The Thai tourism industry hit a new record with the arrival of the 29 millionth visitor today, surpassing the projected target of 28.8 million and still counting.
Ms. Elena Slobodian, from Russia Federation, the 29 millionth tourist, also dubbed ‘Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor’, was greeted at Suvarnabhumi Airport with a warm welcoming ceremony by senior executives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Airports of Thailand (AOT), the Immigration Bureau, Thai Airways International and True Corporation.
Ms. Elena Slobodian was pleasantly surprised to receive two economy-class return tickets on Thai Airways from her original destination to Thailand, valid for one year; a voucher for a five-night stay at luxury accommodation; a mobile phone with a 4G sim-card and seven-day Internet usage for use during the trip; as well as the “Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor” certificate from TAT.
The “Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor” activity was launched in June this year to recognise and reward every millionth visitor to the country. With strong support from the public and private sectors, the campaign has attracted considerable international attention and enhanced the value of the Thai tourism brand image.
Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas), Tourism Authority of Thailand said, “This historic achievement is a tribute to all those who work in travel and tourism, all the way from the rank and file employees at the grassroots level up to the senior executives. Our visitors and guests visit Thailand because of their confidence in our ability to deliver quality services with impressive total experiences. And it is the hospitality of the Thai people who make this possible.”
She added, “We would like to thank each and every visitor who came to Thailand. This year, travel and tourism has truly proven to be an economic mainstay for the entire kingdom. With the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) set to be launched, there is every reason to believe that Thai travel and tourism will retain its importance as a source of jobs, economic livelihood and income distribution.”
According to the preliminary figures released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Thailand welcomed a total of 28.3 million visitors during 1 January – 16 December 2015. This generates 1.357 trillion baht tourism revenue.
In 2014, Thailand welcomed a total of 1,596,542 visitors from Russia, generating 112.7 billion Baht to the Thai economy. Russian travellers spend 4,557.13 Baht per day with an average stay of about 15.49 days per person travelling in the kingdom.
From the total number of Russian visitors to Thailand in 2014, a total of 914,286 were repeaters and the remaining being first-time visitors. In addition, nearly one million or 960,769 visitors are non-group tours or FITs and the rest travelled as part of a group tour. Their purposes of visit to Thailand are for holiday (1,543,814), meeting (2,989), incentive (4,703), convention (1,164), exhibition (1,302), and others (42,570).