China overtakes Malaysia as Thailand’s largest tourist supplier

Hoang Vu July 3, 2024 | 3:37 PM PST

People splash around in water during the Songkran festival parade celebrating Thai New Year in Bangkok, Thailand, on April 14, 2023. Photo courtesy of Reuters

Chinese tourists reached 3.43 million in the first half of this year, surpassing Malaysians as the largest number of visitors to Thailand.

Malaysia came in second with 2.43 million visitors, followed by India with just over 1 million, according to data from Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Thailand received 17.5 million foreign tourists from January to June, half of this year’s target of 36.7 million.

Last year, Malaysia overtook China to become Thailand’s largest feeder tourism market.

Thailand made the exemption for Chinese tourists permanent in March.

Since June, Thailand has allowed visitors from 93 countries, up from the current 57, to enter the country visa-free for up to 60 days.

Vietnam received 8.8 million foreign tourists in the first half of the year, just half as many as Thailand.

Thailand, which relies heavily on tourism for economic growth, welcomed a record 39.9 million foreign tourists in 2019, generating revenue of 1.91 trillion baht ($51.9 billion).

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