TOTAL VISITOR ARRIVALS IN FIRST SEVEN MONTHS OF 2010 STILL UP 13%

Bangkok, September 9, 2010 — In spite of the sharp declines in arrivals during the political crisis months of May and June 2010, international visitor arrivals in the first four months of this year were still high enough to allow the country to enjoy a 13.79% increase in total arrivals in the first seven months of the year.

Figures tabulated by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in January-July 2010, showed total arrivals by nationality of 8,766,706 up from 7,703,971 or up 13.79% over the same period of 2009.

This is because arrivals in the first half of 2009 had been hit by the impact of the global financial and economic crisis prevailing at the time, making this year’s rate of increase relatively high over a low base figure. It also reflects the fact that while arrivals to Bangkok were significantly affected, arrivals to Phuket remained relatively buoyant.

As the arrivals in June and July 2010 have picked up significantly, thanks to the launching of recovery programmes and a broad range of promotional packages, Tourism Authority of Thailand officials are optimistic that it will still be possible to meet the year’s total arrivals target of 14 million arrivals.

On each of the markets, the following performance analysis, based on the figures tabulated so far:

EAST ASIA:

East Asian visitor arrivals to Thailand comprise the biggest market share of all visitors. Of the 8.7 million arrivals in January-July 2010, a total of 4.33 million were from the East Asia region. Malaysia topped the list with 1,086,247 arrivals, followed by China 561,634, Japan 546,947, and Korea 445,809.

EUROPE:

The January-July period saw a good growth rate of 13.79% to 2.56 million. The United Kingdom is the largest source market out of Europe, with arrivals of 473,408, up 0.33%. Germany is Thailand’s second highest source market from Europe with a total of 353,188 arrivals, up 14.58% over the January-July 2009.

Visitors from Russia to Thailand have been growing steadily over the past
few years. In the early days, Russian visitors began flocking on charters to Pattaya to escape the harsh winters. Today, they have become mainstream travellers. In January &- July 2010, Russian visitors to Thailand totalled 325,306, up 98.49% over the same period of 2009.

THE AMERICAS:

Arrivals in January-July 2010 saw an increase of 1.59% to 492,509.
The main market, the US, showed a slight decrease by 0.07% to 356,104. However, arrivals from both Brazil and Canada showed positive growth of 15.67% and 1.9%, respectively. Thailand’s image of good value for money remains a powerful magnet that continues to attract tourists

SOUTH ASIA:

Arrivals in January-July 2010 grew by a strong 16.91% to 532,664 with all markets doing well. India has become a primary market with arrivals up by 19.88% to 405,389, making it the region’s fastest growing market. Thailand is enjoying huge popularity among Indian niche markets; such as, weddings and honeymooners.

OCEANIA:

Arrivals in January-July 2010 grew by 10.52% to 438,241 visitors. Australian visitors were up 11.65% to 387,704 and New Zealand up 1.91% to 49,139. This is largely due to the influx of low-cost airlines like Jetstar into Phuket.

MIDDLE EAST:

Arrivals in January-July 2010 grew by a strong 24.37% to 341,151 with all markets showing a positive growth. One of the most promising is Iran with an increase of 52.17%.

AFRICA:

Arrivals in January-July 2010 were up by 17.67% to 66,802. South Africa is a major market and has showed significant growth of 30.71% to 27,080. It is expected to perform strongly in the year ahead in the wake of relaunch of Thai Airways’ flights to Johannesburg.
The above figures have proven that Thailand situation’s rapid recovery from the recent political unrest. Asian economies have also showed steady economic improvements and the short-haul markets such as India, China and Indonesia are showing great promise. At the same time, the airline industry is adding more flights from key markets such as, Australia, Japan, France, Hong Kong, Qatar and Korea. New markets such as China, Russia and India are showing significant growth.

The Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2010 (TTM+2010) is the country’s premier annual trade event designed to promote travel and tourism to Thailand and its neighbours in the Greater Mekong Subregion. According to TAT Governor Mr Suraphon Svetasreni, “This year’s TTM Plus is very important for us because it comes as part of our recovery programme from the recent political unrest. It is also part of our strategy to diversify the sources of visitor arrivals and expose Thailand and the GMS region to new buyers from countries and regions which could deliver promising results in the future.”

(TAT News)
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