Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports estimates the country will earn an income of THB0.66 trillion, January to March, this year, an improvement of 14.4% over the same period last year.
Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said THB0.45 trillion would be earned from international tourism (+18.2%) and THB0.21 trillion (+6.9%) from the domestic market.
For the first quarter of this year, the country should attract 8.94 million visits, an increase of 14.3% during the same quarter last year, she said.
inside no 3“China continues to be a major driver for Thailand tourism… during Q1, Chinese visits could reach 2.51 million visits up 25.4% over the same quarter last year,” she said.
Europe is expected to make a recovery in Q1, possibly 2.09 million visits representing a rise of 8.3%. ASEAN markets are expected to reach 1.89 million visits in the first quarter an increase of 5.7%.
“This year we have to monitor the flow of Chinese visitors and work on secondary markets… global oil price could drop further and there is a likelihood of that the United States’ economy will improve,” she said.
In Q1, the domestic market should generate 37 million trips up 5.0% from the same quarter in 2015.
The main beneficiaries in domestic tourism are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chonburi, Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thaini and Songkhla. In Q1 they should gain THB125 billion in revenue up 2% on last year.
“Promoting the 12 hidden gem destinations should help to generate THB15 billion expanding 5.8% in Q1,” the minister said.
The 12 hidden gems campaign focuses on Lampang, Nan, Phetchaburi, Loei, Buri Ram, Ratchaburi, Samut Songkhram, Chanthaburi, Trat, Chumphon, Trang and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
“To boost domestic tourism we have added tourist destinations known as the 12 hidden gems plus spread out the benefits of domestic tourism on local economies,” she said.
The 12 hidden gems plus covers: Lamphun, Phrae, Phitsanulok, Chaiyaphum, Surin, Suphanburi, Nakhon Pathom, Sa Kaeo, Rayong, Ranong, Satun and Phattalung.
The country targets 32 million international visits this year. Visits are based on the Immigration bureau’s head count at all border crossings (air, sea and land) and include all foreigners regardless of reasons for travel and the length of stay between visits. It does not include Thai nationals retuning home.
Last year, Thailand attracted 29.88 million visits increasing 20.44% from 24.80 million s in 2014 and estimated revenue totaled THB1.44 trillion up 23.39% from THB1.17 trillion in 2014.