Bangkok ( Reuters ) : Thailand welcomed 3.13 million tourists in August 2017 , a record for the low season month, and there’s no sign that the strong baht is hurting an industry that’s been a rare bright spot for the economy.
Tourism accounts for 12 percent of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, whose growth has picked up after years of sluggishness but still lags regional peers.
The August arrivals were 8.66 percent above a year earlier and marked the first time visitors during that month topped three million.
The visitors in August generated 163 billion baht ($4.93 billion) in revenue, up 11.7 percent from a year earlier, Pongpanu Svetarundra, permanent secretary of the tourism and sports ministry, told a news conference .
During August, the number of visitors from East Asia increased 10 percent from a year earlier to 2.26 million, with nearly one million from China, up 10.3 percent.
Numbers from the Middle East rose 19.4 percent to 103,784 in August while those from Europe were flat, at 437,739.
For January-August, there were 23.55 million arrivals, up 5.36 percent from a year earlier. Revenue in the first eighth months rose 7.5 percent to about 1.2 trillion baht.
The government has forecast about 35 million tourist arrivals this year, up from 2016’s record 32.6 million.