Thailand’s tourism reports November growth
International tourist arrivals to Thailand posted a growth of 21.18% during January to November this year, according to Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ data.
Released Monday, the ministry reported 24,137,568 visits to the country during the first 11 months up from 19,918,437 over the same period last year.
The figures reflect the tourism performance prior to when protests escalated and became confrontational in early December.
Political protests started in October, but were peaceful and failed to attract the attention of the international media until much later. The impact will be reflected in figures for December and January.
Even December figures may remain robust as travellers could not cancel trips without losing deposits or even full payment for tours booked. January will reflect the full impact and cost of political strife that has repeatedly curtailed tourism growth in Thailand since a military coup in 2006.
In November alone, foreign tourist arrivals recorded 2,399,240 trips improving 11.93% from 2,143,550 during the same month last year. Considering markets by regions, all markets made gains.
Africa posted the highest growth with 41.78% from 10,995 to 15,589 visits. The main market, South Africa, recorded an 11.83% increase from 4,387 to 5,409.
The Middle East followed in second place with an improvement of 30.43% from 38,225 to 49,855 visits. Israel led the field with 11,991 visits compared to 9,948. Other main markets were: the United Arab Emirates (7,684; +14.81%); Kuwait (4,831; +39.75%); Egypt (3,177; +81.23%); and Saudi Arabia (1,426; +63.34%).
East Asia was in third place, (ASEAN included), with a growth of 16.13% from 1,205,199 to 1,399,653 visits. All identified source markets in the region posted growth except Japan (-0.53%).
Vietnam recorded an increase of 47.73% from 44,741 to 66,095 visits. Other top markets were: Laos (+38.98%); Brunei (+38.49%); Cambodia (+24.32%); Myanmar (+22.18%); and the Philippines (+21.40%).
Oceania posted a 10.61% growth from 83,490 to 92,350 visits. The two main markets also showed a positive record, Australia (81,693; +9.71%) and New Zealand (10,238; +17.39%).
The Americas showed a 9.40% increase from 103,701 to 113,444 visits in November. The United States posted the highest arrivals at 80,282 rising 6.29% from 75,529 following by Canada (22,458; +9.87%), Brazil (3,774; +43.01%); and Argentina (1,820; +44.67%).
South Asia recorded an improvement of 4.34% from 108,667 to 113,378 visits. India led the field supporting 89,262, up 2.94% from 86,714 ahead of Pakistan (6,776; +22.38%), Sri Lanka (6,377; +6.23%), Bangladesh (5,952; +1.26%), and Nepal (1,889; +4.71%).
Europe represented a 3.68% increase from 593,273 to 614,971 visits. Some markets showed a decline: Finland (-32.05%); Sweden (-31.22%); Norway (-15.15%); and Switzerland (-2.87%).
The top five growth markets were: East Europe (+17.80%); Spain (+15.73%); Russia (+12.54%); Austria (+5.92%); and the Netherlands (+5.36%).
In addition, the tourism ministry reported international tourists to Thailand at the country’s gateway Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang reached 1,543,877 visits in November increasing 7.82% from 1,431,902 during the same month last year.