Sunday, 20 May 2012

Thailand's Tourism Statistics for April 2012

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has just released data on tourist arrivals for April this year.

In April, Thailand welcomed 1,659,021 international tourists, a slight increase of 6.87% over the same month last year. Most of the regions recorded growth except the Americas (-0.34%, 81,338) and Oceania (-7.72%, 79,856).

Trips from Malaysia were down 20%, Australia by 7.75%, New Zealand by 7.09% and the USA by 2.53%, although overall arrivals to Thailand improved slightly by almost 7%. Arrivals from Australia, had been robust for many months growing 16% during the first quarter and 22% at the end of 2011.

The ministry’s statistics reported Malaysian tourists, the country’s largest market dipped 22.18% to 162,360 and arrivals through overland border checkpoints, Sadao and Padang Besar, plunged 38.25% and 30% respectively.

Africa was the region with the strongest growth, 21.35% (16,435). The largest source country, South Africa declined 14.5%, but other countries posted increases of 68.92%.

Europe also posted an impressive growth of 16.9% (465,557). All identified source countries recorded growth, but arrivals from the United Kingdom dropped as much as 16.32% (73,402), while the smaller market of Ireland was down 11.17% (3,968). Arrivals from Finland and Sweden skyrocketed at 120.94% and 101.52% supplying 17,348 and 35,559 tourists respectively.

East Asia, including ASEAN countries, grew 4.39% largely due to the drop of tourists from Malaysia. The good news was arrivals from China continued to surge by 42.12% in April (196,192) and it replaced Malaysia as the top market.

There was substantial increase of 16.62% in Japanese tourists compared to April 2011 when a tsunami and earthquake in Japan virtually brought outbound travel to a standstill.

In April, Suvarnabhumi Airport welcomed 1,109,918 tourists (+10.55%) followed by Phuket Airport, 186,265 (+22.25%); Sadao Checkpoint on the Thai-Malaysian border in Songkhla province, 74,769 (-38.25%); First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge checkpoint in Nong Khai province, 56,765 (-19.95%) and the Aranyaprathet checkpoint on the Thai-Cambodian border in Srakaew province, 43,288 (-4%).

As for Thai outbound travel, the Immigration Bureau reported 794,893 trips in April, which was a school holiday period and Thai New Year holiday, representing an increase of 10.15%. There were 394,287 outbound trips through Suvarnabhumi Airport followed by the Aranyaprathet checkpoint, 110,754; Sadao checkpoint, 58,609; First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge checkpoint, 33,680 and Sungai Kolok on Thai-Malaysian border in Narathiwat, 27,643.

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