Thailand: Tourism boom sparks pre-Songkran deals

  • The Chinese New Year holiday holiday fuelled foreign arrivals in Thailand in the first two months of 2018 as Chinese visitor numbers set a new record in Feb 18, the Tourism and Sports Ministry said 21 Mar 18.
  • Foreign tourist arrivals showed strong growth of nearly 15% from Jan-Feb 18 and drew over THB384bn in tourism revenue, said Pongpanu Svetarundra, permanent secretary of the ministry.
  • International arrivals hit 7.11 million, up 15% from the corresponding period in 2017, while income from their spending jumped 17%.
  • In Feb 18, the number of tourist arrivals reached 3.56 million, a 19.3% y/y increase. Some 1.2 million tourists came from China including Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • Mr Pongpanu said these markets showed 51% growth from the same period in 2017.
  • Breaking down the top 10 countries from which tourists arrived in Feb 18, China led the pack followed by Malaysia, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Laos, France, India, Germany and the US, he said.
  • In the domestic market, local tourists made 12.5 million trips in the country in Jan 18, up 4.8% from Jan 17.
  • Locals contributed tourism revenue of THB91bn, a 9% increase. The ministry is still collecting tourism data for Feb 18.
  • Thailand is expected to welcome 530,000 foreign visitors during Songkran, which falls 12-16 Apr 18. The ministry said their visits will contribute THB9.37bn in revenue.
  • For Thais, the festival will mean 3 million trips in the nation with over THB10.4bn spent, officils expect.
  • Various companies including Thai Airways International Plc (THAI) and Airbnb have already launched promotional deals ahead of Songkran, as they anticipate a spark in tourist arrivals.

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