The Thai tourism industry is projected to record international visitor arrivals of 16.67 million in January-June 2016, which will be up 13% over the same period of 2015. Projected earnings are estimated at 824 billion Baht, up 17%.Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, made the announcement at a press conference on the Thailand Tourism Situation in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2016. The event was held at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok Hotel.
Also present at the media conference were Mr. Ittirit Kinglake, President of the Tourism Council of Thailand, Mr. Charoen Wangananont, President of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, and Mrs. Supawan Tanomkiatipume, President of the Thai Hotels Association.
Mr. Yuthasak said “In the first half of 2016, Thailand is projected to record 1.24 trillion Baht in tourism receipts, covering both international and domestic tourism. International visitor arrivals are projected at 16.67 million, up by 13% over the first half of 2015, generating an estimated 824 billion Baht in tourism receipts (+17%). Domestic travel is projected to generate over 75 million trips, up 4% over the first half of 2015, generating an estimated 416 billion Baht in tourism receipts (+6%).”
Both the first and second quarters of 2016 recorded strong increases. In the first quarter, international visitors were up 15% and tourism receipts were up 19%. The second quarter is projected to have recorded 9% growth in international visitors and 14% growth in tourism receipts.
All the source major markets affected by the bomb blast in the Ratchaprasong Intersection in 2015 showed a quick recovery; such as, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. In addition, long-haul markets also showed a good recovery particularly from Europe.
Domestic travel is also projected to improve steadily due to signs of a recovery in the Thai economy.
The first quarter January-March 2016 period recorded 37.4 million domestic trips, up by 3.6%, generating an estimated 212 billion Baht (+6%) in receipts. The second quarter April-June period is projected to record an increase of 4.4% to 37.7 million trips, generating an estimated 200 billion Baht (+6%) due to the Songkran Festival in April and other long weekend holidays.
The most popular regions for domestic travel in the first two quarters were Bangkok (18.3 million trips), Central Region (16 million trips) and Northeast Region (13.4 million trips).
Mr. Yuthasak said, “TAT is forecasting that in the 3rd quarter of 2016, Thailand will receive 635 billion Baht (+14%) in receipts from international and domestic tourism.”
This forecast is based on projected international visitor arrivals of 8.30 million (+14%), generating an estimated 423 billion Baht (+18%). The top-five markets in term of tourism receipts are projected as China (146 billion Baht, +32%), Malaysia (22.5 billion Baht, +15%), Australia (17.8 billion Baht, +4%), Japan (17.6 billion Baht, +7%), and the UK (15.1 billion Baht, +6%). The positive direction is underlined by various factors. The forward flight bookings to Thailand in particular for long-haul markets send a positive sign. The launch of new several routes from China’s secondary cities include Chengdu and Chong Qing to Ko Samui. Moreover, the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale in June and the upcoming Women’s Journey project in August will help stimulate travelling during the Green Season and female travellers, respectively.