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 mark during the six-month period to reach a total of 1,124,234, up by a robust 28.87% over January-June 2011.
Summary of the overall figures for the period of January through June 2012, with the percentage change over the same period of 2011, tabulated on arrivals by nationality at all points of entry into Thailand:
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 was the fourth-largest source of visitor arrivals to Thailand in the first half of the year with total of 630,058, up 11.47%.
• Korea was 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, such as Vietnam (+24.96%), Brunei Darussalam (+20.15%), Cambodia (+12.32%), Myanmar (+12.30%), Laos (+9.16%), Indonesia (+4.40%), and Singapore (+4.53%). Only the Philippines was down (-3.44%).
• Russia remained ahead of the UK and Germany as the largest source market from Europe in the first half of 2012, with total arrivals of 634,312, up 12.21%.
• The UK and Germany ranked the second and third largest sources of visitor arrivals at 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 was the number ten source market for 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 was the biggest source of visitors in South Asia and the sixth-largest source of total arrivals in the first half of 2012. Arrivals from India were up 6.32% to 504,634.
• 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.
• 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%.
• The most important source market on the continent was South Africa, up 13.99% to 35,319 arrivals.
• Other countries are also showing considerable promise with a total growth of 41.97% to 50,025 arrivals.
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.