Chinese top tourist markets
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ data on tourist arrivals for May indicates security issues, mainly in the deep south following a car bomb attack in Hat Yai on March 31, are still affecting travel from Malaysia.
Friday 29 June 2012, 02:42PM
During May, arrivals from Malaysia dropped to 176,800, down 16.42 per cent compared with May 2011. In April, arrivals from Malaysia plunged 22.18 per cent.
China took Malaysia’s place as the top supplier of tourists to Thailand since April. In May alone, arrivals from China hit 185,886, a growth of 37.87 per cent.
Overall, Thailand received 1,523,782 tourists in May, up 8.27 per cent. Meanwhile, from January to May, visits reached 8,871,930, up 7.27 per cent.
Looking at arrivals by regions, there were improvements in all regions. The largest market, East Asia (57.16 per cent share), which includes ASEAN, posted the smallest growth, up just 0.59 per cent, supplying 870,978 tourists.
Within the region, drops were monitored in Malaysia (-16.42 per cent, 176,800); Laos (-19.44 per cent, 66,962) and Korea (-8.85 per cent, 72,655).
However, there was a substantial increase of 15.88 per cent in Japanese tourists compared with May 2011 (Japan suffered a massive tsunami and earthquake in March 2011 stalling outbound travel for months).
Despite their economic problems, arrivals from Europe and the Americas grew over the same month last year at 27.27 per cent (296,670) and 23.88 per cent (84,579) respectively.
All identified countries recorded double-digit growth with the exceptions of Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden. In Europe, Russia posted the strongest growth, +52.94 per cent (64,212).
Arrivals from South Asia and Oceania improved substantially, +14.44 per cent (137,827) and +14.18 per cent (76,242) respectively. In May, a 15-per-cent growth of Indian tourists sent that country up to third place of the Top 10 ranking.
The Middle East market grew marginally, +3.27 per cent (44,714), while Africa surged 32.81 per cent (12,772)
In April, Suvarnabhumi Airport welcomed 1,021,246 tourists (+14.82 per cent) followed by Phuket Airport, 152,540 (+21.57 per cent).