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Arrivals to Thailand grow in September

October 15, 2012

Arrivals to Thailand from China, the country’s newest top supplier skyrocketed almost 54% in September, while arrivals from Malaysia fell back into the red zone, after signs of recovery in August.

Malaysia was always the top supply market for Thailand tourism, but it has been replaced this year for the first time by China.

According to the statistics released on Wednesday on the Department of Tourism’s website, Thailand recorded 235,765 Chinese visits during September spiralling 53.79% year-on-year. Meanwhile, the average growth from Janaury to September was +37.97%.

The massive increase in arrivals from China is expected to continue. Besides flourishing chartered flights, scheduled services have been increased. Thai AirAsia is  very aggressive tapping the lucrative China  market with flights to three new destinations this year: Chongqing already commenced in the first quarter; Wuhan and Xi-an are scheduled to start 19 October and 16 November respectively.

On the contary, arrivals from Malaysia contracted since April following a car bomb attack in Hat Yai at the end of March. Overland travel declined since, with the exception of just August, when arrivals improved. But in September visits dropped again by 11.43% on 178,767 tourists.

Arrivals through overland checkpoints on the Thai-Malay borders in Songkhla showed significant drops; minus 20.13% through Sadao and minus 44.57% through Padang Besar. Arrivals through checkpoints in other border provinces improved.

Overall, Thailand welcomed 1,603,270 international tourists a slight 7.87% increase over September last year.

Over a nine-month period, accumulated arrivals stood at 15,964,133, increasing 8.69% compared to the same period last year.

Europe delivered more visitors with just a few exceptions. Finland was down11.86% and Sweden down 7.36%. There was grrowth from Russia technically not part of Europe.

The Americas and Africa recorded marginal increase of 3.92% (64,568) and +3.52% (11,824) respectively. Meanwhile, arrivals from South Asia, Oceania and Middle East fell short by 0.69%, 3% and 11.58% respectively.

In September, Suvarnabhumi Airport welcomed 1,071,993 tourists (+8.23%) followed by Phuket Airport, 158,674 (+13.56%); First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge checkpoint in Nong Khai province, 85,669 (+24.07%); Sadao Checkpoint on the Thai-Malaysian border in Songkhla province, 85,219 (-20.13%) and the Aranyaprathet checkpoint on the Thai-Cambodian border in Srakaew province, 40,591 (-20.86%).

Thai outbound travel, according to  the Immigration Bureau reached  695,513 trips in September, an increase of 21.01%. There were no public holiday in September, but travel was in decline in September 2011 due to flood threats so the percentage growth this year is higher than would be expected.

There were 259,794 (+13.13%) outbound trips through Suvarnabhumi Airport followed by the Aranyaprathet checkpoint, 104,827 (-10%); the Second Thai-Lao Friendship Bride checkpoint in Mukdaharn province, 99,238 (+478.55%); First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge checkpoint, 85,669 (+177.94%) and Sadao Checkpoint, 41,077 (-22.98%).

The data was collected by the Immigration Bureau from all checkpoints – air, land and sea and is preliminary data subject to review.

Top 10 source markets for international arrivals in August

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