The news was revealed in Phuket at the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) business dinner at the Amari Patong. (See story here.)
Indeed, tourism stakeholders in the kingdom – and especially on our beloved island – strive to dedicate more emphasis in the other prime metric laid forth by the The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO): revenue receipts.
And who would argue with the logic for needing to underline the bottom line?
According to UNWTO’s 2015 Tourism Highlights report, Thailand had a “relatively” tough year last year, with receipts from international tourism equating to US$38.4 billion (about B1.29 trillion), representing an 8% drop on 2013, when the kingdom earned $41.8bn (about B1.33tn at the time), and thus falling from 7th to 9th most profitable tourism economies in the world. (See UNWTO report here.)
Most would agree with the UNWTO that certain “uncontrollable” politics in addition to “unanticipated” economics have had a part in the recent hiccups of Thai tourism.
But there is still much room and reason for debate as to the most promising way forward in respect to factors that we can anticipate and control with careful consideration and planning.
After all, the aforementioned report anticipates international tourist arrivals worldwide to increase by 3.3% annually for the next 15 years, to reach 1.8 billion by 2030, with the market share of emerging economies – including Thailand – expected to reach 57% by 2030, up from 45% last year.
For Phuket stakeholders, the coming future no doubt lies in dedicated marketing communications and PR with an aim to lure an even larger share of this lucrative market.
Central to such outreach efforts will be to continue to push and promote all the unique qualities that enabled Thailand to command a tenth of all international tourism receipts in the Asia-Pacific region last year, claiming more than a third of the Asean market. (See story here.)
But we must also look within and accept our shortcomings, far too numerous to list here. To this, The Phuket News encourages all stakeholders to be sincere and constructive in embracing a “triple bottom line” moving forward.