Shorthaul demand, Chinese comeback buoy Thailand’s hopes for robust 3Q

Demand from shorthaul markets expected to surge during school holidays and Ramadan

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects to enjoy continued growth both in tourist arrivals and tourism revenue during 3Q2017, pointing to favourable factors such as shorthaul holiday demand and increased airlift.

International visitor arrivals are expected to grow by five per cent to 8.7 million with tourism revenue increasing 10 per cent to 460 billion baht (US$13 billion).

Demand from shorthaul markets expected to surge during school holidays and Ramadan

TAT projects arrivals from South-east Asia to grow seven per cent to about 2.5 million tourists, while North-east Asia will remain the top inbound source market with 3.7 million visitors (+ two per cent). Visitors from Europe are likely to reach 1.3 million tourists (+ eight per cent), while strong growth are expected for the Middle East (+14 per cent to 340,000), South Asia (+11 per cent to 390,000) and the Americas (+ nine per cent to 280,000).

Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT governor, said: “The positive outlook is based on factors including a surge in travel demand from shorthaul markets during school holidays and the month of Ramadan.

“A Chinese market recovery that started from May also had a positive effect on Thailand’s overall tourism arrivals. At the same time, longhaul markets including the US and Russia continue to grow steadily.”

Improved air access from Taiwan, Indonesia, China and Turkey is seen as another favourable factor. Examples of new flights include from Taipei, Bali and Shenzhen to Bangkok; from Guangzhou to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai; from Changsa to Chiang Rai; and from Istanbul to Phuket.

Thailand also ranked among ForwardKeys’ top destinations with a four per cent share of overall future bookings made from June to August 2017.

The rosy outlook also reflected the optimistic expectations that Thai travel industry leaders have for the country this year after a strong 1H performance.

Thailand welcomed 17.3 million tourists in 1H2017, generating 876 billion baht for the Thai economy. TAT targets Thailand to finish 2017 with tourism earnings of 1.8 trillion baht.

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