Thailand had a total of zero foreign visitors in September 2020, a drastic reduction on the 3 million who had entered the country that month a year earlier.
However, following the reopening of Thailand’s borders, those figures have steadily increased are now near 9,000 cumulative.
What had sparked this abrupt move to zero foreign visitors was a banning of them in March.
As a result of that and the expansion of this virus’ impact in the weeks leading up to that ban, the number of foreign tourists that month decreased from 3.5 million to 800,000. It then sat at zero for several months.
In October, that figure increased to 1,201, a far cry from the 3.1 million who had traveled to Thailand from foreign countries 12 months earlier, but it was still cause for celebration after what had preceded over the past several months.
That number then more than doubled in November, increasing to 3,065. In comparison, 3.4 million foreign visitors had entered the country in November 2019.
Figures for December are still accumulating, but many experts expect the final number to be around 4,500, which would place the cumulative figure since the borders reopened on the verge of breaking 9,000.
Much of Thailand’s focus as it gets its tourism industry back up and running is on China. That country produced the most foreign visitors in October and November, 471 and 914, a third of those respective total figures.
Leaders in the tourism industry are pushing for increased ease of access for Chinese visitors looking to enter Thailand.
The main reason why the country felt comfortable reopening itself to foreign tourists was its success in keeping COVID-19 infection rates low over the previous several months.
However, times are changing as an outbreak in Samut Sakon, a province located 30 miles from Bangkok, has caused those figures to spike.