Thailand’s records robust travel growth

Posted on October 5, 2015

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International tourist arrivals to Thailand posted an improvement of 30.09%, January to August, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ data.

Released late last week, the ministry’s data showed the country attracted 20,104,375 international visits during the first eight months of the year up from 15,453,818 visits, during the same period last year.

Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said despite the bomb attack that killed 20 people on 17 August, tourism was making a fast recovery that will continue in the last quarter of this year to ensure the year-end target remains achievable.

She mentioned a new multiple-entry tourist visa for travellers valid for six months that will be effective 13 November noting it could boost travel by the end of the year.

The new visa allows visitors to make unlimited visits to Thailand within six months with a maximum stay of 60 days for each visit.

The multiple-entry tourist visa (METV), will cost THB5,000, and is available to all foreign nationals.

The scheme will help encourage more travellers from China and India, the minister said.

“It will promote high quality tourists from China and India to visit Thailand, especially at weekends.”

Thailand is targeting 28.8 million visits and THB2.2 trillion in revenue by year end.

Last year, the kingdom attracted 24.80 million visits down 6.54% from 26.54 visits in 2013. Tourism revenue generated THB1.17 trillion, last year, a decline of 2.85% from THB1.20 trillion in 2013. The May 2014 military coup was blamed for the poor performance.

In August, foreign travellers recorded 2,600,171 visits, an increase of 24.72% when compared to 2,084,839 visits during the same month last year.

On 17 August a deadly bomb attack at Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine killed 20 people and injured 120. Many of the casualties were Chinese tourists. Officials said the attack would set back tourism by at least 1.3 million trips, but so far travel arrivals are holding up and the impact has been much less than initially feared.

By regions, all markets recorded increases in the eighth month of the year except the Middle East and Africa.

East Asia (ASEAN included) reported an increase of 37.46% from 1,349,806 to 1,855,464 visits.

The markets that showed improvements were: China (+78.04%); Malaysia (+43.72%); Vietnam (+30.42%); Taiwan (+26.74%); South Korea (+20.40%); Hong Kong (+20.21%); Japan (+7.84%); Laos (+6.88%); Myanmar (+6.13%); Brunei (+3.26%); and Indonesia (+0.29%).

The markets that showed a decline were: Cambodia (-14.13%); Singapore (-5.55%); and the Philippines (-1.36%).

The Americas posted an 11.24% increase from 68,760 to 76,489 visits. Argentina reported a 46.71% increase from 760 to 1,115.

The United States recorded the highest arrivals at 56,090 up 12.83% from 49,712 followed by Canada (12,948; +7.89%) and Brazil (2,233; -10.07%).

South Asia represented an 8.25% increase from 106,122 to 114,875 visits. India led the field supplying 84,610 visits growing 12.84% from 74,983 followed by Bangladesh (8,931; -11.51%), Pakistan (8,872; +22.85%), Sri Lanka (5,563; -25.54%), and Nepal (3,233; +28.60%).

Europe showed an increase of 1.16% from 382,656 to 387,104 visits. The markets posted declines were: Russia (-37.65%); Norway (-13.35%); East Europe (-9.12%); Finland (-8.16%); Ireland (-0.66%); and the Netherland (-0.57%).

The markets that showed improvements were: Spain (+53.99%); Italy (+24.58%); Austria (+18.17%); Belgium (+8.77%); Germany (+6.11%); the United Kingdom (+5.05%); France (+4.38%); Denmark (+3.77%); Switzerland (+3.62%); and Sweden (+2.38%).

The Oceania slightly increased 0.71% from 71,478 to 71,983 visits. The main market New Zealand improved 9.43% (10,419) while Australia dropped 0.55% (61,339).

In contrast, Africa recorded a slowdown of 6.69% from 15,863 to 14,801 visits. The main market South Africa increased 4.97% from 4,470 to 4,692.

The Middle East declined 11.87% from 90,154 to 79,455 visits. The United Arab Emirates recorded the highest arrivals with 17,405 visits decreasing 32.70% from 25,860 visits.

Other main markets in the Middle East: Israel (12,453; +4.23%); Kuwait (11,120; -3.84%); Egypt (2,646; -26.87%); and Saudi Arabia (2,032; +9.36%).inside-no-5.1

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