Thailand Tourism Set For Strong Year
Following on from an extremely successful 2016, in which tourist arrivals grew by 9 percent, Thailand’s tourism sector is looking forward to another good year.
According to a report in the Bangkok Post, 32.6 million visitor arrivals were recorded in 2016, generating THB 1.6 trillion (US$45 billion) in revenue – up 12.6 percent compared to the previous year.
According to the figures, Swedish tourists stayed the longest – 19.4 days in average – while Israelis spent the most, splashing out an average of THB84,827 (US$2,394) per trip. Overall, visitors also stayed longer, exploring the delights of the Kingdom for an average of 9.6 days.
A growth in the number of scheduled and chartered flights to the Kingdom contributed to the increase in visitor numbers. Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai were revealed to be the most popular destinations and government tax relaxation boosted spending on hotel reservations, tours and dining.
According to Thailand’s Tourism Council, the peak season over the festive period attracted a lot of visitors to the Kingdom, with statistics showing a 40 percent increase in flight bookings from destinations such as North and South America in the period from 31st December to 3rd January.
On the back of this growth, Thailand’s Tourism Council has forecast a good year for the nation’s tourism sector. Visitor arrivals are expected to rise between 3.75 and 5.8 percent, a growth that’s largely expected to be driven by Chinese tourists. A total of 9.17 million Chinese visitors are expected to arrive in the Kingdom this year, up from 8.9 million last year.
As Thailand’s stunning natural scenery exquisite dining opportunities and fascinating culture continue to attract visitors from all of the world, the country’s Tourism Ministry has increase its target for tourism revenue in 2017 to THB2.7 trillion (US$76 billion). This is up by 8.2 percent from the 2016’s target.
Revenue from overseas visitors is expected to reach THB1.78 trillion (US$50.2 billion, a forecasted increase of 8.5 percent compared to last year. Domestic tourism in the country is anticipated to generate THB930 billion (US$26.2 billion), a year-on-year growth of 7.5 percent.
Thailand’s 2017 calendar is packed with events and festivals that are sure to entice visitors this year, ranging from this month’s Chinese New Year celebrations to musical concerts and festivals throughout the year. The nation’s yacht shows are also growing in popularity as a growing number of people flock to Thailand for sailing opportunities, and the nation grows its already strong reputation as one of Southeast Asia’s prime sailing hubs.