BANGKOK, 6 July 2017: Association of Thai Travel Agents’ member companies handled 2,833,748 travellers, January to June this year, at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports representing a decline of 8.8% from 3,109,767 visits during the same period last year.
ATTA released its data, Tuesday, 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 more travellers were visiting secondary destinations, but Bangkok remains the main gateway for tourists booked on pre-paid trips.
Travel booked through travel agencies has been in decline since last year. Agents blame it on the increase of direct bookings, mainly through online travel companies.
To boost the country’s tourism, more direct flight are needed to secondary airports, he said.
The association recently talked with Tourism Authority of Thailand to support charter flights particularly from China to Thailand especially from the cities that do not have regular flights yet, such as secondary destinations in Thailand. The proposed charter routes should be finalised mid-month, he said.
January to June performance
Although recording a decline of 18.96%, China led the field with 1,639,490 visits for the first six months of the year compared to 2,022,969 visits during the same period last year.
Vietnam ranked in second place with 143,456 visits up 29.78% from 110,536 visits. The next top five markets were: South Korea (142,608; +68.47%); India (119,453; +20.12%); and Russia (104,603; -17.39%).
June: Suvarnabhumi performance
In June, there were 305,104 foreign tourists who travelled with association members at Suvarnabhumi Airport, down 2.89% from 314,171 visits during the same month last year.
China was the top source of travel agency bookings in June with 144,097 visits, but was down by 13.75% from 167,069 visits last year, mainly due to the ongoing zero-dollar tour crackdown.
Vietnam followed in second place with 28,363 visits down 3.95% from 29,528 visits during the same month last year. South Korea ranked third with 22,622 visits, an increase of 73.59% from 13,032 visits last year.
India was fourth with 17,582 visits up 24.81% from 14,087 visits, while Japan was in fifth place, with 13,631 visits, up 13.39% from 12,021 visits.
The next top five markets in June were: Taiwan (6,292; +21.49%); Hong Kong (5,943; -16.94%); Russia (5,698; -34.00%); the United Kingdom (5,178; -15.75%); and Iran (3,617; +55.57%).
June: Don Mueang performance
The association also reported 160,399 tourists used member companies at Don Mueang Airport in June, increasing 8.80% from 147,424 during the same month last year.
China also topped arrivals at the second gateway recording 131,210 visits up 5.69% from 124,147 visits.
Vietnam was second with 17,790 visits, up 43.87% from 12,365 visits during the same month in 2016.
Indonesia ranked third recording 5,372 visits up 5.13% from 5,110 visits.
India in fourth place, with 2,649 visits, improved 90.30% from 1,392, while Malaysia in fifth place, with 1,834 visits, increased 71.88% from 1,067 visits.
The next top five markets in June were: South Korea (1,385; +106.72%); Japan (1,046; +43.29%); Taiwan (658; +61.27%); the UK (200; +12.36%); and Singapore (195; +214.52%).