|By Peter Janssen, dpa,
BerlinMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 03, 2011--BANGKOK -- Tourism arrivals to Thailand jumped 66 per cent in May, compared with a year ago when Bangkok was in the grip of anti-government protests that left 92 dead, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) said Wednesday.
Thailand's gain in tourists in May was the steepest in South-East Asia, which was the fastest-growing region of the Asia-Pacific that month.
South-East Asia recorded a 16-per-cent increase in arrivals in May boosted by a 66-per-cent rebound in arrivals to Thailand, a 37-per-cent rise in Vietnam, 33 per cent in Myanmar, 12 per cent in Cambodia and 11 per cent in Singapore, PATA said.
"A lot of that increase came from Thailand, because of the very poor performance it suffered last May," said John Koldowski, PATA's managing director of strategic intelligence.
In May, more than 1.3 million foreign tourists visited the kingdom, compared with 826,000 a year ago, he said.
In April-May 2010, Bangkok was the scene of daily anti-government protests that erupted into bloody street battles with security forces that left 92 dead, about 2,000 injured and parts of the capital in flames.
Most Western embassies issued travel alerts warning their nationals to stay away from Bangkok.
Tourist arrivals to South-East Asia during the first five months of 2011 were 28.3 million compared with 23.2 million in the same period last year, a 22-per-cent jump, according to PATA estimates.
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