Where Thais travelled in 2011
BANGKOK, 27 June 2012: Ministry of Tourism and Sports reported, Tuesday, 5,397,248 Thais travelled overseas in 2011 representing a slight increase of 1.11% over 5,338,127 trips in 2010.
But Thai outbound travel was stunned by the worst flooding in the central plains in five decade that cut back both the desire and cash capability to travel, the ministry noted in its assessment.
Ministry data showed that Malaysia continued as the most popular destination driven by short overland trips from southern provinces to destinations in northern Malaysia for shopping and trade.
Laos was second with 925,830 trips increasing 4.27% from 887,869 trips, while Singapore was in third place with 344,286 improving 6.52% from 323,226 trips.
All are short –haul destinations served by cheap overland transport or low-cost airlines.
All the other top destinations were medium to long-haul with higher airline costs. China was in fourth place with 285,841 trips compared to 289,806 outbound trips in 2010, a decline of 1.37%.
Hong Kong ranked in fifth showing an increase of 3.81% to 210,738 against 202,999 trips in 2010.
The remaining five top destinations were: Japan (191,209; -28.77%); South Korea (150,202; +9.87%); the United Kingdom (137,930; +6.69%); Taiwan (130,060; +7.47%); and Australia (114,044; +5.18%).
In the regional category, East Asia was the top area visited ( Southeast Asia included in the ministry’s charts) with 4,392,862 trips, but only showing a minimum 0.55% increase from 4,368,779 trips in 2010.
Europe ranked second with 498,433 trips and recorded an improvement of 4.69% from 476,123 trips, while the Middle East followed in third place with 200,540 trips, an increase of 3.03% from 194,648.
Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) was fourth attracting 131,701 trips with a growth of 4.82% compared to 125,644.
South Africa followed in fifth with 112,280 trips, but decreased 0.06% from 112,353.
The Americas was sixth with 54,097 trips improving 3.13% from 52,453, while Africa was seventh attracting 7,335 trips, but down 9.75% when compared to 8,127 trips in 2010.
Out of 5,397,248 trips, package tour represented 954,990 while 4,442,258 were independently booked.
In the package tour market, Malaysia was the top destination with 308,695 trips increasing 10.00% in 2010.
Laos was second with 115,657 trips improving 36.50%. China was in third place with 70,640 package trips an increase of 1.98%.
Singapore followed in fourth place with 42,923 trips growing 41.95%. South Korea in fifth attracted 41,555 package trips increasing 17.22%.
However, the biggest growth in package tours was to Saudi Arabia, 242.65% on 2,868 trips.
Non-package tours saw Malaysia gain 1,493,188 trips a slight increase of 0.26%.
Other popular destinations for independent travel were: Laos (810,173; +0.88%); Singapore (301,363; +2.86%); China (215,201; -2.42%); and Hong Kong (178,732; +4.61%).
In 2011, the estimated outbound spend was Bt122,066.06 million, an increase of 0.48% compared to Bt121,479.98 million in 2010.