BANGKOK, Nov 20 (Reuters) - International tourist arrivals in Thailand surged 20.92 percent in October from a year ago, underpinned by visitors from East Asia, the government said on Monday.
The number of foreign arrivals stood at 2.72 million in October, Pongpanu Svetarundra, permanent-secretary of the tourism and sports ministry, said in a statement.
For the January-October period, tourist arrivals were 28.8 million, up 6.69 percent from the year-ago period.
The ministry said last month that it expected 33 million-34 million foreign tourists this year, compared with an earlier forecast of 35 million.
In 2016, there were a record 32.6 million visitors.
Tourism accounts for 12 percent of Thailand’s economy, and has been a bright spot for Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, whose growth still lags regional peers. (Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)