The number of Chinese tourist arrivals for July is down 0.87% compared with July last year, though overall China is up 21.44% for the same period of Jan-July year-on-year (y-o-y), he noted.
Of note, arrivals from China in June grew by 18.12% y-o-y, in May by 14.05%, and in April by an impressive 31.9%.
The last time arrivals from China dropped dramatically was by 16.04% y-o-y in Dec 2016 amid the ‘zero-baht tour crackdown’.
More than 3 million tourists visited Thailand in July, with total arrivals totalling 3,175,981, compared with 3,088,042 last year, representing growth of 2.9% compared with the same month last year.
By region, the highest arrival numbers were from East Asia, Europe, South Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, Oceania and Africa. The highest arrival numbers by country or territory were from China, Malaysia, South Korea, Laos, India, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the US and Britain, respectively.
In total, tourists generated B166.4 billion in income in July, a 3.7% increase from July 2017, Mr Pongpanu said.
Unsurprisingly, with Chinese tourists the most numerous, they also generated more income than any other source market during July, contributing some B51.38 billion to the economy, but still representing a growth of 4.47% y-o-y.
However, it was the Malaysians who were spending big, contributing B8.037bn baht during the month, an increase of 31.07% y-o-y.
In total from January through July this year, 22.6 million tourists visited Thailand, an 11% increase y-o-y, together generating B1.2 trillion in income, a 14.4% rise compared with the same period last year.
Of note, the number of arrivals from Europe is down 1.7% for Jan-July year-on-year, with arrivals from the UK down 5.7% for July compared with July last year.
Russian arrivals for July is down 10.76% compared with July last year, though low season arrivals from Russia last year were widely perceived as ‘exceptional’
The report also noted that Phuket hotels lead the country for the highest average occupancy for June with 79.88%, compared with the national average of 69.2%.
Meanwhile, domestic tourism saw 13.67 million trips made in June this year, up 3.5% from last June, Mr Pongpanu said, with locals tourists generating B77.8bn in revenues, up 7% from June 2017.