Travel agents face booking declines

BANGKOK, 21 December 2018: Thailand’s inbound travel agents handled 5,279,735 tour clients at Bangkok’s two international airports, January through to 10 December this year.

It reflects a performance down 3.93% when compared with the same period in 2017.

Based on fees paid to the Airports of Thailand to meet clients booked on holidays in Thailand, the Association of Thai Travel Agents’ data is considered a reliable performance barometer.

Agents started the year well with positive client numbers for January to June, followed by dramatic double -digit declines, July through to 10 December for the 900 odd companies that make up the ranks of ATTA membership.

July’s performance was down 11.78% with a loss of 62,272 clients, August down 22.112% (112,205 clients), September down 25% (110,130 clients), October down 19.23% (86,727 clients), November down 21.41% (125,120 clients) and 1 to 10 December down 13.60% (22,433 clients).

When the positive performance up to June is factored in, the net annual loss is likely to be around 250,000 clients year on year.

Of the 5.2 million total visitors handled by agents, 4.3 million came from Asia..

China accounts for 57.21% of all clients handled by ATTA agents at the two Bangkok airports.  From there the market share value falls sharply with Russia providing 5.93% of all clients, Japan 4.84%, Korea 4.45% and Vietnam 3.32%.

China clients handled by ATTA agents reached 3,020,672, January to 10 December, this year, down 7.54%.

The gloom over the China market continues with an 18.13% decline, 1 to 10 December, for Chinese tourists booked on ATTA member tours.

The top producing source markets for ATTA agents, January to 10 December:

  1. China 3,020,672 clients -7.54%;
  2. Vietnam 314,044 clients +14.69%;
  3. India 255,799 clients +9.47%;
  4. Korea, 234,765 clients -11.57%;
  5. Japan 175,366 clients +10.95%.

Positive takeaways from the data are the double-digit growth rates reported in specific country markets.

Agents are picking up more bookings in Vietnam, up 14.69%, Taiwan up 41.23%, France up 12.34%, UK up 12% and Japan up 10.95%.