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Thailand tourist arrivals still climbing

BANGKOK: Thailand managed to log a respectable increase in tourist arrivals during the first nine months of the year, despite hefty declines in Chinese visits since July.


By TTR Weekly

Thursday 18 October 2018, 01:28PM


Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sport Permanent Secretary, Pongpanu Svetarundra, reported earlier this week that tourist arrivals, January to September, reached 28,541,887, up 8.71%.

During the same period in 2017, the country registered 26,254,806 arrivals.

Looking forward, if the final quarter performs anything like last year it will weigh in with approximately 9 million more visits, which will push the year-end total across the 37.5mn-target threshold.

Despite predictions of gloom and doom, the China market, January to September, recorded 8,376,049 trips, an increase of 13.38% when compared with 7,394,101 trips during the same period in 2017.

The scorecard presentation challenges claims by the country’s travel industry that pointed to a major drop in bookings from China that could persist through to Chinese New Year 2019.

The latest Tourism Ministry data confirmed China remained the top source market clocking 8.37mn trips for the nine months followed by Malaysia with 2.87mn.

Korea, in third place, supplied 1.33mn, Laos 1.29mn and Japan with 1.23mn was named the fifth largest supply market so far this year.

Based on estimated revenue generated from each market, China topped the five leading markets with B460 billion followed by Russia with B80bn, Malaysia B75bn, Korea B60bn and the US with B60bn.

Total revenue for the nine months was B1,490,458.01, an increase of 10.95% over the same period of last year, the ministry reported.

September’s performance closed with 2,655,563 tourists arrivals up by a narrow 2.13% year-on-year.

Phuket International Airport in particular saw 307,574 international arrivals and 323,224 international departures during the month.

However, the month’s performance did reflect a massive drop in Chinese visits, down by 14.89% to register 648,000 trips.

This could be what concerns hoteliers especially at popular beach resorts. If September’s decline in the Chinese market is replicated in October through to December, total arrivals could fall short of the 10mn target.

September was the first month since the Phoenix boat disaster in Phuket in July to record a double-digit decline in visits from China.

QSI International School Phuket

September’s performance also indicated a 3.66% decline in trips from Singapore, an important top-10 market for Thailand.

 

In contrast, three markets in the month’s top-10 list, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Vietnam, recorded double-digit growth in tourist arrivals.

The top 10 tourist arrivals markets comprised of: China (-14.89%); Malaysia (+40.13%); Laos (+9.49%); Japan (+6.57%); Korea (+0.74%); India (+5.52%); Cambodia (+6.88%); Hong Kong (+20.69%); Singapore (-3.66%) and Vietnam (+11.77%).

Of the 2,655,562 foreign visitors logged in September, 1,948,414 trips were generated in East Asian markets, followed by Europe, South Asia, the Middle East, Oceania and Africa, respectively.

September’s tourism revenue reached B140,140.11, an increase of 2.92% year-on-year.

The top revenue markets were: China; Malaysia; Japan; Korea; Australia; USA; Laos; India; UK and Cambodia.

Of all the 10 revenue markets just two recorded declines in September. China generated B36.8bn in revenue, down 11.49% and Australia B6.31bn, down 3.04%.

A Ctrip report on travel bookings for the Golden Week holiday, on Oct 1-7, that saw millions of Chinese travellers visiting destinations in Asia indicated Thailand had emerged as the top destination, ahead of Japan.

But on the ground, confidence is down particularly at beach resorts such as Phuket, the scene of the Phoenix tragedy, which killed 47 Chinese tourists.

Hoteliers contacted by TTR Weekly said they were concerned bookings would continue to decline and that a full recovery could take months, possibly until Chinese New Year in 2019.

Read original story here.


Don Ross is the Managing Editor of TTR Weekly. Email donr@ttreport.com

 

 

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Jor12 | 22 October 2018 - 17:01:02

What? The arrivals decline refers to Chinese visitors as per this and the previous article. I prefer official statistics, rather the ad hoc view of a drinker at the outdoor bar aimlessly watching the world go by.

Kurt | 22 October 2018 - 15:11:20

Pep talks with a double bottom.  Just try to convince future tourists to decide to come to Thailand.
Notice when thai authorities write very long press articles it is mend to confuse. Read them 3 times and notice the contradictions.

CaptainJack | 22 October 2018 - 14:33:07

Confusing. Tourist numbers are climbing? Yet the last article right before this one is about visa fees being waved because arrivals are falling...? Make your minds up. And how is it that we're always being told that numbers are climbing even when its obvious there are fewer people around? Hmmm.....

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