Thailand sets to welcome 33 to 34 million tourists in 2017 (Source: Reuters)

– Thailand expects to welcome 33 to 34 million visitors this year, which
is lower than its earlier forecast of 35 million, Tourism Minister Kobkarn
Wattanavrangkul said on October 12.

So far this year, Thailand
has welcomed nearly 27 million foreign tourists, she said, adding that the
whole year target is possible. However, she did not give a reason for the
projecting of a lower number.

The smaller number
would still be a record for Thailand, which welcomed 32.6 million foreign
visitors in 2016, with the largest group coming from China.

Tourist arrivals so
far this year are 5.6 percent above the same period of 2016, with 7.63 million
out of the total of 26.9 million coming from China, Minister Kobkarn said.

Thailand is heavily
dependent on tourism, which accounts for around 12 percent of the GDP.

Tourism was hurt by
widespread floods in 2011 and political turmoil and a coup in 2014, but the
industry recovered quickly.-VNA