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Thailand records 7.5% growth in visitor arrivals

Thailand records 7.5% growth in visitor arrivals

BANGKOK: The Ministry of Tourism and Sports announced the tourism figures for January-November 2018. Thailand received 34,431,489 international visitors, up by 7.53% over the same period of last year, generating an estimated B1.8 billion in tourism revenue, up by 9.79%.

By Press Release

Thursday 27 December 2018, 12:26PM

The highlight of the results was the fact that seven countries – China, Malaysia, South Korea, Lao PDR., Japan, India, and Russia – have already generated more than one million visitor arrivals, and three more countries – USA, Vietnam and Singapore – were set to follow suit when the full year 2018 results were tabulated, reported the Tourism Authority of Thailand. (See press release here.)

Top 10 Markets for Thailand in January-November 2018

Rank Nationality No. of Arrivals % Change
1 China 9,697,321 7.86
2 Malaysia 3,569,736 15.52
3 Korea 1,621,237 4.75
4 Laos 1,593,971 4.48
5 Japan 1,502,111 6.82
6 India 1,429,078 12.03
7 Russia 1,267,868 10.33
8 USA 993,631 6.37
9 Vietnam 956,652 10.18
10 Singapore 934,504 3,73

Remark: Preliminary figures

Source: Ministry of Tourism and Sports

 Commenting on the performance, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said, “We are overjoyed to have this result in the last quarter of 2018. The 35 million visitor target is now set to be met. It is a tribute to the cooperation and creativity of the entire Thai travel and tourism industry to ensure that it remains our primary sector for job creation, distribution of income nationwide, and contribution to cultural, heritage and environmental preservation.”

Summary of the key results in January-November 2018:

Overview: All regions grew well except the Middle East and Oceania. Visitors from East Asia totalled 23.62 million (+9.21%), Europe 5.91 million (+4.03%), the Americas 1.41 million (+3.70%), South Asia 1.77 million (+11.32%), Oceania 838,713 (-1.40%), the Middle East 683,420 (-6.24%), and Africa 174,565 (+9.63%).

East Asia: East Asian visitor arrivals comprised the biggest market share of all visitors. A total of 23.62 million or 68% were from East Asian countries. Apart from China (9.69 million), the other top sources of arrivals were Malaysia (3.56 million), South Korea (1.62 million), Lao PDR. (1.59 million) and Japan (1.50 million).

The Asean countries in total generated over 9.17 million arrivals, with growth by Malaysia (+15.52%), the Philippines (+12.63%), Indonesia (+11.52%), Vietnam (+10.18%), Cambodia (+4.59%), Lao PDR. (+4.48%), Singapore (+3.73%), and Myanmar (+0.68%). Only Brunei showed a decline (-3.89%).

Europe: European visitors were up 4.03% to 5.91 million. Russia retained its status as the largest source market from Europe with arrivals of 1.26 million, up 10.33%. The United Kingdom was the second highest source market with a total of 877,502, followed by Germany 789,150, up 4.46%, and France 677,579, up 1.46%.

Visitor markets also grew from East Europe (+9.22%), Austria (+12.08%), the Netherlands (+6.41%), Italy (+6.17%), Denmark (+4.25%), Finland (+2.22%), Belgium (+1.84%), and Spain (+1.32%).

The Americas: Arrivals from the Americas grew by 3.70% to 1.41 million. The main market, the USA, increased by 6.37% to 993,631. Arrivals from Canada were up 7.18% to 245,227.

South Asia: Arrivals from South Asia grew by a strong 11.32% to 1.77 million. India topped the list with arrivals up by 12.03% to 1.42 million. Other countries also showed good growth; such as, Nepal (+27.63%), Bangladesh (+8.21%), Sri Lanka (+2.81%), and Pakistan (+2.70%).

Oceania: Arrivals from Oceania declined by 1.40% to 838,713 visitors. Australian visitors declined by 1.61% to 728,720. Arrivals from New Zealand declined by 0.23% to 106,378.

Middle East: Arrivals from the UAE declined by 7.16% to 117,162. Arrivals from Saudi Arabia declined by 18.99% to 26,075. However, some markets like Kuwait (+2.74%) reported good results.

Africa: Arrivals from Africa grew by 9.63% to 174,565, mainly due to arrivals from South Africa (86,509).

– Tourism Authority of Thailand

See full report by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. (Click here.)


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Kurt | 02 January 2019 - 09:22:44

What we all hear, see, and experience is the fact that thai Officials talks about 'Quality Tourists' are not supported by their the same time enthusiasm about all bulk tourist visiting figures. The continuing 'zero baht' holidays support that too. Many holidays still paid for in China. Which is normal, when you book with a agent. Same in the rest of the world.

ematt | 01 January 2019 - 16:19:31

Seven and a half per cent increase in tourist arrivals - and a corresponding increase in the toxic vitriol spewed by angry haters. I hope the growth in arrivals slows down soon; otherwise I fear that some expat heads may explode!

