Thailand set for record year 2015

Posted on September 15, 2015

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A series of recent reports released this week point to Thailand exceeding all previous tourism arrival predictions despite the recent bomb in it’s capital city. The official target of 28.8 million inbound tourists this year is expected to exceed 30 million. A record.

CBRE reported in their Hotel Trends Q2 2015, that Thailand saw strong demand for hotels from local and foreign buyers. With a weaker baht, the report claims that the tourism market continued to recover strongly with total arrivals up 30% on LY. Arrivals from China the report said, are growing significantly and tourists from this market now account for 28% of total visitors. Bangkok is benefitting in particular from more short-break and independent visitors from China. The report suggests strong increases in visitor arrivals have continued to push up occupancy in Bangkok to 70% in Q2 2015, a huge improvement on the 50% recorded in the same period last year. ADR and RevPAR grew slightly, the report stated.

“Thailand Travel Grows 30%” was the banner headline in TTR Weekly’s latest report, citing international tourist arrivals to Thailand improved 30.93%, January to July 2015, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ data. The data showed the country attracted 17,504,204 international visits during the first seven months of 2015 up from 13,368,979 visits during the same period last year.

At the recent Tourism Trends in Thailand seminar, held this weekend, moderated by Assumption University’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, expert opinion suggested inbound tourism arrivals would reach 30-31 million for 2015.

Despite the fallout from the recent Bangkok blast, The Tourism Council of Thailand is also feeling bullish enough to revise up its expected forecast from 28.8 million to 30 million inbound tourists this year.

TCT president Ittirit Kinglake said 8.1 million international tourists are expected to visit in the fourth quarter, a rise of 9% from the same period last year. “The bomb blast at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, last month, hit the sector, but only for a short time. This will not affect the industry during the coming high season,” he said.

Reports show that since the downturn in Russian tourists due to the weakened Rouble, the China market has edged even further ahead as the dominant tourist market in Thailand. Eight million Chinese visitors are expected this year.

Thailand lost about 1.3 million global tourists due to the Erawan Shrine blast but has bounced back quickly. Hong Kong for instance will withdraw its travel warning within three or four days. The Tourism Authority of Thailand report on plans to invite celebrities from Hong Kong and mainland China to perform concerts in central Bangkok and to visit the Erawan Shine in order to promote confidence in the city.

Finally the UNWTO reported that Asia and the Pacific recorded a 5% increase in international arrivals in the first half of the year. Destinations in North-East Asia and South-East Asia, both with +5% arrivals, was led by Japan with +47% through July and Thailand an impressive +30% through July 2015.

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