In 2016 there were tourist arrivals of around 2.9 million, down about 1.5 million compared to 2015, said Minister for Hotels and Tourism Ohn Maung.
By contrast, Thailand expects around 30 million visitors a year.
The ministry only recorded visitors entering with tourist, entry and businesses visas. The falling numbers were because the ministry had excluded foreigners using the land borders, he added.
Day trippers were not counted as tourists, the minister added. Hotels and restaurants were packed with tourists, Ohn Maung added. The ministry was working to draft a plan for Tanintharyi Region to attract more tourists and participating in tourism exhibitions in other countries, he continued.
According to the ministry, arrivals reached in 791,500 in 2010, 816,400 in 2011; 1,059,000 in 2012; 2,044,300 in 2013; 3,081,400 in 2014; and 4.6 million in 2015. In the first six months of 2016, the country received more than 1.9 million tourists, generating more than US$900 million. In the same period of 2015, the figure was more than 2.1 million.