Thailand sets to welcome 33 to 34 million tourists in 2017 hinh anh 1Thailand sets to welcome 33 to 34 million tourists in 2017 (Source: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA) Thailand expects to welcome 33 to 34 million visitors this year, which is lower than its earlier forecast of 35 million, Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said on October 12.

So far this year, Thailand has welcomed nearly 27 million foreign tourists, she said, adding that the whole year target is possible. However, she did not give a reason for the projecting of a lower number.

The smaller number would still be a record for Thailand, which welcomed 32.6 million foreign visitors in 2016, with the largest group coming from China.

Tourist arrivals so far this year are 5.6 percent above the same period of 2016, with 7.63 million out of the total of 26.9 million coming from China, Minister Kobkarn said.

Thailand is heavily dependent on tourism, which accounts for around 12 percent of the GDP.

Tourism was hurt by widespread floods in 2011 and political turmoil and a coup in 2014, but the industry recovered quickly.-VNA