The news came in a release issued yesterday (Sept 4) marking tourism-revenue growth in secondary “emerging” destinations throughout the country.
Figures released by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports show that although the popular destinations are still getting the bulk of the revenue in terms of volume, a definitive growth pattern is emerging for others, such as, Phang Nga, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Rayong, the release noted.
The figures, denoted as “Top Ten Provinces Generating Tourism Revenue in January-June 2019 (International & Domestic)”, were presented by Taweesak Vanicharoen, Director General for the Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports at the monthly general meeting of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) on Aug 26, it added.
Bangkok led the charge with B499.393bn, showing growth of 4.28%.
Phuket ranked second in the country with B272.555bn in tourism revenue for the first six months of the year, marking 6.13% growth in tourism revenue compared with the first six months of last year.
Chon Buri, home to Pattaya, placed third with B154,112 (+5.31%).
Krabi found itself fourth in the rankings, generating B67.23bn during H1 2019, a rise of 6.59%, outpacing even Surat Thani province, which includes the tourist islands of Samui and Koh Pha-ngan, which generated B56.087bn (+5.74%).
Chiang Mai found itself well down the list in sixth place, generating B52.666bn with negligible growth of 1.03%, ahead of Songkhla province, which recorded B37.463bn in tourism revenue (+10.44%), said the report.
Phang Nga ranked eighth in the country with B30.005bn (+6.58%), while tailenders in the top 10 were Prachuap Khiri Khan with B19.706bn (+7.04%) and Rayong with B16,669bn (+6.30%).
Other provinces reporting good growth include Si Sa Ket, Ubon Ratchathani and Nonthaburi, noted the report.
According to the ministry, tourism revenue from primary cities totalled B1.28 trillion and from emerging cities B142.8 billion in January-June 2019.
Total revenue from tourism in 2019 is estimated to reach B3.20trn, +4.3% over 2018.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has also outlined development strategies to improve the quality of tourist destinations, tourism products and services in line with the principles of balance and sustainability.
It will also invest in further development of infrastructure and facilities, personnel development and public participation, noted the TAT release.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said, “These are very encouraging figures because they cover a period when Thailand has its April-May school holiday period. Certainly, domestic tourism is playing a major role in helping us achieve our tourism revenue targets and compensate for the impact of external factors. We expect this will remain the case in the second half of the year.”
He said that TAT remains on track with vigorous domestic and international marketing campaigns to promote the 55 emerging destinations. Arrivals will rise as the destinations expand accommodation and other tourism infrastructure to cater to the visitors.
“We are determined to position Thailand as a preferred tourist destination with high quality products, sustainable growth, focus on niche markets, preservation of the local Thai way of life, integrating management structures, and building stronger international cooperative partnerships,” Gov Yuthasak said.