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Thailand’s popularity across Asia drives tourism boom

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Powered by a surge in Asian tourists, Thailand’s visitor arrivals in 2015 hit an all-time record of 29.88 million (+20.44%) and generated around 1.44 trillion Baht, up 23.39% over 2014 in Thai tourism revenue.

Maya Bay, the main tourist attraction of Koh Phi Phi in Thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor, Dr. Yuthasak Supasorn, said “It was another remarkable year in 2015. The performance endorses the scope and effectiveness of the 2015 Discover Thainess campaign and its success in restoring travel confidence.”

The latest data released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, earlier this week, indicated 21,275,750 visitors, or a 71.20% market share, were sourced in Asia, which generated about 821 billion Baht in revenue.

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Asian markets dominated the country’s top-10 list. China gained the top spot for the second year in a row generating 7,934,791 visitors, up 71.14% on 2014.

Malaysia in second place delivered 3,423,397 arrivals representing an increase of 30.99% over 2014.

Four more Asian ‘plus million’ markets followed: Japan (1,381,690), Korea (1,372,995), Lao PDR. (1,233,138), and India (1,069,149).

Delivering a respectable 4.30% increase, the UK market closed the year in seventh place with 946,919 visits, the highest performance in Europe.

Singapore followed in eighth place supplying 937,311 visits up 11.04%.

Russia, despite a decline, closed the year in ninth place with 884,085 visitors.

In tenth place, the USA market grew 13.62% to deliver 867,520 visits.

The regional overview placed East Asia, which includes ASEAN, top with 19.87 million visits representing a market share of 66.5%. This region generate nearly 760 billion Baht in income to Thailand.

Despite the economic situation, Europe remained second with a market share of 18.84% or 5.63 million visitors with 408 billion Baht in revenue.

There were encouraging, bright spots in the region, indicating that Thailand’s traditional markets remain resilient. Noteworthy examples were Italy recording an 11.90% increase to 246,066 visits; Spain with 150,940 visits improving 29.03%; Germany with 760,604 visits up 6.34%, and France 681,097 visits up 7.25%.

South Asia was third with a market share of 4.70% on 1.4 million arrivals generated income to Thailand at 61.27 billion Baht (+22.55%).

Another interesting growth is the Americas region with 1.23 million arrivals (+12.31%) generating revenue of 77.86 billion Baht for the country, an increase of 15.82% over 2014. The Middle East also had double digit growth at 10.07% to 658,129 arrivals and generated over 46.31 billion Baht, up 17.67% in revenue.

The TAT Governor said, “Looking at the 2016 prospects; such as, a severe winter and lower airfares, TAT could encourage more travel from Europe, but our 2016 goals focus on balancing the market share, driving higher spending and extending the length of stay by promoting secondary destinations and high value travel experiences.”

For the statistics of January – December 2015, please visit here.

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