Thailand may lose between Bt15-20 billion in tourism revenue in 2011 due to decline of Japanese tourists arrivals in the wake of a massive quake and tsunami which had devastated Japan’s northeast coast on March 11, according to a research conducted by privately-run Kasikorn Research Center.
The research said it was earlier projected that about 1.2 million Japanese tourists would visit Thailand in 2011 and the country would earn Bt38 billion as Japan’s economy has started recovering.
But the devastating earthquake and tsunami that rocked northeast cost of Japan last week and subsequent crisis at nuclear power plants are expected to put pressure on Thailand’s tourism as it is now believed that only about 850,000 Japanese would visit the country this year, down 12 per cent from last year, which would translate to revenue of approximately Bt23 billion, a decline of 23 per cent.
Damages inflicted on the Japanese economy due to the disaster were initially estimated at not less than US$100 billion and the number of Japanese tourists visiting Thailand this year could improve during the last quarter if rehabilitation advances rapidly, the report said.
Though the number of tourists from Japan is expected to drop this year, the number of business travellers should soar because of their presence in the Kingdom
Thomas G Christiansen explained that the prospect of corporate travellers should be positive this year, especially from Japan despite the devastation caused by an earthquake and tsunami.
“The Japanese market would slow down a bit in the short term, but business travellers from Japan would still have to come to Thailand to take care of their business here. This is different from general tourists, who might stop,” Christiansen said.
He explained that Japan was one of the key markets for the Thai tourism sector. Only 20 per cent of the Japanese travellers who stay at the hotel are tourists. He added that the hotel also attracted tourists from the United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong and the US.
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