Picture: Welcome, says this little girl on the beach in Hua Hin. But the tourist invasion is not only good news for Thailand.
Ten years ago almost no russians came to Thailand. This year the number will exceed two millions, and the Thai tourists authorities expect a 90 percent increase the next three years. The number of Chinese tourists have doubled every year the last years, and will exceed 5 millions this year.
Russia is now the largest source market in Europe for tourists to Thailand, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The rising size and spending power of middle-class Russian travellers is a key driver behind this growth. The number of Russian tourists traveling overseas has increased nearly fivefold in recent years. In 2012, 35.7 million tourists from Russia traveled internationally, compared to just 7.7m in 2006. And this is just the beginning.
The Chinese and Russian «invasion» in Thailand also means that the total number of tourists and arrivals are growing rapidly
Also, Thailand is now the second-biggest destination for tourists from China. The number of Chinese visiting Thailand in the first nine months of 2013. More than 3.24 million tourists from China traveled to Thailand from January to September, up 107.7 percent year on year. The Chinese and Thailand’s tourist authorities now wish to simplify visa procedures between the two countries. If that happens, we will see another surge in tourism.
The Chinese and Russian «invasion» in Thailand also means that the total number of tourists and arrivals are growing rapidly, from about 14 millions in 2010 til 27 millions in 2013. But how do this rapidly increaing numbers of tourists affect Thailand? Due to long political crises and lack of investments Thailand need millions of tourists to avoid recession. But there are now several examples of the other and dark side of the millions of tourists coming to Thailand every year: Russian mafia in popular tourist destinations as Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui is just one negative aspect of mass tourism. Enviroment problems is another, the same with increasing road accidents and pressure on infrastructure. More about arrivals to Thailand here.
Russians coming to Thailand the last 10 years
Chinese people coming to Thailand the last 10 years
Total of visitors Thailand the last 10 years