BANGKOK, 20 April 2017: Kasikorn Research Centre estimates 11.81 million international travellers will visit Thailand generating THB612 billion during January to April this year.
The bank’s think-tank unit said inbound tourism has been challenged since the beginning of this year due to a slowdown of tourist arrivals particularly from China and mainly so-called zero-dollar tours.
This resulted in a marginal growth of 0.7% in inbound tourism, January to March. Major markets that lifted arrivals in Q1 were Russia, Lao PDR, South Korea and India.
However, the bank said early April showed signs that foreign tourist arrivals were picking up, especially from China that suffered a decline in bookings since October 2016. The political situation between China and South Korea would help to drive Chinese tourists to travel to Thailand, the centre said.
In addition, other markets such as Russia would continue to help support the tourism industry.
The Songkran Festival was a strong driver that encouraged travel to Thailand. China and Malaysia were the two markets that delivered the highest tourist arrivals for the festival week.
Ministry of Tourism and Sports reported, Tuesday, that the Songkran festival generated THB45.43 billion for the tourism sector, 11 to 17 April, increasing 14.40% over the same period last year. Of that, THB8.49 billion came from domestic travellers (+6.45%) and THB36.94 billion from international travellers (+16.4%). The figures are based mainly on exit surveys that interview a random selection of tourists about their spending. Invariably they exaggerate their spend when interviewed.
The bank’s think-tank estimates that for January to April this year the country would attract 11.81 million international travellers increasing 1.2% during the same period last year and generating THB612 billion in tourism and related revenue an improvement of 3.1% over the same months in 2016.
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.