Thai tourism leaps ahead

BANGKOK, 13 September 2017:  A leading bank research centre, KResearch, has revised its tourism forecast for Thailand upwards to 35.20 million this year, representing a surge of 8.2%.

Earlier in the year, Kasikorn Research Centre forecast international visits would hit 34.15 million with an estimated revenue of THB1.79 trillion. Now the bank’s research centre says revenue could top THB1.81 trillion.

The revision followed the Ministry of Tourism and Sports release of tourism performance data for January to July that showed tourist arrivals topped 20.41 million up 4.5% on year-on-year.

Ministry estimated revenue from tourism, during the seven months, reached THB1.03 trillion up 6.1%.

Looking at the last quarter, KResearch expects inbound tourism to continue to expand due to various factors including  the country’s “tourism-friendly environment,” and proactive marketing plans of government agencies.

But the major driver pushing Thai tourism to new highs is China.

The research centre noted that  tensions between China and South Korea were favouring tour movements to Thailand as Chinese tourists were reluctant to book holidays in South Korea.

Even concerns over the appreciation of the Thai baht against major currencies such as the Euro and US dollar are not expected to slow tourism to Thailand.

This is probably because the bulk of tourists visiting Thailand are from Asian nations where currencies are also appreciating at a similar pace to the Thai Baht.

“We think tourists generally consider other factors in deciding a holiday destination, the report claimed. “Thailand has a variety of tourism experiences to offer, catering to the diverse preferences of international tourists… and the tourism business in Thailand remains highly competitive with pricing strategies that attract more tourists.”

In 2016, Thailand recorded 32.58 million visits  up 8.9% when compared with 2015 that closed with 29.88 million visits.  China supplied  8.7 million trips to Thailand in 2016.


    • The numbers are based on an immigration count, there are no questions on the arrival card (TM6) to allow authorities to identify whether the person is a tourist or a business visitor. Therefore it is correct to call them visits, arrivals and probably not correct to call all visits tourists, if the definition of a tourist is a person travelling purely on leisure. In the words of the immigration bureau, it is a count of ‘alien trips.

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