BANGKOK, 19 June 2017: Association of Thai Travel Agents’ member companies handled 2,368,245 travellers, January to May this year, at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports representing a decline of 10.57% from 2,648,172 visits during the same period last year.
ATTA released its data, late last week, based on fees member agencies pay to the two airports to provide a meet-and-greet service for international clients, but limited to travel through Bangkok.
The association’s president, Vichit Prakobgosol, said business was still declining particularly from China, but he expressed confidence that bookings would recover and grow later in the year.
More Russian and the United Kingdom travellers are flying direct to Phuket so the figures at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports are likely to decline as market share changes between gateways. ATTA does not measure visits through Phuket, Samui and other gateway airports, despite repeated requests from members to extend the data collection.
ATTA figures are the most accurate assessment of what is happening in the B2B travel space in Thailand, but the association needs to broaden the scope of data collection, or its data and observation will lose relevancy .
January to May performance
Although recording a decline of 21.23%, China led the field with 1,364,183 visits for the first five months of the year compared to 1,731,753 visits during the same period last year.
South Korea ranked in second place with 118,601 visits increasing 67.16% from 70,949 visits.
The next top five markets were: India (99,222; +18.17%); Russia (98,905; -16.18%); and Vietnam (97,303; +41.75%).
In May, there were 309,588 foreign tourists who travelled with association members at Suvarnabhumi Airport, down 12.57% from 354,115 visits during the same month last year.
China was the top source of travel agency bookings in May with 156,052 visits, decreasing 27.21% from 214,390 visits.
India followed in second place with 23,428 visits up 10.19% from 21,261 visits during the same month last year.
South Korea ranked third with 20,271 visits increasing 73.85% from 11,660 visits.
Vietnam was fourth with 19,023 visits growing 51.23% from 12,579 visits, while the Japan in fifth place, with 9,556 visits, up 19.12% from 8,022 visits.
The next top five markets in May were: Russia (8,493; -20.53%); the UK (5,298; -9.27%); Hong Kong (5,246; +27.58%); Taiwan (5,189; +39.30%); Iran (2,709; +12.69%).
May: Don Mueang
The association also reported 170,836 tourists used member companies at Don Mueang Airport in May, increasing 8.22% from 157,860 during the same month last year.
China also topped arrivals at the second gateway recording 142,349 visits grew 4.63% from 136,055 visits.
Vietnam was second with 10,140 visits, up 51.01% from 6,715 visits during the same month in 2016.
Indonesia ranked third recording 6,967 visits declining 5.76% from 7,393.
India in fourth place, with 4,791 visits, improved 64.02% from 2,921, while Malaysia in fifth place, with 2,149 visits, increased 47.80% from 1,454 visits.
The next top five markets in May were: South Korea (1,070; +97.78%); Japan (1,033; +17.79%); Taiwan (602; -2.43%); the UK (268; +131.03%); and Myanmar (240; -4.00%).