According to data compiled by the Thai Immigration Bureau and now released by the Department of Tourism, a total of 29.88 million foreign tourists visited Thailand in 2015. This wasn’t just a substantial 20,44% increase from the 24.8 million tourist arrivals the kingdom had seen in 2014 but also marks a new all-time record.
While we expected that more or less, detailed visitor statistics for 2015 have now also been published. Please scroll down for a PDF file detailing international tourist arrivals by region and nationality from January to December last year. Arrival stats for December 2015 have also been embedded further below.
As in the three previous years, China was once again the biggest tourism source market, with Chinese visitors accounting for 26,55% of all foreign tourist arrivals in 2015. Their number increased by a whopping 71,14% from 4.63 million in 2014 to 7.93 million last year.
Arrivals from East Asia grew by 36,07% and accounted for 66,50% of all foreign visitors in 2015. Only tourists from China and ASEAN member countries, such as Malaysia, accounted for a share of nearly 53% of all arrivals to the kingdom.
Arrivals from European countries were down 8,65% in 2015. In particular, the number of Russian visitors to the kingdom, formerly one of the country’s biggest tourism source markets, decreased by 44,97% from 1.6 million in 2014 to merely 884.085 last year. While Europeans overall accounted for only 18,84% of foreign tourist arrivals in 2015, Russians made up less than 3% of all international arrivals.
Tourist numbers from Australia decreased by 3,11% to 805.946, while arrivals from the United States grew by 13,62% to 867.520 in 2015. Tourist arrivals from India increased by 14,64% to 1.069 million and for the first time ever surpassed the one-million mark.
Here are the top 10 visiting countries in 2015:
- China (7.934.791 million arrivals)
- Malaysia (3.423.397)
- Japan (1.381.690)
- Korea (1.372.995)
- Laos (1.233.138)
- India (1.069.149)
- Singapore (937.311)
- United Kingdom (946.919)
- Russia (884.085)
- United States (867.520)
Other countries that accounted for more than half a million arrivals last year were Australia (805.946), Germany (760.604), Vietnam (751.091), Hong Kong (669.165), France (681.097) and Taiwan (552.624).
Embedded below are the arrival statistics for December 2015, the traditional peak of the “high season”. The good news are: Yep, arrival numbers have increased again year-on-year. The bad news, relative speaking, are: Other than in the first three quarters of the year, arrivals in December grew just by a moderate 4,69% year-on-year.
In the face of an overall 20,44% increase in arrival numbers over the entire year, the December stats are naturally disappointing. Most significantly, arrival numbers from East Asia increased by a relatively meagre 10.43%, while arrivals from Europe even decreased by 6,99%. Hardly a success story.
Here’s a breakdown of foreign tourist arrivals last month by nationality: