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Thai tourist arrivals up 27.39% y-o-y in 1st half of year: govt spokesman

[BANGKOK] Thai tourist arrivals increased 27.39 per cent in the first six months compared with a year earlier, a deputy government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Thailand saw more than 14 million tourist arrivals between Jan 1 and June 21, said deputy government spokesman Sansern Kaewkamnerd.

Tourism accounts for 10 per cent of the Thai economy. The industry was battered in 2014 during months of sometimes violent street protests that prompted some foreign governments to issue warnings against non-essential travel to Thailand.

Demonstrations ended following a May 2014 military coup and Thailand's vital tourism sector is starting to grow again as the military-led government has restored some stability.

On Tuesday, the country's tourism council said it expects a record 29.5 million tourists this year, up 19 per cent from 2014, with almost a quarter coming from China.

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Thailand confirmed its first case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) virus last week. On the same day the UN's aviation agency downgraded safety ratings for Thailand's civil aviation body for failing to properly oversee airlines under its jurisdiction.

Mr Sansern said neither development has had an impact on tourist arrivals.


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