ThailandTAT is expecting market growth across international and domestic markets with an arrivals target of 40 million.

Thailand eyes ‘strong tourism growth’ of at least 10%

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Bangkok 2019 forecast
Thailand is expecting the tourism industry to display ‘strong growth’ with at least a 10% growth in revenue. Photo Credit: twinsterphoto/Getty Images
Bangkok 2019 forecast

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said strong growth is expected from both the international and domestic market, and expects that the markets should generate an income of 2.28 trillion baht and 1.12 trillion respectively. 

Thailand’s tourism authority is expecting the industry to expand through next year, eyeing at least a 10% growth in revenue from this year and fetching 3.4 billion baht (US$102 million).

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said strong growth is expected from both the international and domestic market, and expects that the markets should generate an income of 2.28 trillion baht and 1.12 trillion respectively. 

In terms of arrivals, TAT is predicting an increase from the 37.5 million expected this year to 40 million next year, with domestic tourists making 169 million trips for 2019, up from 160 million this year, Bangkok Post reported. 

“Tourism contributes 11% to GDP. The industry will continue to grow and that is very challenging for TAT," said Supasorn. 

The government will be focussing efforts on sustainability by promoting responsible tourism. 

Recent enforcement efforts led by the ministry have seen a sweep of some resorts on Phi Phi Island to verify their quality, check their licences and ensure they are legally employing staff. The move is aimed at increasing tourism quality and standards. 

As part of new tourism standards, tourists entering the country must buy insurance. 

The government has also introduced travel safety initiatives to encourage more visitors from the Middle East region, especially women travellers, families and those seeking preventive medical services. 

Last year, some 610,000 visitors arrived from the Middle East, mainly from the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Oman. The region accounted for 2% of total international arrivals, but average spending from the segment is 7,200 baht per head per day, higher than the 5,200 average from other markets. 

"The high season for the Middle East falls between July and August, which is good [as it's] Thailand's low season. TAT expects tourist numbers from this region to increase by 3% next year," said Pichaya Saisaengchan, director for the Dubai and Middle East office. 

Jittima Sukpalin, executive director for the Americas Region, will be seeking out new markets such as first-time visitors and millennial tourists looking to travel independently and enjoy outdoor activities. 

"We will promote secondary provinces such as Chumphon, Ranong and Trat provinces in this market," she said. 

Last year, more than 1.5 million tourists came from the Americas, including 1 million from the US and 250,000 from Canada. 

TAT hopes total arrivals and revenue from the region rise by 10%. 

Anchalee Kumwong, the TAT Beijing office director, said it would encourage new segments, including families, females, weddings, sports, and wellness visitors from major cities, promoting travel to secondary Thai cities in order to lure first-time travellers. 

"China will remain the top market for Thailand. Only 10% of China's population, 140 million people, have a passport. That number will increase, boosting overseas travel," said Kumwong.


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