KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Thailand reported that the number of foreign tourists it received has surpassed the 23 million mark this year, with Malaysian arrivals topping the list of top five countries.

Bangkok-based paper The Nation reported that Malaysian tourists to Thailand accounted for more than 3.8 million arrivals from January 1 to November 12 this year.

“This is followed by China with 2.9 million tourist arrivals, South Korea (1.37 million), India (1.35 million) and Russia (1.17 million)," its Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol was quoted saying.

“The overall total of 23.2 million foreign tourist arrivals in Thailand also generated a revenue of 981.69 billion baht for the kingdom."

Sudawan said the data showed a hike in tourist arrivals for this month, with 611,121 foreigners entering Thailand during the week of November 6 to 12.

“This translates to about 87,303 tourist arrivals daily and is 9.61 per cent higher than the average in the previous week, which saw a 53,567 daily figure,” said the minister.

Sudawan put last week’s influx due to the Deepavali public holidays in Malaysia and Singapore.

She said the number of Malaysian tourist arrivals rose to 49,919 which is 28.65 per cent higher than the previous week.

Thailand, one of Asia's most popular travel destinations, was visited by nearly 40 million people in 2019.

Prior to the Covid-19 restrictions in 2020, Thailand’s tourism sector contributed approximately 20 per cent of the kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) with a record number of 39 million foreign tourists visiting the country in 2019.