Timothy | 31 December 2018 - 10:17:42

Delusional...Add to that selfish and greedy. Loves the direction the island is going. More and more and more please! Any normal person crammed into a tour boat driven by an idiot, just to be dumped on a beach with 2000 other poor suckers, are never coming back. Still some western tourists left, but not for long. Phuket needs fewer tourists not more. You contribute to the problem not solution. 

Pauly44 | 31 December 2018 - 03:40:01

"I contribute to help Govt by paying taxes" what a moron, the only place your taxes go is in governor Somchai's pocket! I suggest it is you who needs to do some serious reflection work as if you think you are helping anything you have seriously lost the plot old man. 

Pauly44 | 31 December 2018 - 03:33:36

Seem to have struck a nerve with expat apologist W, the simple fact is Phuket is headed in the wrong direction due to corruption, mismanagement and greed. They are without a doubt targeting the mass market tourism but lacking infrastructure to support it, Thai's from all over flock there for a better living choking the road system, quality tourists are gone, take a reality check! 

Winfield | 30 December 2018 - 04:40:18

I contribute to the Govts efforts to fix Phuket by paying all my taxes. One Thai basher on here admits to sending all his Thai rental income secretly offshore - what a selfish hypocrite. Another says starting a business here is very risky and difficult, but claims the traffic on the roads is Thai people from other provinces coming to get on the gravy train. Listen to yourselves. Look in the mirror...

Winfield | 29 December 2018 - 22:25:49

Derrrr ... KFC customer order tickets are numbered on a daily basis. And Phuket did not 'have to resort' to targeting the Chinese ... they started coming here of their own accord. And BTW, a well run 7-11 makes a fortune. I have no agenda except to give constructive posts here, to set the record straight v's the Thai Bashers who's agenda is to just whine about everything. 

Winfield | 29 December 2018 - 22:10:15

Im not a retailer. Comparing KFC to its neighbors is just one example of how changes in tourism demographic affects businesses. I even posted previously that the change in Phuket is not a good thing. But informed posts dont get a look in here as the Thai bashers just cant handle that tourism is up overall. If the new had not replaced the old tourists, Phuket would be empty. Happy then?

Pauly44 | 29 December 2018 - 14:33:17

Delusional ..., heard it all from you now, take your blinkers off and take a look around, vast majority of tourists are first timers from China and Russia, Les said it correctly, once been never again, western tourism is dead, place has gone to the dogs

DeKaaskopp | 28 December 2018 - 17:10:06

"Only Asians and Russians go there now.." Seems like hinny can't even read the stats. Wondering if he ever visited Phuket or is he only a troll with very limited internet knowledge . Still a lot Aussies,North-Americans or western Europeans here.

Rorri_2 | 28 December 2018 - 11:04:38

Wow, I never ever thought KFC would be the yard stick to judge tourism, where as, in your own words, some many business' are doing so poorly, I guess someone, must own KFC, to know those amazing stats, and here's me thinking only Winfields were only cigarettes.

Timothy | 28 December 2018 - 08:59:41

It is the fact that they have to resort to "new tourism demographics" that makes us angry. We complain because we can see the degradation of this once beautiful island. A lot of us thought that this place was where to retire. Instead of improving  infrastructure and making the islands better, they are a disaster. Greedy people like you apologists, are so happy about the high numbers. 


Pauly44 | 28 December 2018 - 04:49:44

So your market analysis is based on how busy fast food outlets are, wow you must manage a 7/11...That just about says it all! 

Pauly44 | 28 December 2018 - 04:37:38

There's are many reasons why the western tourists now avoid Phuket like the plague, most of which have been covered many times over only to be flatly dismissed by these little expat businessmen having a pre-determined agenda, volume doesn't necessarily equate to profit, quality is out the door, only Asians & Russians go there now as its turned into a [........], you better think about ...

Winfield | 27 December 2018 - 17:40:50

Yes we can blame the govt. for some things. The destruction of Phuket's famous beach culture is the biggest one. But how many of the nationalities from the new top 10 list care about lying on the beach all day, or getting a suntan. Sad but true.

Winfield | 27 December 2018 - 17:13:57

This will infuriate the Thai Bashers that post here. Businesses that adapt to the new tourism demographics are thriving. Those still waiting for our Western Euros's to come back are not. Nothing great or easy ever lasts forever. KFC inside Junceylon does 800 + orders per day. Subway and B.King next door are empty. Tailor shops are empty. Nanai rd is a ghost town at 9pm. Think about it. 

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