August sees big jump in arrivals
PHUKET BUSINESS: Tourist arrivals to Thailand in August were 35 per cent higher than the same period last year, Tourism Department data have revealed.
Friday 16 September 2011, 05:34PM
More than 1.7 million tourist arrivals were recorded throughout Thailand in August, compared to the approximately 1.3 million arrivals in 2010, marking a 35.4 per cent rise since last year.
Over the past eight months Thailand has welcomed a total of 12.9 million tourists, representing a growth of 27.6 per cent year-on-year.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports aims to welcome another 6.3 million visitors over the next four months, for a total of more than 19 million.
More tourists have come from China, Japan and Korea in August this year due to it being the peak holiday season in those countries, the report indicated.
Tourist arrivals to Thailand comprise Malaysian tourists at the top with 181,461 arrivals, closely followed by China, just 1,519 arrivals behind, representing almost a 50 per cent increase since last year.
Phuket is now the top gateway to Thailand from Malaysia, replacing the Sadao checkpoint at the Thailand-Malaysia border in Songkhla province.
China is expected to contribute about 100 million outbound tourists to the Asian region by 2020.
With an improvement in ties with neighbouring Cambodia since the Pheu Thai Party-led government took office, arrivals from Cambodia grew more than 150 per cent from 12,436 to 31,124.
Tourist arrivals in August from other countries in East Asia rose by more than 40 per cent, while European visitors increased by just over 21 per cent.
Russia recorded the highest growth rate in tourist arrivals to Thailand at 92.4 per cent (41,191 visitors), followed by Spain at 78.5 per cent (17,826), but UK visitors still rank as the largest supplier of European tourists with 78,571 British visitors recorded in August.
The Americas and Oceania reported similar percentage growth rates in arrivals to Thailand: 32.7 per cent (71,159) and 31.7 per cent (81,549) respectively.
Visitors from the United States, Canada, Argentina and Brazil showed steady improvement, increasing between 26.7 and 39 per cent. Arrivals from Australia rose just over 34 per cent while New Zealand arrivals increased 16 per cent.
Arrivals from the Middle East increased slightly at 9.8 per cent. Israel was the biggest single supplier from that region in August with 22.8 per cent growth. Africa saw a slight growth of 6.7 per cent with the majority of this being visitors from South Africa.
The number of Thais travelling abroad dropped about five per cent compared with last August with 522,494 making overseas trips in the month this year.