BANGKOK, 14 June 2017: Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports international visits to Thailand exceeded 14.61 million, a slight increase of 3.20% during January to May, this year.
Released Monday, the ministry’s data showed the country attracted 14,612,150 international visits for the first five months of this year compared to 14,158,649 visits during the same period last year.
The data is based on foreign passports and ID holders, passing through international checkpoints (land, sea and air).
The ministry’s permanent secretary, Pongpanu Svetarundra, said for the first five months of the year, inbound tourism generated THB747,071.65 million up 5.07% from THB711,023.36 million during the same period last year. However, the figures are estimates based on exit surveys and reports sourcing credit card spend.
“Thailand tourism has not been directly affected by Arab nations cutting ties with Qatar…Qatar tourists share a 4.4% of overall Middle East travellers to Thailand…Qatar Airways still operate services to the kingdom as usual, but European tourists using the airline to travel to Thailand will face longer flight times.”
However, if the crisis extends beyond a few weeks, it could deter some travellers, although they could book alternatives such as Emirates and Etihad.
In May alone, foreign travellers recorded 2,590,533 visits increasing 4.60% from 2,476,505 visits during the same month last year.
By regions, all markets recorded increases in the fifth months except Europe and the Middle East.
The Americas recorded the highest growth of 7.09% from 103,861 to 111,221 visits.
The United States recorded the highest arrivals at 76,500 up 6.20% from 72,037 followed by Canada (19,236; +1.67%), Brazil (4,737; +20.47%) and Argentina (3,996; +32.14%).
South Asia posted an increase of 6.42% from 154,779 to 164,721 visits.
India led the field supplying 139,541 visits growing 8.53% from 128,573 followed by Bangladesh (8,976; +22.64%), Pakistan (5,245; +24.40%), Sri Lanka (5,082; -7.26%) and Nepal (2,667; -10.98%).
Oceania reported an improvement of 6.17% from 65,577 to 69,624 visits. The main markets, Australia and New Zealand, show increases of 6.61% (60,249) and 3.38% (9,027) respectively.
East Asia (ASEAN included) increased 6.01% from 1,782,116 to 1,889,287 visits.
The markets showing improvements were: Taiwan (+19.50%); South Korea (+16.58%); Vietnam (+15.73%); Laos (+14.51%); Brunei (+14.29%); Hong Kong (+12.73%); the Philippines (+10.70%); Japan (+7.42%); Singapore (+6.04%); Cambodia (+5.50%); Myanmar (+5.33%); China (+3.20%); and Malaysia (+2.58%).
Indonesia was the only market that showed a decline of 7.30%.
Africa grew 5.28% from 12,855 to 13,534 visits. The main market South Africa increased 16.60% from 5,540 to 6,430.
In contrast, Europe slightly decreased 1.89% from 309,007 to 303,166 visits. The markets that showed declines were: Germany (-15.43%); Norway (-12.24%); Sweden (-9.04%); Austria (-7.25%); the Netherlands (-7.19%); Denmark (-6.29%); Switzerland (-4.50%); France (-4.15%); the United Kingdom (-3.26%); and Italy (-2.83%).
The markets that showed improvements were: Russia (+12.33%); Finland (+6.60%); Spain (+6.40%); East Europe (+6.09%); and Belgium (+1.29%).
The Middle East declined 19.31% from 48,310 to 38,980 visits. Israel showed the highest arrivals with 7,204 visits increasing 2.58% from 7,023 visits.
Other main markets in the Middle East: the United Arab Emirates (6,482; -35.02%); Kuwait (3,433; -31.76%); Egypt (1,314; -38.08%); and Saudi Arabia (1,298; -28.88%).