Golden years for Bangkok
BANGKOK, 1 March 2013: Kasikorn Research Centre estimates international tourist visits to the Thai capital will reach 19.20 million and generate Bt348,000 million in tourism revenue this year.
Bangkok, often called City of Angels in a reference to its Thai name Krungthep Mahanakhon ( full version is longest capital city name in the world; 168 letters) , remains the top draw in tourism despite competition from beach resorts such as Phuket which is served by direct flights from source markets in Asia, Australia and Europe.
Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ Department of Tourism data, shows Bangkok continued to be the top destination even in 2011 despite a serious threat of flooding in November and December of that year. The city closed 2011 with 14.9 million visits (+31.1%) and an estimated revenue of Bt290,000 million (+15.3%).
2012 turned into a golden year for Bangkok tourism after four years troubled by political discord and a natural disaster. The main attractions are the city’s shopping options, bargains and the variety of restaurants and dining options.
The centre also noted Bangkok has some of the cheapest hotel rates in the region, low-cost transport and is served by low-cost airlines that link the capital to the country’s main tourist resorts.
It has also won accolades as a top city destination in credit card customer response surveys or gained substantial votes by the readers of various travel magazines to keep it high up the rankings.
Some of the awards
The bank’s research said the boom in hotel construction will continue and this will support growth at all levels from the luxury market to economy and budget hotels. It estimates that hotel rates will begin to increase this year after a long period with only marginal adjustments.
International arrivals to Bangkok by year-end should reach 19.20 million visits increasing 11.3% from 17.25 million in 2012. Of that, 93.2% will stay overnight in the city.
Tourism related revenue will reach Bt348,000 million this year growing 10.1% from Bt316,000 million last year. Of that revenue, 28.5%, or Bt98,500 million, will be spent on accommodation followed by shopping (22.5% or Bt77,600 million), and food and beverage (16.7% or Bt57,000 million).
However, to nurture steady growth the centre warned the travel industry and government must cooperate to provide a much higher level of safety and security for tourists and clampdown on scams nationwide to maintain the country’s good image.
Kasikorn Research Centre is a subsidiary company of Kasikorn Bank, which conducts tourism and business research mainly on Thailand’s economy including tourism with reliable recommendations and indicators on business prospects.