Record Number of Tourists Visit Thailand in 2011

January 11, 2012

The statistics for 2011 have just been released by the Department of Tourism. In previous years we have seen growth of about 8-10%. However, for 2011, the official statistics show that there was an increase in foreign tourists to Thailand of 19.84%. In 2010, there were 15,936,400 tourists in Thailand. This number increased to an amazing 19,098,323 in 2011. This is in despite of  political unrest and street fighting over the last few years and also the devastating flood in the latter half of 2011. They are already looking forward to the end of 2012 and predict we will see 20.5 to 20.8 million tourists.

Increase in international arrivals were seen in most sectors around the world. In particular, East Asia and Europe increased by 26.56% and 11.4% respectively.

The tourists in the top 10 for international visitors to Thailand in 2011 were from:

  1. Malaysia (2.47 million)
  2. China (1.76 million)
  3. Japan (1.12 million)
  4. Russia (1,014,493)
  5. South Korea (1,014,292)
  6. India (916,787)
  7. Laos (887,677)
  8. Australia, (854,064)
  9. Great Britain (844,221)
  10. United States (684,073)

During November 2011 the number of tourists declined by 17.92% which was mainly due to the widespread floods. However, this improved by December when the decline was only 2.4%. What helped the overall picture were good results earlier in the year up to and including October. In the month of May 2011 alone, there was an increase of 70.26% compared to the same period the year before.

7 Responses to Record Number of Tourists Visit Thailand in 2011

  1. khon kaen on January 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Anyone verify the numbers?

    • Richard Barrow on January 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      I’m trying to get other sources but no luck yet. Would be interesting to see the statistics from Immigration. But I’m not sure if they release it. All I can get so far are the stats from AOT for passengers at Suvarnabhumi which increased this year. But that just tells you number of times people came on and off planes.

  2. Andrew Spooner on January 13, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Richard.

    Sorry but the stat of 900K Laos people – 1 in 7 of the Laos population – arriving in Thailand as tourists is completely unbelievable.

    These figures purely reflect numbers of people entering Thailand and don’t say what purpose they are arriving in Thailand for, nor if they are re-entries or expats on border runs.

    Suggesting they reflect a record number of tourists is misleading.

    • Richard Barrow on January 13, 2012 at 10:06 am

      You are right of course, it needs to be clarified that these are indeed tourists and not migrant workers. I know many cross the border to buy Thai goods every day and then cross back to sell.

  3. Michael Chick on January 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    And to buy medicine as well, coz according to Lao Red Cross, 80% of Medicines in lao are fake. The stats are not so different from those in Cambodia. So far, medicines in Thailand have been (for me at least) legit, and has worked

  4. upul on January 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    hi Richard,

    i want to tell you that you also contributed to that number by giving us constant updates of the flood!

    my wife found your blog in late october, at which time we were about to cancel our tour to bangkok worried about the flood situation. but your blogs and tweets were so upto date, it was such a relief to us to get first hand news from them.

    it was actually like having a relative in thailand who gives us constant news…. we want to say a big THANK YOU!!! your blogs and tweets means so much to tourists like us!!

    • Richard Barrow on January 13, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Thanks for saying so.

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