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Thailand's October tourist arrivals up 6% on year

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The number of tourists arriving in Thailand in October rose for the first time since January, up 6.14 per cent from a year earlier, suggesting a key sector of the economy is recovering from a long slump following months of political unrest.

[BANGKOK] The number of tourists arriving in Thailand in October rose for the first time since January, up 6.14 per cent from a year earlier, suggesting a key sector of the economy is recovering from a long slump following months of political unrest.

Tourism, which accounts for about 10 per cent of the Thai economy, suffered its biggest fall in tourist numbers in June this year. The army seized power on May 22 in a bid to restore order and confidence.

Overall foreign tourist numbers were 2.18 million in October, an official at the Department of Tourism told Reuters. That compared with 1.86 million in September.

In the first 10 months of 2014, tourist arrivals still fell 8.7 per cent on the year, to 19.7 million, the official said.

The military junta expects around 25 million tourist arrivals for this year, down from 26.5 million in 2013, Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said this week.

Thailand is still under martial law after the coup and several countries have kept in place travel warnings on the country.

The unresolved murders of two British tourists have also scared off some visitors.

REUTERS