More Foreigners Visit Thailand
The number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand rose nearly 9% to 32.6 million in 2016, bringing in 1.64 trillion baht ($45.9 billion) worth of business, up nearly 13% from 2015, according to data released by the Thai Tourism Ministry on Thursday. The rise, just beating the ministry's forecast of 32.4 million visitors, came despite the mourning period for Thailand's late king, a number of bombings in resorts, cases of the Zika virus and a crackdown on some low budget Chinese tours, Reuters reported. Tourism has been a rare bright spot for Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, with sluggish exports and domestic demand subdued since the military seized power in the 2014 coup to end political unrest. The ministry said almost a third of its total international arrivals in 2016 came from China, with 8.87 million Chinese visitors, making for an increase of 11.8% from 2015.