THAI tourism industry generated over 1 trillion baht in revenue during the first five months of this year with both local and foreign markets expanding well but there are concerns the stronger baht will put a damper on the industry going forward, Thai News Agency quoted the Tourism and Sports Ministry as saying today (June 12).
The ministry’s Permanent Secretary Pongpanu Svetarundra said a total of 2,590,533 foreign tourists came to Thailand last month with this being an increase of 4.60% year-on-year.
Most of the tourists came from East Asia, totaling 1,889,287, with Europeans coming next followed by South Asians, Americans, people from southern Oceania, the Middle East and Africa respectively. Chinese tourists were the biggest group of arrivals.
Tourism earnings in May totaled 125.425 billion baht which is a 6.91% increase year-on-year.
Altogether 14,612,150 foreign tourists visited Thailand from January to May this year which is a 3.20% expansion and third consecutive month of growth starting March. Earnings total 747.071 billion baht, an increase of 5.07% year-on-year.
The number of local tourists also increased from January to May and they traveled 45.1 million times during this period and generated 305.387 billion baht revenue with this being increases of 5.47% an 5.48% respectively.
This takes total five-month revenue to 1.05 trillion baht, an increase of 5.27%, with foreigners bringing in 747 billion baht and local tourists generating 305 billion baht.
However Mr Pongpanu is concerned about the outlook ahead because the Thai baht continuous to strengthen against many currencies and this could possibly affect tourist expenditure and even their decision to come to Thailand.
Regarding the Qatar crisis, Mr Pongpanu said Thai tourism is not directly affected because only 4.4% of all Middle Eastern tourists come from Qatar and Qatar Airways is still flying normally to Thailand. However the flights of Europeans and Middle Eastern people using this airline will be longer than in the past.
Top: Peace and calm surrounds Chiang Mai’s moat. Photo: Stefan Fussan (CC-BY-SA-2.0)