BANGKOK: Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports international tourist arrivals to Thailand reached more than 19.5 million during January to July, this year, showing an improvement of 11.87 per cent.

Foreign arrivals for the first seven months of 2016 show two-digit improvement, thanks to Russians and Chinese.

Released earlier this week, the ministry’s data showed the country attracted 19,538,190 international visits during the first seven months of this year compared to 17,465,861 visits during the same period last year. In July alone, immigration recorded 2,946,286 international arrivals, compared with 2,657,993 in 2015, up 10.85%.

From January to July China supplied more than 5.765 million visits to Thailand, showing a 20.54% improvement over 4,782 million visitors in the first seven months of 2015.

Meanwhile, recovery in the Russian market gains momentum. Over 599,140 travelers from this country visited Thailand in January-July, up 19.39% from slightly over 506,071 recorded last year. In July alone the arrivals from Russia grew 20.02%, while in June a 28.41% growth was recorded.

Arrivals from Europe (including Russia) grew in the first seven month by 9.23%, USA and Canada showed 9.35% growth, India and South Korea both demonstrated and increase of over 13%.

Australian and New Zealand markets are still on decline with only 519,3 arrivals from these countries recorded by Immigration so far, down 1.6% from last year.