One of the questions Thais and foreigners alike often ask is how many tourists visit Thailand every year? Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to that question, as the statistics change depending on which Thai agency you listen to and how each agency classifies “tourists”.
What we do know is, according to each successive Thai government, tourism makes up around 7-8 percent of the country’s entire GDP. So, as you can guess, that means a heckuva lot of tourists visit Thailand each year.
In 2016, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), more than 32.59 million tourists visited Thailand, which was an almost 20 percent increase over the year before, and a record number for the country.
However, when you look at the figures closely, TAT is not really counting “tourists” but instead every foreigner that arrives at any airport or land border in Thailand.
As this does include people from neighboring countries who cross over the border for the day just to shop, as well as migrant workers who may be coming to Thailand to work, as you can guess the numbers are not particularly accurate.
Thailand has, however, been in the top 20 most visited countries in the world for several years and, in 2018, was at number 10.
What is interesting too about the number of tourists visiting Thailand, as western tourists tend to stay around the same levels, Asian tourists from countries like Malaysia, Singapore and China are increasing in number every year.
Malaysia, China and Japan had the most tourists visiting Thailand in 2016, with Australia, the UK and the United States in eighth, ninth and tenth places.
Whatever the real number of tourists that visit Thailand every year, one thing you can guarantee is it is well over 32 million every year and it is increasing by a large percent every year. No surprise there really, though, as Thailand truly is one of the must-visit tourist destinations, at least once in your life.
Now watch the Brand Thailand video below, and learn why Thailand is so popular with tourists, and about the out-of-the-way places all around the country that Thais and non-Thais recommend you visit while you are there.