Thailand expects tourism revenue of nearly $50 billion in 2017

A thai classical dancer poses for photos at the Erawan shrine in central of Bangkok, Thailand, August 30, 2016. Picture taken August 30, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand expects revenue from foreign tourists to rise 8.5 percent to 1.78 trillion baht ($49.8 billion) this year, a deputy prime minister said on Monday.

The expected rise results from an improved outlook for global tourism as well as Thailand’s investment in infrastructure, Deputy Prime Minister Thanasak Patimaprakorn told reporters.

“This is another year that we will need to focus on quality tourism more than tourist numbers,” he said.

Thanasak expects daily tourist spending to increase to 5,200 baht per person this year, from 5,100 baht last year.

Last year, Thailand had 32.6 million visitors, a rise of nearly 9 percent from the year before.

Reporting By Pracha Hariraksapitak; Writing by Pairat Temphairojana; Editing by Jacqueline Wong