Thailand’s Tourist Arrivals in May Better than Feared

The Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT) has announced the air transport statistics for May 2010.
“The results are not as bad as many expected with Bangkok’s international disembarkations only down 8% on May 2009 while Phuket’s international disembarkations increased by 62% on May 2009”, says Mr. James Pitchon, Executive Director of CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Thailand in a comment to the figures.
Although the year-on-year comparison looks encouraging, it must be remembered that May 2009 was weak because of the April 2009 riots in Bangkok. May 2010 is still impressive given the circumstances with many governments warning against coming to Thailand except for essential reasons.

29% decline compared to 2008
Total international passenger disembarkations at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport were 906,366 in May 2010, compared to 986,120 in May 2009, an 8% decline. This, however, represents a 29% decline on May 2008 disembarkations.
Domestic passenger disembarkations at Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports were 435,227 in May 2010, compared to 480,909 in May 2009, a 10% decline. This represents a 16% decline on May 2008 disembarkations.
International disembarkations at Phuket’s airport were 95,633 in May 2010, compared to 59,051 in May 2009, a 62% increase. This represents a 25% increase on May 2008 figures.
Domestic passenger disembarkations were 107,661 compared to 113,723 in May 2009, a decline of 6% on May 2009 and a 15% decline on May 2008 figures.

Tourism resilience
The numbers show the resilience of the Thai tourism industry, but aside from fears about political stability, there are still many challenges including the weak Euro which makes Thailand a more expensive destination for many of Thailand’s key feeder markets. Bangkok and to a lesser extent many of the resort markets face a significant increase in hotel room inventory so even if tourist arrivals recover. Hotel owners will face downward pressure on rates because of newer competition. The real test of what the effect of the unrest will take place in the peak season at the end of this year.

CB Richard Ellis (Thailand) Co., Ltd. has grown to be a leading real estate services provider, offering strategic advice and execution for sales and leasing for all types of
property, property and facilities management, valuation and advisory, and research and consulting. For more information, visit the company’s website at

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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