The cost of a holiday in popular beach resorts in Thailand is now on par with or higher than those in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and Egypt, which are closer to home for Europeans, according to

The cost of a five-star resort in Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Samed has reached around $500 per room per night including American breakfast. This is similar to the cost of a five-star beach resort in Greece, Italy and Spain, and dearer than a comparable property in Turkey or Egypt, which costs $350 a night, according to Diethelm Travel Group.

It is even pricier than a mountain resort in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, which is $450 a room in the summer July/August high season for Europeans.

A Thai holiday pricing has increased by about 30 percent in U.S. dollar terms and 40 percent euros over the last five years due to the appreciation of the baht and inflation, Diethelm’s Group CEO Stephan Roemer pointed out.

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A strengthening baht since January is a challenge fir European tourists visiting Thailand

The baht has kept on strengthening since January, due to the country’s current account surplus with $1 fetching only 30 baht now compared to 36 baht before, and the industry fearing it’ll get worse.

European tourism down 1.5%

Kasikorn Research Center expects the whole European market to Thailand to decline 1.5 percent this year over 2018 to reach 6.66 million, and its spending to shrink 1 percent year-on-year to $15.4 billion (468 billion baht).

“For 2019, it is expected that the number of European tourist arrivals to Thailand will not revert to growth after the Ministry of Tourism and Sports reported that the number of European holiday makers contracted 1.9 percent year-on-year to 4.4 million during the first eight months of the year, led by those from our major markets, such as Russia, Germany, Sweden and France,” it said.

Thailand meanwhile has yet again extended its visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 nations for another six months. The fee of 2,000 baht for a single-entry leisure travel in Thailand of not more than 15 days has been waived effective the start of this month.

It’s a sign that the country is struggling to achieve its target of 39.8 million visitors this year, already a downward revision from the 40 million visitors target previously. And judging from the list of nations for which the visa fee is waived, Thailand is relying on China, India and a slew of emerging markets to make up for the shortfall from traditional markets such as Europe.

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