Thursday, June 27, 2019

As Chinese visitors bounce back, Thai tourism income crosses two trillion Baht
Saturday, February 2, 2019 - 3:08:41 AM - By Shilpa Pandya/ News Bureau
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Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat
BANGKOK : A sharp resurgence in Chinese visitor arrivals in December helped Thailand close 2018 with a total of 38.27 million arrivals, generating tourism expenditure of just over two trillion Baht.

The final arrivals count released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports showed that Chinese visitors jumped from 675,129 in November to 838,634 in December, closing the year with a total of 10,535,955, up 7.44% over 2017. Similarly, Chinese visitor expenditure also surged from 36.45 billion Baht in November to 44.42 billion Baht in December, ending the year with 580.69 billion Baht.

In total, Thailand’s international visitors were up by 7.54% over 2017, and the estimated 2.007 trillion Baht in tourism revenue was up by 9.63%. For the first time, ten countries and one SAR territory (China, Malaysia, South Korea, Lao PDR., Japan, India, Russia, USA, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong SAR) generated more than one million visitor arrivals.

Summary of the key results in 2018:
Overview: All regions grew well except the Middle East and Oceania. Visitors from East Asia totalled 26.06 million (+9.30%), Europe 6.76 million (+3.86%), the Americas 1.60 million (+3.82%), South Asia 1.98 million (+11.82%), Oceania 922,520 (-1.74%), the Middle East 739,494 (-6.39%), and Africa 201,519 (+7.63%).

East Asia: East Asian visitor arrivals comprised the biggest market share of all visitors. A total of 26.06 million were from East Asian countries. Apart from China (10.53 million), the other top sources of arrivals were Malaysia (4.09 million), South Korea (1.79 million), Lao PDR. (1.75 million) Japan (1.65 million), Singapore (1.06 million), Vietnam (1.02 million) and Hong Kong SAR (1.01 million).

The ten ASEAN countries generated over 10.28 million arrivals, with growth by Malaysia (+17.26%), Philippines (+13.46%), Indonesia (+11.79%), Vietnam (+9.86%), Cambodia (+4.89%), Lao PDR. (+4.08%), Singapore (+3.36%), Myanmar (+0.70%). Only Brunei showed a decline of 0.18%.

Europe: European visitors were up 3.86% to 6.76 million. Russia retained its status as the largest source market from Europe with arrivals of 1.47 million, up 9.40%. The United Kingdom was the second highest source market with a total of 987,456 followed by Germany 889,777, up 4.66%, and France 749,643, up 1.28%.

Visitors also grew from East Europe (+9.01%), Austria (+11.45%), the Netherlands (+6.25%), Italy (+5.91%), Denmark (+4.60%), Belgium (+1.81%), and Spain (+1.30%).

The Americas: Arrivals from the Americas grew by 3.82% to 1.60 million. The main market, USA, increased by 6.33% to 1,123,248. Arrivals from Canada were up 6.98% to 276,543. Arrivals from Brazil and Argentina declined by 15.47% and 30.09% to 66,087 and 44,049 visitors, respectively.

South Asia: Arrivals from South Asia grew by a strong 11.82% to 1.98 million. India topped the list with arrivals up by 12.83% to 1.59 million. Other countries also showed good growth; such as, Nepal (+27.27%), Bangladesh (+6.43%), Sri Lanka (+2.36%), and Pakistan (+3.79%).

Oceania: Arrivals from Oceania declined by 1.74% to 922,520 visitors. Australian visitors declined by 1.91% to 801,637. Arrivals from New Zealand declined by 0.96% to 116,835.

Middle East: Arrivals from the UAE declined by 6.52% to 128,271. Arrivals from Saudi Arabia declined by 15.50% to 28,334. However, some markets like Kuwait (+3.35%) reported good results.
Africa: Arrivals from Africa grew by 7.63% to 201,519, mainly due to arrivals from South Africa (102,713).

Announcing the results, the Minister of Tourism and Sports Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat noted that while these record-breaking figures were extremely good news, they had set the stage for Thailand to refocus its future tourism development strategy towards emerging destinations and niche markets with high spending potential.

Now that travel and tourism is well established as a major contributor to the national economy, it is important to strengthen its foundations to make it “convenient, clean, safe, unique and sustainable”, reduce income disparity, upgrade safety and security, and enhance personnel development.
Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports
H.E.
Weerasak Kowsurat
Chinese visitors
bounce back
Thai tourism
income
crosses
two trillion Baht
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