Thailand’s visitor arrivals surged to a record total of 2,654,634 in January 2015, up by 16.30% over January 2014, according to figures published by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
This was largely due to a major comeback by all the markets in Asia and the ASEAN region, including the top performers of China, Malaysia, Korea Japan, and India.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Thawatchai Arunyik commented, “This is a clear indication that all our tourism revival strategies have produced excellent results. It is an excellent start to 2015, and we are hoping to maintain the arrivals all through the year.”
“Again, I wish to stress that this is the result of all the hard work exerted by the entire industry, including Thai Airways International, all the airlines flying to Thailand, Airports of Thailand, Immigration Bureau, and the entire private sector including the MICE industry, hotels, tour operators, and guides. All of them deserve credit for this turnaround from what was a difficult and challenging year in 2014.”
Here is a summary of the key results:
All regions grew well except Europe and Oceania.
Visitors from East Asia totalled 1,545,683 (+43.25%), Europe 727,462 (-14.32%), the Americas 122,714 (+1.41%), South Asia 109,440 (+19.14%), Oceania 81,965 (-6.43%), Middle East 55,521 (+31.05%), and Africa 11,849 (+0.75%).
East Asian visitor arrivals comprised the biggest market share of all visitors. A total of 1.54 million or 58.23% were from East Asian countries. China ranked the largest source market from East Asia with arrivals of 560,399 (+56.96%). Apart from China, the other top sources of arrivals were Malaysia 279,517 (+92.57%), Korea 153,311 (+13.06%), and Japan 121,926 (+5.43%).
The ASEAN countries in total generated over 622,277 arrivals, with spectacular growth by Malaysia 279,517 (+92.57%), Laos 89,890 (+14.06%), Singapore 69,229 (+49.97%), Vietnam 53,038 (+54.56%), Cambodia 51,605 (+35.51%), Philippines 22,627 (+15.43%), Myanmar 19,287 (+56.56%), and Brunei 1,128 (+43.33%), except Indonesia 35,956 (-13.56%).
Arrivals declined by 14.32% to 727,462 partly due to the economic situation in the region. However, some European countries showed growth; such as, Germany 81,309 (+0.59%), France 78,391 (+7.81%), East Europe 67,413 (+1.21%), Italy 32,022 (+11.25%), Austria 14,352 (+1.33%), Belgium 10,446 (+1.73%), Spain 9,154 (+8.14%), and Ireland 5,914 (+2.21%).
Arrivals from the Americas were up 1.41% to 122,714. The main market, USA increased by 0.59% to 82,036. Arrivals from Canada were up 0.16% to 25,430. Showing considerable promise are Latin American markets; such as, Brazil (+25.03%).
Arrivals from South Asia grew by a strong 19.14% to 109,440. India topped the list with arrivals up by 16.62% to 81,716. Other countries also showed good growth; such as, Bangladesh 9,908 (+75.89%), Sri Lanka 4,988 (+1.92%) and Nepal 2,749 (+33.51%), except Pakistan 5,834 (-1.07%).
Arrivals from Oceania declined by 6.43% to 81,965 visitors. Australian visitors declined 7.11% to 72,904 and New Zealand (-3.47%) to 8,647.
The Middle East
Arrivals from the Middle East showed good growth of 31.05% to 55,521. UAE visitors were up 114.92% to 7,361 along with Kuwait 7,080(+92.44%), and Saudi Arabia 1,267 (+10.17%).
Africa: Arrivals from Africa grew by 0.75% to 11,849.
In 2015, TAT has set a target of 28 million international visitors, generating an estimated 1.35 trillion Baht in tourism earnings.
Top 10 source-markets of Visitor Arrivals in Thailand Jan 2015
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Source: Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Immigration Bureau, Police Department, updated: 17/03/2015