With tourist arrivals in July 2015 having risen by 38% year-on-year, Thailand is experiencing a surge in tourist arrivals at the peak of the first high season this year. The number of Middle Eastern visitors grew strongly, which shows that the shifting focus of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) not just towards East Asia, but also the Middle East and North Africa region, is starting to pay off. Many recent steps were taken by Thailand to attract more Middle Eastern tourists, namely a stronger focus on Halal food and Halal tourism.
Thailand, which was the 10th most visited country in the world in 2014 and 7th in terms of international tourism receipts, welcomed 2.64mn visitors in July. The government expects record arrivals of 30mn tourists for the whole year, generating up to 63bn in tourism revenue, as Thailand's high tourist season peaks another time starting in November.
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