In spite of the sharp declines in arrivals during the political crisis months of May and June 2010, international visitor arrivals in the first four months of this year were still high enough to allow the country to enjoy a 13.70% increase in total arrivals in the first half.
Figures tabulated by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in January-June 2010, showed total arrivals by nationality of 7,515,025 up from 6,609,313 or up 13.70% over the same period of 2009.
This is because arrivals in the first half of 2009 had been hit by the impact of the global financial and economic crisis prevailing at the time, making this year’s rate of increase relatively high over a low base figure. It also reflects the fact that while arrivals to Bangkok were significantly affected, arrivals to Phuket remained relatively buoyant.
As the arrivals in June and July 2010 have picked up significantly, thanks to the launch of recovery programmes and a broad range of promotional packages, the Tourism Authority of Thailand officials are optimistic that it will still be possible to meet the year’s total arrivals target of 14.5 million arrivals.
According to the TAT Governor Suraphon Svetsreni, the strong market recovery efforts being exerted by the Thai tourism private sector, Thai Airways International, as well as the high-profile promotions such as the “Thailand Today” mega-fam trip should make it possible to make up lost ground in the second half of this year.
Asian economies have showed steady economic improvements and the short-haul markets such as India, China and Indonesia are showing great promise. At the same time, the airline industry is adding more flights from key markets; such as, Australia, Japan, and Singapore. Many countries are also relaxing or withdrawing their travel warnings to Thailand, and new markets such as China, Russia and India are showing significant growth, Mr Suraphon noted.