Country heading for record bumper year
Slow global economy has little impact on tourist arrivals to Thailand
THALAND (eTN) - It would appear that the global economy slow down has had little impact on tourist arrivals to Thailand, and the country is heading for a bumper record year 2012. The Kingdom had a total of 8,871,930 visitor arrivals for the period of January through May 2012, up 7.27 percent compared to the same period in 2011. China was the best performer with 943,161 visitors, up 26.13 percent with the largest market share for an individual country of 10.63 percent.
Overall growth remains strong for Thai tourism with visitor arrivals to Thailand from all European countries of 2,690,783, a 10.9 percent increase for the period January through May 2012, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. European countries, even with the Eurozone crisis, accounted for a market share of 30.33 percent, up from 29.33 percent for the same period in 2011.The numbers showed that in May, arrivals from Spain, one of the worst-hit European countries, totaled 6,472, up 39 percent over May 2011. Arrivals from all the top three performing European countries were up significantly in May 2012, with Russia at 64,212 (+52 percent); UK at 60,216 (+12 percent); and Germany at 41,032 (+35 percent). For 2012, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has set a target of 20.5 million total international visitors and foreign exchange earnings of 766 billion baht (25 billion US dollars).
Below is a summary of the overall figures for the period of January through May 2012, with the percentage change over the same period of 2011, tabulated on arrivals by nationality at all points of entry into Thailand:
Europe 2,690,783 (market share 30.33 percent of total arrivals); the Americas 467,221 (5.27 percent share); South Asia 508,666 (5.73 percent share); Oceania 394,500 (4.45 percent share); Middle East 228,606 (2.58 percent share); and Africa 71,666 (0.81 percent share). Arrivals from East Asia grew by 5.02 percent to 4,510,488 (market share: the remaining 50.84 percent of total arrivals).
• China was the best performer with 943,161 visitors, up 26.13 percent with the largest market share for an individual country of 10.63 percent.
• Malaysia was the second biggest source market with total arrivals of 916,367, although with a decrease in arrivals of -7.87 percent.
• Japan: 534,556, up 10.32 percent.
• Korea: 457,644, up 4.40 percent.
• Arrivals from the neighbouring ASEAN countries also showed good growth, e.g., Vietnam (+20.19 percent), Brunei (+10.90 percent), Cambodia (+10.51 percent), Myanmar (+9.63 percent), Laos (+8.01 percent), Indonesia (+6.71 percent), Singapore (+4.82 percent), while the Philippines was down (-5.77 percent).
• Arrivals from Europe grew by 10.91 percent.
• Russia remained ahead of the UK and Germany as the largest source market from Europe. During the period of January through May 2012, Russian visitors to Thailand totalled 578,687, up 9.62 percent over the same period of 2011.
• The United Kingdom and Germany ranked the second and third largest sources of visitor arrivals 372,746 (+1.02 percent) and 326,733 (+10.44 percent) respectively.
• French visitor arrivals totalled 276,617 (+17.84 percent).
• Arrivals from the Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark grew by 18.86 percent, 17.67 percent and 16.69 percent respectively.
• Arrivals from the Americas grew by 10.92 percent.
• American visitor arrivals totalled 321,552 (+8.92 percent).
• Canadian visitors to Thailand grew by 10.82 percent to 101,050.
• Visitor arrivals from South Asia showed growth of 5.58 percent.
• India, the biggest source of visitors in South Asia, experienced growth of 6.81 percent to 405,719 arrivals.
• Visitors from Sri Lanka grew by 16.47 percent to 27,320.
• Bangladeshi visitor arrivals totalled 26,533.
• Visitor arrivals from Oceania grew by 10.06 percent.
• Arrivals from Australia and New Zealand were up 10.33 percent to 354,646 and 7.88 percent to 38,615 respectively.
• Visitors from the Middle East declined by 2.01 percent.
• Key Middle East markets grew significantly, especially Saudi Arabia (27.25 percent) and Kuwait (21.11 percent). Arrivals from Egypt were up by 22.16 percent, while the UAE experienced a decline of 1.58 percent.
• Visitor arrivals from Africa grew strongly by 30.46 percent to 71,666.
I believe that TAT has under forecast arrivals this year (hardly surprising given the difficulty in forecasting 4Q 2011 figures during the devastating floods). My own
findings would suggest a figure of 21+ million international tourist arrivals this year, given that there are no surprises natural, political or otherwise and Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports remain fully operational.
Threats on the horizon...
Myanmar, the Eurozone, rising fuel costs, Chinese stability and AEC2015.
Once again and on into the future, intra-Asia business will be the main source market providing the lion-share of international tourist arrivals into Thailand.