Thailand tourism arrivals surge

International visitor arrivals to Thailand surged 24.4 percent to 8.2 million in the first five months of the year, according to new figures from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

The figures are somewhat distorted as they compare to a period of civil unrest in 2010 when anti-government protests gathered in the centre of Bangkok, however they do point to a remarkable recovery of the country in the 12 months since the troubles.

The results have caused the TAT to raise its arrivals forecast for 2011 from 15.5 million to 16.8 million. Tourism receipts are expected to total approximately THB600 billion (US$19.6 billion) for 2011.

The kingdom also enjoyed 12 percent growth in foreign visitors in 2010, which not only proved its resilience but also its forward-thinking attitude towards developing new markets, and sport tourism in particular.

In September Thailand will be playing host to the World Travel Awards, which will be hosting its Asia and Australasia Ceremony in Bangkok. The event is expected to attract the who’s who of travel and tourism.

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