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Tourism & Travel













In 2007 Thailand received 4.65% more foreign visitors than in 2006. The actual 2007 number was 14,464,228 vs. 13,821,802 in 2006 and 13.38 million in 2005, the year after the December 2004 tsunami. The largest group of foreign visitors comes from East Asia, especially from Malaysia (1,540,080), Japan (1,277,683) and Korea (1,083,652).

Origin foreign visitor arrival by region 2007 vs. 2006:

Region

2007 number

2007 %-share

2006 number

2006 %-share

Change %

East Asia

7,611,931

52.63

7,622,244

55.15

-0.14

Europe

3,905,271

27.00

3,490,779

25.26

+11.87

the Americas

920,336

6.36

923,382

6.68

-0.33

South Asia

709,811

4.91

631,208

4.57

+12.45

Oceania

764,072

5.28

651,262

4.71

+17.32

Middle East

436,100

3.02

392,416

2.84

+11.13

Africa

116,677

0.81

110,511

0.80

+5.58

Total

14,464,228

100

13,832,802

100

+4.65%


Origin foreign visitor arrival by main nationality 2007 vs. 2006:

Nationality

2007 number

2007 %-share

2006 number

2006 %-share

Change %

Malaysia

1,540,080

10.65

1,591,328

11.51

-3.22

Japan

1,277,683

8.83

1,311,987

9.49

-2,62

Korea

1,083,652

7.49

1,092,783

7.91

-0.84

China

907,117

6.27

949,117

6.87

-4.43

UK

859,010

5.94

850,685

6.15

+0.98

USA

681,972

4.71

694,258

5.02

-1.77

Australia

658,148

4.55

549,547

3.98

+19.76

Singapore

604,603

4.18

687,160

4.97

-12.01

Germany

544,495

3.76

516,659

3.74

+5.39

India

536,356

3.71

459,795

3.33

+16.65

Laos PDR

513,701

3.55

276,207

2.00

+85.98

Taiwan

427,474

2.96

475,117

3.44

-10.03

Sweden

378,387

2.62

306,085

2.21

+23.62

France

373,090

2.58

321,278

2.32

+16.13

Hong Kong

367,862

2.54

376,636

2.72

-2.33

Russia

277,503

1.92

187,658

1.36

+47.88

In the 1st 6 months of 2008 Thailand welcomed 7,667,146 foreign visitors, up 10.24% vs. the 6,954,752 of the 1st half of 2007 and it lokks as if the 15.0 million mark might be broken. As the political climate in the country has been deteriorating since August 2008 and Japanese and Korean travel agencies have issued safety warnings against travelling to Thailand this remains uncertain.

After a quiet period in the demonstration activities during the mourning and burial period of the king’s elder sister violence at the demonstration sites has flared up again culminating in two bomb explosions killing 2 anti-government demonstrators. Although the period around December 5 will be quiet again due to His Majesty’s birthday celebrations it is likely that anti-government and pro-government factions will increase their activities towards the end of 2008.

Origin foreign visitor arrival by main nationality 1st half year 2008 vs. 1st half year 2007:

Nationality

2008 number

2008 %-share

2007 number

2007 %-share

Change %

Malaysia

828,917

11.03

691,352

10.04

+19.92

Japan

621,886

8.07

616,721

8.84

+0.62

Korea

536,976

6.98

545,521

7.82

-1.49

China

519,841

6.79

424,259

6.15

+22.36

UK

426,041

5.52

425,368

6.11

-0.30

USA

355,294

4.63

337,664

4.85

+5.13

Australia

340,063

4.49

302,981

4.41

+12.22

Singapore

314,904

4.17

280,086

4.08

+12.36

India

289,587

3.88

264,555

3.92

+10.26

Germany

288,559

3.69

282,827

3.99

+2.14

Laos PDR

267,819

3.56

235,545

3.43

+13.46

Sweden

235,633

2.91

204,675

2.80

+8.56

Taiwan

217,625

2.88

227,314

3.31

-4.31

France

209,838

2.70

184,664

2.62

+13.17

Russia

199,691

2.49

138,563

1.89

+50.90

Hong Kong

197,661

2.61

173,875

2.55

+14.06


Strong growth markets are India, Russia, Australia and Laos PDR that have been showing annual double-digit growth percentages since 2006.

The southern beach area’s of Phuket, Phang-nga, Krabi and Koh Phi Phi have been restored since the December 2004 tsunami. Southern Thai area’s popular among “Western” tourists e.g Koh Samui (+5.73% to 439,906 foreign visitors in the 1st half of 2008), Koh Tao (+51.62% in the 1st half of 2008 to 104,119 foreign visitors) remain popular. Phuket on the other hand suffered a decline in the 1st half year of 2008 of 15.7% among foreign visitors to 1,162,236. Also Thai visitor levels to Phuket declined with 21.71% to 461,893.

But the continuing unrest in Thailand’s 4 southernmost provinces Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and Songkhla is hurting traditional Malay tourist spots such as Had Yai.

In 2006 the domestic tourism industry registered 81.49 million trips with an average length of stay of 2.65 days. Average daily spent was THB 1,795.09 (€40.-). Total revenue of domestic tourism was THB322.5 billion (€7.17 billion). In the same year the international visitors stayed an average of 8.62 days in the country and spent THB4,048.22 pppd (€90.-), generating THB482.3 billion (€10.72 billion) in revenue.

Thailand’s Northeast remains for most foreign visitors an area of no interest although in the 1st half of 2008 region attracted almost 3.0 million domestic travelers.

Source statistics: The Office of Tourism Development, Thailand