4 Jul, 2012
Bangkok — In spite of the Eurozone crisis, visitor arrivals to Thailand from all the European countries have shown a 10.9% increase in January-May 2012, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
The arrivals of 2,690,783 from Europe contributed to a total visitor arrivals count of 8,871,930 in the period January – May 2012, up 7.27% over the same period of 2011. The market share of European arrivals was also up from 29.33% to 30.33% in the same period.
The result is all the more remarkable because May is usually the start of the off-season period for travel from Europe. Yet, in May alone, arrivals from Europe totalled 296,670, up 27.27% over May 2011.
Although the Thai tourism industry is very good at beating itself up, the arrivals figure clearly reflects the efforts of the travel industry which, along with the airlines partners, has become an expert at dealing with repeated crisis in order to maintain visitor flows with the right combination of marketing and pricing strategies.
Indeed, the figures showed that in May, arrivals from Spain, one of the worst-hit European countries, totalled 6,472, up 39% over May 2011. Arrivals from all the top three performing European countries were up significantly in May 2012: Russia 64,212 (+52%); UK 60216 (+12%) and Germany 41,032 (35%).
Here is a summary of the overall figures for Jan-May 2012, with percentage change over the same period of 2011, tabulated on arrivals by nationality at all points of entry:
Overview: Europe 2,690,783 (market share 30.33% of total arrivals), the Americas 467,221 (5.27% share), South Asia 508,666 (5.73% share), Oceania 394,500 (4.45% share), Middle East 228,606 (2.58% share) and Africa 71,666 (0.81% share).
East Asia: Arrivals from East Asia grew by 5.02% to 4,510,488 (market share: 50.84% of total arrivals).
• China was the best performer with the largest market share of 10.63% (or 943,161 visitors).
• Malaysia was the second biggest source market with total arrivals of 916,367.
• Japan: 534,556, up 10.32%.
• Korea: 457,644, up 4.40%.
• Arrivals from the neighbouring ASEAN countries also showed good growth, e.g., Vietnam (+20.19%), Brunei (+10.90%), Cambodia (+10.51%), Myanmar (+9.63%), Laos (+8.01%), Indonesia (+6.71%), Singapore (+4.82%) except Philippines (-5.77%) and Malaysia (-7.87%).
Europe: Arrivals from Europe grew by 10.91%.
• Russia remained ahead of UK and Germany as the largest source market from Europe. In Jan-May 2012, Russian visitors to Thailand totalled 578,687, up 9.62% over the same period of 2011.
• United Kingdom and Germany ranked the second and third largest sources of visitor arrivals – 372,746 (+1.02%) and 326,733 (+10.44%) respectively.
• French visitor arrivals totalled 276,617 (+17.84%).
• Arrivals from the Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark grew by 18.66%, 17.67% and 16.69% respectively.
The Americas: Arrivals from the Americas grew by 10.92%.
• U.S. visitor arrivals totalled 321,552 (+8.92%).
• Canadian visitors grew by 10.82% to 101,050.
South Asia: Arrivals from South Asia showed a growth of 5.58%.
• India was the biggest source of visitors in South Asia, + 6.81% to 405,719.
• Visitors from Sri Lanka grew by 16.47% to 27,320.
• Bangladeshi arrivals totalled 26,533.
Oceania: Arrivals from Oceania grew by 10.06%.
• Arrivals from Australia and New Zealand were up 10.33% to 354,646 and 7.88% to 38,615 respectively.
Middle East: Visitors from Middle East declined by 2.01%.
• All major Middle East markets significantly grew especially Saudi Arabia (27.25%) and Kuwait (21.11%). Arrivals from Egypt grew by 22.16%. However, UAE experienced a decline of 1.58%, dragging the entire group down.
Africa: Visitor arrivals from Africa grew strongly by 30.46% to 71,666.
For 2012, TAT has set a target of 20.5 million visitors and foreign exchange earnings of 766 billion baht (USD 25 billion).