Thailand started the first four months of 2018 with international arrivals climbing 13.9% year-on-year to 13.7 million, led by growth from India and China.
Pongpanu Svetarundra, permanent secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, shared at a press briefing that tourism income in January-April 2018 was 730.7 billion baht (US$22.8 billion), up 17.6% from the same period in 2017.
The results in the first four months show growth coming from all regions except the Middle East, with declines in arrivals from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Visitors from East Asia totalled about 8.9 million (+17.5%), Europe over three million (+9.8%), the Americas 599,431 (+3.6%), South Asia 607,379 (+15.2%), Oceania 296,741 (+0.3%), the Middle East 237,322 (-6.8%) and Africa 59,371 (+7.1%).
About 64.9% of total visitors originated from East Asia, making it the largest feeder region for Thailand. China, Thailand’s top source market, recorded 4.2 million.
South-east Asian countries generated over three million arrivals, with growth from Cambodia (+25.1%), Laos (+13.2%), Vietnam (+6.5%), the Philippines (+5.8%), Singapore (+4.4%), Indonesia (+3.7%) and Malaysia (+1.6%). The only declines were from Brunei (-9.2%) and Myanmar (-3%).
In Europe, Russia retained its status as the largest source market in the region with arrivals of 745,398, up 25%. Germany was the second highest source market with 386,951 (+7.7%), followed by the UK with 371,054 (+0.4%) and France with 342,825 (+3.7%).
Strong growth was also reported from East Europe (+14%) and Austria (+18.7%), Denmark (+8%), Finland (+8%), Italy (+7.7%) and the Netherlands (+7%); the exception was Sweden, which declined by 2.3%.
The main market in the Americas, the US, generated 396,330 arrivals (+7%). Arrivals from Canada were up 10.4% to 113,881. Declining source markets from Latin America include Brazil (-20.3%) and Argentina (-25.7%).
As for South Asia, India topped the list with arrivals up by 16.9% to 481,573. Other growing markets include Bangladesh (+19.4%), Pakistan (+2.7%) and Sri Lanka (+1.3%). Nepal (-0.4%) was the only market that saw a decline.
Small increases were seen from Oceania markets. Australian visitors were up 0.03% to 261,496; and arrivals from New Zealand increased 1.8% to 34,133.