Thailand’s growth rate dips

March 22, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 22 March 2012: Ministry of Tourism and Sports Wednesday released its travel statistics showing trips to Thailand improved by a marginal 2% in February compared to the same month last year.

The slow growth pulled the accumulated performance down to 4.83% from 7.65% in January.

In February, there were 1,838,595 international trips recorded through all airport and border checkpoints.

Most of the supply regions recorded improvements, but East Asia, including ASEAN were down by 2.42% on 898,268 trips and the Middle East down 3.68% on 44,152.

The ministry said declines from China (-2.82%, 178,006), Hong Kong (-33.92%, 25,858) and Taiwan (-28.19%, 29,508) were due to travel warnings during Chinese New Year in January, that had a spillover effect on February’s performance.

A more credible reason is that in 2011 Chinese New Year, a bumper week for travel, was celebrated in early February.

In January, the US Embassy in Bangkok issued a travel alert on Bangkok and that prompted similar alerts from 20 other nations.

Besides China, two other large suppliers recorded declines in February. They were Malaysia, the top contributor (-14.02%, 187,223) and Russia, the fourth largest (-4.71%, 118,436).

Arrivals from the Americas and Oceania grew, 14.62% (97,201) and 15.8% (71,675) respectively. European markets for the beginning of the year were also positive  showing increases, except Russia, resulting in a growth of 5.22% (629,360).

Considering the two-month period, moderate increases were recorded except for South Asia (-1.04%) and the Middle East (-5.81%). East Asia’s arrivals were up 3% (1,790,179); Europe, +6.71% (1,336,254); the Americas, +12.23 (208,195); Oceania, +16.07% (163,953) and Africa, +1.48% (20,465).

In February, Suvanabhumi Airport welcomed 1,186,837 tourists (+3.54%) followed Phuket Airport, 230,397 (-0.77%); Sadao Checkpoint on the Thai-Malaysian border in Songkhla province, 103,474 (-17.1%); the First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge checkpoint in Nong Khai province, 78,783 (+26.77%) and Aranyaprathet checkpoint on the Thai-Cambodian border in Srakaew province, 41,894 (-7.06%).

As for Thai outbound travel, the Immigration Bureau tallied 533,297 in February, representing an increase of 3.74%. Of which, 225,442 travelled through Suvanabhumi Airport followed by Aranyaprathet checkpoint, 111,801; Sadao checkpoint, 38,502; the First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge checkpoint, 29,029 and Sungai Kolok on Thai-Malaysian border in Narathiwat, 23,736.

The data was collected by the Immigration Bureau from all checkpoints –air, land and sea and is preliminary data subject to review.

Top 10 Tourist Arrivals in February 2012

Top 10 Tourist Arrivals during January to February 2012

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