BANGKOK, 18 May 2018: Thailand’s tourism clocked 13,701,411 visitor arrivals during the first four months of 2018, registering an impressive 13.97% gain.
It’s the strongest growth for January to April since 2015 when arrivals surged by 23.21%. For the same four months in 2017, arrivals increased 3.35%.
In April, the visitor head count reached 3,092,725. up 9.38% year-on-year, Ministry of Tourism and Sports Permanent Secretary, Pongpanu Svetarundra, told a tourism assessment meeting on Tuesday.
Thailand’s strong appeal in East Asian markets continued in April with 2,149,095 arrivals (+14.46%) out of slightly more than 3 million total for the month. European markets generated 508,000 visits up by a marginal 0.99%. South Asia, the other notably region, supplied 153,000 visits up 12.60.
The top-10 country supply markets in April remained the same as previous months: China; Malaysia; Laos; Russia; India; Japan; Korea; Vietnam; the United States and United Kingdom.
China topped the list with 987,000 visits in April alone up by an astounding 31.90%. Critics of mass tourism who warn Thailand is facing an “over tourism” threat say the country should scale back promotions in China’s low-priced package tour markets.
The latest figures for April showed Russia making a comeback with 126,000 visits representing a respectable 18.54% growth.
India with 121,000 visits grew 12.94% and Vietnam, now a top-10 country market for Thailand, delivered 89,000 increasing by 14.05%.
There were two negative performers. Surprisingly, South Korea with 116,000 visits declined by a marginal 0.47%, but the 12.84% decline in UK visits to 87,000 should set an alarm bell ringing.
In addition, revenue earned from tourism in April reached THB 157.44 billion up 12.52%.
In revenue terms the top 10 countries were China; Russia; Malaysia; the United Kingdom; the United States; Australia; Korea; Japan; India and Germany.
Arrivals for January to April this year reached 13,701,411, while the ministry estimated the country reaped THB 730.75 billion in tourism revenue, an increase of 17.55% over the same period last year.
The estimate suggests that the growth in tourism revenue was highest since the first four months of 2015 when earnings grew 24.6%.
Top spend segments are accommodation 28.7%, gifts and shopping 24.4% and food and beverage 20.6%.