Thailand tourism hits record high in 2017, welcoming 35 millionth visitor on 29 December

Marking an important milestone for 2017 and exceeding the goal for the year

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Bangkok, 29 December, 2017 – Thailand is proud to announce the arrival of the 35 millionth visitor during 2017 on Qatar Airways QR 836 from Doha that touched down at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport this afternoon.

35 millionth visitor in 2017 - Stephanie Haring

Ms. Stephanie Haring (above picture, 5th from left), an architect from Munich, Germany, was named ‘Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor’, a campaign launched since June 2015 to recognise and reward record-breaking visitors on arrival to the country. It is her sixth visit to Thailand with plans to spend three weeks with her friend (above picture, 5th from right) in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Ko Phi Phi (Krabi).

Ms. Haring was pleasantly surprised and warmly welcomed by public and private sector tourism industry representatives and senior executives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

She was was rewarded with two economy-class return tickets from her original destination to Thailand, a voucher for five nights’ accommodation in Thailand, a limousine transfer from the Airports of Thailand as well as the ‘Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor’ accolades that included a signed certificate from TAT.

35 millionth visitor in 2017 - Stephanie Haring

H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat (above picture, presenting a Thai hand garland to Ms. Haring), Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, said the arrival of the 35 millionth visitor is an important milestone for 2017 and means that tourism arrivals exceeded the goal for the year. He added that prior to this, some 34 million tourists had already spent 1.81 trillion Baht (US$50 billion) in the country this year.

“This continued success paves the way for expanding community-based tourism under TAT’s latest communication concept of ‘Open to the New Shades’ that focuses on Thai local experiences,” the Minister said.

TAT’s ‘Open to the New Shades’ communication concept continues to highlight how visitors can discover new Thai local experiences at existing attractions or in emerging tourist destinations covering five unique categories. These include Thai Gastronomy, Arts and Crafts, Nature and Beaches, Culture, and Way of Life.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said the ‘Open to the New Shades’ concept reflects TAT’s marketing plan 2018, which has been designed to serve the purpose of generating revenue and increasing visitor arrivals, promoting new ideas and following the development agenda of Thailand 4.0 using the ‘Sufficiency Economy Philosophy’, as well as ‘Inclusive Tourism’ that maintains a balance between the economy, society and the environment.

All the strategies are in line with the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan and 2nd National Tourism Development Plan.

Mr. Yuthasak concluded: “Welcoming the 35 millionth visitor to Thailand in 2017 is a truly remarkable achievement that all members of the Thai tourism industry can take pride in for their contribution. It is a tribute to the diversity of our tourism offerings and Thai local experiences that have captured the imagination of the global travelling community.”