People gather to place krathongs (floating baskets) into a pond at a public park during the Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok, Thailand, Nov 3, 2017. (Reuters photo)

Thailand welcomed 3 million foreign tourists in November, the tourism ministry said on Monday, 23.2% more than the same month a year earlier.

The kingdom saw a total of 31.85 million foreign tourist arrivals in the period from January to November, up 8.1% from the previous year, Pongpanu Svetarundra, permanent-secretary of the tourism and sports ministry, said in a statement.

Pongpanu said Thailand expects a record 35.4 million visitors in total this year, up 9% from the previous year.

Around 10 million of those visitors are expected to be Chinese, he said.

Thailand’s tourism industry is a major employer and accounts for 12% of Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy.

In 2016, there was a record 32.6 million visitors.

The tourism sector has weathered more than a decade of political upheavals in Thailand including several rounds of anti and pro-government street demonstrations and two military coups.

News Reporter

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