visitors accounting for 21.11% of all arrivals in January – a much larger share than just a year earlier.
Due to the continuing depreciation of the Russian ruble, the number of Russian visitors to the kingdom, accounting for 5.48% of international tourist arrivals, however dropped by a whopping 45.97% from 269.479 visitors in January 2014 to a mere 145.605 in January this year.
Here’s a PDF file of the complete visitor statistics for January 2015.
Source: Department of Tourism