Europe remains the key market to raise Thailand’s quality tourism benchmark. The importance of Europe, noting that 65% of European visitors makes repeat visits to the country, an outstanding record that underscores Thailand enviable status as a top leisure travel destination.
Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said, “Thailand’s focus now is on enhancing the image of Thailand to be a “Quality Leisure Destination through Thainess.” At the same time, we need to ensure a balance between tourism growth and its social and environmental impact.”
Tourism Authority of Thailand’s governor Yuthasak Supasorn said, “Recently, MasterCard Asia Pacific Destinations Index 2015, ranked Bangkok the top destination in the Asia-Pacific region for international overnight stays and visitor expenditure. Phuket and Pattaya also ranked in the top 10 destinations in the same index.”
Reviewing the country’ tourism performance in 2015, Thailand received 35.2 billion Euros in tourism-related revenue from all international market a growth of 23% over 2014. Visits reached 29.8 million, up 20% over 2014.
Arrivals from Europe have historically played a major role in the development of Thai tourism since ITB was established 50 years ago. In 2015, European visitor arrivals totalled 5.6 million generating 10.3 billion Euros in revenue.
In 2014, the Europe market showed the highest average length of stay of all of the regions with 16.4 days per person, with the average daily expenditure around 106 Euros. This year, Thailand is targeting a 4.38% increase in tourism revenue from the Europe Market.
Europe tops Thailand’s agenda to boost upscale, niche-market tourism to the country. They included luxury travel options and niche markets such as weddings and honeymoons, wellness and spas, community-based attractions and sports tourism.
H.E. Kobkarn highlighted the synergy between tourism and sports, “I would like to say that there are clear linkages between the two. There are more travellers who want to join sport activities in Thailand, so now we are ready to pair tourism and sports into one. Sports such as Muay Thai boxing, rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, marathons, golf, tennis and sailing are widely available in the country with highly skilled tuition and support services.”