Thailand welcomes more high-spending visitors
Tourism authorities in Thailand have targeted a six percent growth in the number of visitor arrivals for 2018 after a recent report indicated that Thailand welcomed 35 million visitors in 2017 – up nine percent from 2016.
Tourism comprises 12 percent of Thailand’s economy, and is one of the most important growth drivers. Last year, international tourist arrivals increased by 8.8 percent, peaking at a total of 35.38 million people – which equates to more than half the Thai population.
The biggest factor driving the growth has been the demand from Chinese visitors, who are particularly drawn to the Kingdom’s awe-inspiring temples, idyllic beaches and diverse array of shopping opportunities.
Last year, tourism revenue rose nearly 12 percent to a total of more than THB1.8 trillion (US$57 billion), according to channelnewsasia.com. Much of this growth has been attributed to the rising number of high-spending visitors heading to the Kingdom on vacation. Much of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT’s) recent marketing campaign has focused on unique, quality experiences for higher-spending visitors. Thanks to the country’s array of intriguing cultural attractions, plus a countless selection of high-end resorts and boutique accommodation choices, the country remains a sought-after destination for well-heeled holidaymakers.
“The trend is moving to the higher-end market, for both Chinese and European tourists,” said Pongpanu Svetarundra, a government tourism and sports official. “The spending per tourist is increasing.”
In 2018, Thai tourism authorities have set a target of 37.55 million visitors, to generate revenue of THB2.1 trillion (US$67 billion). In terms of visitor arrivals, 2018 got off to a flying start. The Kingdom’s peak tourism period began in December 2017, with record numbers of tourists flocking to holiday hotspots across the country.
According to a report published by Coconuts Bangkok, a record-breaking 3.5 million overseas visitors arrived in Thailand in December, generating more than THB190 billion (US$6 billion) in revenue. Figures published by the Thai News Bureau show that the number of foreign holidaymakers increased 15.51 percent compared to the same period in 2016.
According to Pongpanu Svetarundra, visitors from Europe, South Asia and the United States formed some of the other key tourist markets. The report in further revealed that 57 percent of foreign tourists were repeat visitors to Thailand. Plus, 53 percent were only visiting Thailand on their vacation, and were not exploring neighbouring countries as part of the same trip.