Thai tourism numbers down another 9%

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The number of international tourist arrivals to Thailand in March 2014 fell by 9.39 per cent year-on-year to 2.1 million due mainly to the political unrest, says the Tourism Department according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

The six markets with the biggest declines were Africa (-17.8 per cent), South Asia (-17.7 per cent), the Middle East (-14.8 per cent), East Asia (-14.67 per cent) Oceania (-10.7 per cent) and the Americas (-5.06 per cent). But Europe saw a 2.25 per cent increase to 680,728 visitors on the back of an improving economy. The two main growth drivers were the Russian market, which rose by 9.86 per cent to 211,677 visitors, and Finland, which grew by 48.3 per cent to 25,897.

Among key markets, arrivals from Japan dropped by 26.1 per cent to 101,046 visitors, while Malaysia was down 20.3 per cent to 184,233, Britain 13.1 per cent, to 79,608, China 11.1 per cent to 331,638 and Germany 11 per cent to 79,966. In the first quarter, international tourist arrivals fell 5.85 per cent year-on-year to 6.6 million, while tourism revenue declined by 4.02 per cent to 311 billion baht.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand projects foreign tourist arrivals this year will reach 28 million, while tourism revenue will be 2 trillion baht. The department said 50 countries still maintain travel advisories even though the state of emergency was lifted last month.

Ronnachit Mahattanapreut, the senior vice-president for finance and administration at Central Plaza Hotel Plc, said the political problems caused its hotel revenue to drop by 5 per cent year-on-year to 2.23 billion baht in the first quarter. However, the company is confident it can achieve revenue growth of 10 per cent this year thanks to the good performance of its hotels in the Maldives. Also in the first quarter, Centel reported the occupancy rates of its hotels in resort destinations ran at 80-90 per cent on average.

However, hotel occupancy fell in Bangkok, especially near protest sites. Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld had a rate of only 43 per cent compared with 82 per cent in the first quarter last year. The occupancy of the Centara Grand at CentralPlaza Lardprao was 67 per cent, down from 86 per cent, while Central Government Complex Hotel & Convention Centre Chaeng Watthana had a rate of almost zero.

Ronnachit believes the tourism situation will recover in the second half of this year if political problems end by June.

Kasikorn Research Center predicts the political problems will hurt tourism sentiment during next week’s Songkran festival. It expects the number of international tourists visiting Thailand during Songkran will drop by 10.6 per cent from last year to 600,000, with tourism revenue falling by 9.6 per cent to 26.5 billion baht.

Short-haul markets such as East Asia (China, South Korea, Japan) and Malaysia will account for 55 per cent of visitors, while long-haul markets such as Russia, Britain, Germany, France and Eastern Europe will comprise 30 per cent.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The number of international tourist arrivals to Thailand in March 2014 fell by 9.39 per cent year-on-year to 2.1 million due mainly to the political unrest, says the Tourism Department according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The number of international tourist arrivals to Thailand in March 2014 fell by 9.39 per cent year-on-year to 2.1 million due mainly to the political unrest, says the Tourism Department according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

The six markets with the biggest declines were Africa (-17.8 per cent), South Asia (-17.7 per cent), the Middle East (-14.8 per cent), East Asia (-14.67 per cent) Oceania (-10.7 per cent) and the Americas (-5.06 per cent). But Europe saw a 2.25 per cent increase to 680,728 visitors on the back of an improving economy. The two main growth drivers were the Russian market, which rose by 9.86 per cent to 211,677 visitors, and Finland, which grew by 48.3 per cent to 25,897.

Among key markets, arrivals from Japan dropped by 26.1 per cent to 101,046 visitors, while Malaysia was down 20.3 per cent to 184,233, Britain 13.1 per cent, to 79,608, China 11.1 per cent to 331,638 and Germany 11 per cent to 79,966. In the first quarter, international tourist arrivals fell 5.85 per cent year-on-year to 6.6 million, while tourism revenue declined by 4.02 per cent to 311 billion baht.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand projects foreign tourist arrivals this year will reach 28 million, while tourism revenue will be 2 trillion baht. The department said 50 countries still maintain travel advisories even though the state of emergency was lifted last month.

Ronnachit Mahattanapreut, the senior vice-president for finance and administration at Central Plaza Hotel Plc, said the political problems caused its hotel revenue to drop by 5 per cent year-on-year to 2.23 billion baht in the first quarter. However, the company is confident it can achieve revenue growth of 10 per cent this year thanks to the good performance of its hotels in the Maldives. Also in the first quarter, Centel reported the occupancy rates of its hotels in resort destinations ran at 80-90 per cent on average.

However, hotel occupancy fell in Bangkok, especially near protest sites. Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld had a rate of only 43 per cent compared with 82 per cent in the first quarter last year. The occupancy of the Centara Grand at CentralPlaza Lardprao was 67 per cent, down from 86 per cent, while Central Government Complex Hotel & Convention Centre Chaeng Watthana had a rate of almost zero.

Ronnachit believes the tourism situation will recover in the second half of this year if political problems end by June.

Kasikorn Research Center predicts the political problems will hurt tourism sentiment during next week’s Songkran festival. It expects the number of international tourists visiting Thailand during Songkran will drop by 10.6 per cent from last year to 600,000, with tourism revenue falling by 9.6 per cent to 26.5 billion baht.

Short-haul markets such as East Asia (China, South Korea, Japan) and Malaysia will account for 55 per cent of visitors, while long-haul markets such as Russia, Britain, Germany, France and Eastern Europe will comprise 30 per cent.

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