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All markets showed strong growth, said TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn. In the first half of this year, Thailand welcomed 17.3 million tourists, generating Bt876 billion for its economy. TAT targets Thailand to finish 2017 with Bt1.81 trillion in tourism-related gains.
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%.
Thailand expects to enjoy continued growth both in tourist arrivals and tourism revenue this year
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.
10 million Chinese tourists in 2017 ?
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.
China continues to dominate Thailand’s inbound tourist arrivals with August ending up with 3,133,411 visits, up 8.6% year-on-year. August was the fourth month, this year, that saw arrivals exceed 3 million, the second highest after January when visits reached 3,197,053.
Other peak travel months when visits exceeded 3 million were March and July.
So where did tourists come from in August?
• China, 982,212 +10.30%
• Malaysia, 277,606 +9.52%
• South Korea, 164,001 +16.52%
• Japan, 162,703 +5.03%
• Laos,158,377 +4.18%
• India, 116,376 +14.77%
• Hong Kong, 93,136 +8.88%
• Vietnam, 90,502 +9.17%
• Cambodia, 82,776 +20.84%
• Singapore, 81,366 + 21.2%.
Thailand is expected to earn tourism revenues up to 1.8 trillion baht this year, according to the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT).
TCT president Ittirit Kinglek said the high 1.8 trillion baht tourism revenues were expected from foreign tourists visiting the country whose number is expected to increase 3.7% from last year.
He said that high season at the end of this year will see over eight million more tourists coming to Thailand. He also commented that the current growing tension in the Korean Peninsula would have no impact on the country’s tourism industry.