Published on September 24, 2010
During the first seven months of this year, Thailand welcomed 8.77 million tourists, a 13.79 per cent increase from 7.7 million from the same period in 2009, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand.
TAT said that arrivals in the first half of 2009 had been hit by the impact of the global financial and economic crisis prevailing at the time, making this year's rate of increase relatively high over a low base figure. It also reflects the fact that while arrivals to Bangkok were significantly affected, arrivals to Phuket remained relatively buoyant. The arrivals in June and July 2010 have picked up significantly, thanks to the launching of recovery programmes and a broad range of promotional packages. TAT officials are optimistic that it will still be possible to meet the year's total arrivals target of 14 million arrivals.
On each of the markets, the following performance analysis, based on the figures tabulated so far:
EAST ASIA: East Asian visitor arrivals to Thailand comprise the biggest market share of all visitors. Of the 8.7 million arrivals in January-July 2010, a total of 4.33 million were from the East Asia region. Malaysia topped the list with 1,086,247 arrivals, followed by China 561,634, Japan 546,947, and Korea 445,809.
EUROPE: The January-July period saw a good growth rate of 13.79 per cent to 2.56 million. The United Kingdom is the largest source market out of Europe, with arrivals of 473,408, up 0.33 per cent. Germany is Thailand's second highest source market from Europe with a total of 353,188 arrivals, up 14.58 per cent over the January-July 2009.
Visitors from Russia to Thailand have been growing steadily over the past few years. In the early days, Russian visitors began flocking on charters to Pattaya to escape the harsh winters. Today, they have become mainstream travellers. In January - July 2010, Russian visitors to Thailand totalled 325,306, up 98.49 per cent over the same period of 2009.
THE AMERICAS: Arrivals in January-July 2010 saw an increase of 1.59 per cent to 492,509.
The main market, the US, showed a slight decrease by 0.07 per cent to 356,104. However, arrivals from both Brazil and Canada showed positive growth of 15.67 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively. Thailand's image of good value for money remains a powerful magnet that continues to attract tourists
SOUTH ASIA: Arrivals in January-July 2010 grew by a strong 16.91 per cent to 532,664 with all markets doing well. India has become a primary market with arrivals up by 19.88 per cent to 405,389, making it the region's fastest growing market. Thailand is enjoying huge popularity among Indian niche markets; such as, weddings and honeymooners.
OCEANIA: Arrivals in January-July 2010 grew by 10.52 per cent to 438,241 visitors. Australian visitors were up 11.65 per cent to 387,704 and New Zealand up 1.91 per cent to 49,139. This is largely due to the influx of low-cost airlines like Jetstar into Phuket.
MIDDLE EAST: Arrivals in January-July 2010 grew by a strong 24.37 per cent to 341,151 with all markets showing a positive growth. One of the most promising is Iran with an increase of 52.17 per cent.
AFRICA: Arrivals in January-July 2010 were up by 17.67 per cent to 66,802. South Africa is a major market and has showed significant growth of 30.71 per cent to 27,080. It is expected to perform strongly in the year ahead in the wake of relaunch of Thai Airways' flights to Johannesburg.