International tourist arrivals to Thailand posted a growth of 19.04 per cent from January to April 2o13, the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports announced on May 21.
During the first four months of the year, 8,841,730 trips to the country were registered, up from 7,427,772 visits during the same period in 2012. Should this trend continue, Thailand might well be set to top Malaysia as the leading tourism destination in ASEAN.
In April alone, there were 2,013,012 trips, up 19.38 per cent compared to 1,686,268 visits during the same month in 2013. The Songkran (Thai New Year) festival in mid-April was identified as the key driver that drew tourists in a month when temperatures soar to almost unbearable levels in the Thai capital.
East Asia continued to be the top source of international tourists to Thailand, with China on top. Trips from Myanmar grew 42.58 per cent, Taiwan 37.73 per cent, followed by Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Interestingly and despite the dire economic situation in Europe, the continent posted a growth of 19.44 per cent with the top five growth markets being Finland, Sweden, Russia, Eastern Europe and and Denmark.
The main American source markets, US and Brazil posted an increase of 4.11 per cent and 1.49 per cent, respectively.