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Songkran push brings tourism boost

BANGKOK: A recorded 506,136 foreigners visited Thailand during the Songkran holidays, generating B24.65 billion in tourism revenue, up 6.2% and 16% respectively from the year-earlier period, reports the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MoTS).

tourism, economics,

The Phuket News

Friday 20 April 2018, 03:05PM

Revellers celebrate 'Songkran on the Beach' in Patong last week. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub
Revellers celebrate 'Songkran on the Beach' in Patong last week. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The festival, which ran April 12-16, spurred as many as 3.1 million trips by local people that helped contribute B10.4 billion in tourism income, up 12.4% and 20.5% from last year’s holiday, according to MoTS Permanent Secretary Pongpanu Svetarundra, reports the Bangkok Post. (See story here.)

Total income from foreigners and local people was 35.1bn, up 12.1% from the same period last year, Mr Pongpanu said.

Some 1.16mn trips were to secondary provinces, with B2.4bn in tourism expenditure, up 8.4% and 17% respectively.

The ministry said an increase was also noted in average spending per person per trip by foreigners.

Major source markets for foreign tourists included Southeast Asia countries and China.

Mr Pongpanu noted that that the Songkran push added to growth inThailand’s tourism revenues this year.

Mr Pongpanu reported that in March approximately 3.5mn foreigners visited Thailand, generating income of over B189bn for the country, reported the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT, see report here.)

More than 2.2mn of the tourists came from East Asia, followed by Europe, the Americas, South Asia, Oceania, the Middle East and Africa. Chinese tourists continued to account for the record number.

Over the first quarter of this year, Thailand saw 10.6mn foreign tourist arrivals, up 15.4% on the same period last year, while revenue generated from the foreign visitors surpassed B573bn, up 19%, Mr Pongpanu said.

As for domestic tourism, the Permanent Secretary said more than 12mn trips were made within the country by Thai travellers in February, generating over B89bn in revenue, 15% higher year-on-year.


Meanwhile, Airbnb reported that its hosts in Thailand earned more than B165mn during Songkran, a 20% increase compared with the typical week last year.

Mich Goh, Airbnb’s head of public policy for Southeast Asia, told the Bangkok Post that Thai hosts earned B67,000 on average from renting out their space for 29 nights last year.

Thai hosts have received nearly 1.2mn guests in 2017; 400,000 Thais travelled with Thai hosts at other destinations.

Airbnb also released data on its worldwide community for 2017, showing that 84% of guests said they decided to use Airbnb because they wanted to live like a local, while 66% of guests said the environmental benefits of home-sharing were important in their choice.

Some 89% of guests said they chose Airbnb because it was more conveniently located in a city.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the travel industry supports 313mn jobs and generates 10% of the world's GDP.



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