China, Malaysia cross 1 million arrivals mark in first half of 2012

China, Malaysia cross 1 million arrivals mark in first half of 2012

The Thai tourism industry continued its strong performance in the first six months of 2012, with total arrivals of 10,496,789, up 7.60% over the same period of 2011.

The most important contributor to this growth was arrivals from China which, for the first time, crossed the one million arrivals mark in the six-month period to record a total of 1,124,234, up by a robust 28.87% over January-June 2011.

Below is a summary of the overall figures for the period of January – June 2012, with the percentage change over the same period of 2011, tabulated on arrivals by nationality at all points of entry into Thailand:

Overview:
East Asia recorded 5,486,941 arrivals (market share 52.27% of total arrivals). Europe 2,971,939 (market share 28.31%); The Americas 545,042 (5.19% share); South Asia 632,976 (6.03% share); Oceania 477,894 (4.55% share); Middle East 296,653 (2.83% share); and Africa 85,344 (0.81% share).

East Asia (+5.73%):
• Japan is the fourth largest source of visitor arrivals to Thailand with total of 630,058, up 11.47%.
• Korea is the fifth largest source of visitor arrivals with total of 540,523, up 4.88%.
• Arrivals from the neighbouring ASEAN countries also showed good growth, e.g., Vietnam (+24.96%), Brunei Darussalam (+20.15%), Cambodia (+12.32%), Myanmar (+12.30%), Laos (+9.16%), Indonesia (+4.40%), Singapore (+4.53%). Only the Philippines was down (-3.44%).

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Europe (+11.12%):
• Russia remained ahead of the UK and Germany as the largest source market from Europe, with total arrivals of 634,312, up 12.21%.
• The UK and Germany ranked the second and third largest sources of visitor arrivals – 433,989 (+1.52%) and 357,472 (+9.71%), respectively.
• French visitor arrivals totalled 304,717 (+17.11%).
• Arrivals from the Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark grew by 17.59%, 16.45% and 14.84%, respectively.

The Americas (+10.58%):
• The US is the tenth top source-market of arrivals to Thailand with a total of 379,430 (+8.63%).
• Canadian visitors grew by 10.62% to 114,678.
• Brazilian visitors grew by 23.65% to 14,965.

South Asia (+5.83%):
• India is the biggest source of visitors in South Asia and the sixth largest source of total arrivals. Arrivals were up 6.32% to 504,634 arrivals.
• Pakistani visitor arrivals totalled 34,809 (-2.65%).
• Bangladeshi visitor arrivals totalled 33,494 (-0.20%).
• Visitors from Sri Lanka grew by 20.85% to 32,878.

Oceania (+9.45%):
• Arrivals from Australia and New Zealand were up 9.63% to 427,096 and 8.15% to 49,365, respectively.

Middle East (-0.15%):
• The UAE experienced a decline of -0.76%.
• Visitors from other Middle East markets (such as Iran) were down 7.08%.
• However, other Middle East source markets were up, especially Saudi Arabia (50.51%) and Kuwait (19.97%). Arrivals from Egypt were up by 22.49%.

Africa (+28.88%):
• The most important source market of South Africa was up 13.99% to 35,319.
• Other countries are also showing considerable promise with a total growth of 41.97% to 50,025.

For 2012, TAT has set a target of 20.5 million total international visitors. This is a conservative estimate but is certain to be exceeded if the international economic and geopolitical situation remains stable.