Travel agents see market shrink

BANGKOK, 31 August 2017: Thailand’s inbound travel companies continue to face declines in tourists using their services, based on the latest data from the Association of Thai Travel Agents.

Based on a meet-and-greet tally at Bangkok’s two gateway airports, ATTA members provided services for 3,740,187 travellers, January to August 20, this year, down by 6%.

ATTA provides the most accurate barometer of the state of health of the inbound travel agency scene, but limited to guests met at Bangkok’s two gateway airports.

Credit: ATTA graphics
Credit: ATTA graphics

The five top nationalities, 1 January to 20 August, were:

Chinese, 2,193,211 down 14.19%; Vietnamese, 213,174 up 20.24%; Korean, 177,348, up 72.44%, Indian, 159,495, up 21.56% and Russian, 113,993, down 19.89%.

During the first 20 days of August there were indications that the China market might be recovering after suffering declines since last year.

Compared with the first 20 days of August 2016 visits increased 9.48%, while Chinese tourists continued to dominate market share with a substantial 58.64% of all ATTA tour company bookings.

However, by 20 August, last year, tour companies had handled 2,255,933 tourist trips from China, compared with 2,193,211 January to 20 August this year. It represents a 14.19% drop in business.

Credits: ATTA graphics

ATTA issued performance data for 1 January to 31 July, earlier this month, that showed 2,733,917 Asian visitors used the services of member travel firms. There were 297,987 visitors from ASEAN countries, 162,618 from Europe and 126,604 from Russia and CIS nations.

The worrying trend for Thailand’s inbound travel firms shows up on a table that reveals companies suffered declines in tourist handled during five months, January to May, that cut 261,527 (-7.21%) client trips off the year-to-date total for January to July.

June, July and the first 20 days of August showed the first gains in tourists using travel agency services in Bangkok for the entire year. It might suggest that the remainder of the year will improve for travel companies allowing them to recover and perhaps end the year close to the 2016 total.

Last year tour companies served 5,377,843 visitors. For the seven months January to July this year the total reached 3,366,734 down 7.21%.


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