Thailand’s tourism industry is likely to grow by more than 10% next year and about 23 million foreigners are expected to visit the country in 2013, Association of Thai Travel Agents (Atta) president Sisdivachr Cheewarattanporn said on Monday.

Mr Sisdivachr said the number of Asian tourist arrivals, particularly from China, South Korea and Japan, is up 20% to 50% for November and December, 2012.

From January to July this year, the number of tourists who used Atta member services also increased by 20%, the highest growth in three years. The association boasts five million members, he added.

The projection is based on an assumption that there will be no political violence, he said.

The Atta president said Thailand could become the top destination in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) if the government could ensure that the political situation is stable.

The government should also promote the country as a travelling hub in the region, he said