Thailand expects to earn 2.38 trillion baht ($64.50 billion) in tourism revenue in 2023, a government official said on Monday.

The government wants tourism next year to reach 80% of its 2019, pre-pandemic level, as the key growth sector is starting to see a recovery as the pandemic eases, said government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri.

Foreign tourists are expected to bring in between 970 billion baht to 1.5 trillion baht next year, he said.

Thailand expects 1.5 million arrivals each month in the last quarter of 2022, said Anucha, adding September has seen more than one million tourists so far. The government is targeting 10 million visitors for the full year.

Tourism is a key driver of Southeast Asia's second-largest economy. In 2019, it welcomed nearly 40 million visitors, who spent 1.91 trillion baht.

($1 = 36.9000 baht) (Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Christopher Cushing)