Tourism in Thailand

Thailand recorded a total of 36 million tourists in 2017, ranking 10th in the world in absolute terms.

Without including the size of a country, such a ranking list may not be very meaningful. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Thailand, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.51 tourists per resident, Thailand ranked 86th in the world. In Southeast Asia, it ranked 4th.

Thailand generated around 62.16 billion US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 12.31 percent of its the gross domestic product.



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Development of the tourism sector in Thailand from 1995 to 2017

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Thailand each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g. crew members of ships or flights are also not considered as tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all countries in Southeast Asia.

Tourists per year in Thailand

Revenues in tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 9.26 billion USD, or about 5.5 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 6.95 million tourists at that time and roughly 1,332 USD per person. Within 22 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased drastically. In the last year of the survey, the revenue now amounts to 62.16 billion USD, accounting for 13.65 percent of the gross national product. Each visitor now spends an average of 1,746 USD for his holiday in Thailand.

Annual receipts as percentage of the gross national product:
Tourism receipts in Thailand per year

All data for Thailand in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPExpences per person
19956.95 m9.26 bn $5.5 %1,332 $
19967.24 m10.37 bn $5.7 %1,431 $
19977.29 m9.05 bn $6.0 %1,241 $
19987.84 m7.95 bn $7.0 %1,014 $
19998.65 m9.42 bn $7.4 %1,088 $
20009.58 m9.94 bn $7.9 %1,037 $
200110.13 m9.38 bn $7.8 %925 $
200210.87 m10.39 bn $7.7 %955 $
200310.08 m10.46 bn $6.9 %1,037 $
200411.74 m13.05 bn $7.6 %1,112 $
200511.57 m12.10 bn $6.4 %1,046 $
200613.82 m16.62 bn $7.5 %1,203 $
200714.46 m20.63 bn $7.8 %1,426 $
200814.58 m22.51 bn $7.7 %1,543 $
200914.15 m19.81 bn $7.0 %1,400 $
201015.94 m23.80 bn $7.0 %1,493 $
201119.23 m30.92 bn $8.3 %1,608 $
201222.35 m37.77 bn $9.5 %1,689 $
201326.55 m45.74 bn $10.88 %1,723 $
201424.81 m42.05 bn $10.32 %1,695 $
201529.92 m48.53 bn $12.09 %1,622 $
201632.53 m52.47 bn $12.72 %1,613 $
201735.59 m62.16 bn $13.65 %1,746 $


All data correspond to the information of the World Tourism Organization.