Thursday, November 3, 2011

Arrivals to Thailand up in September

International arrivals to Thailand in September showed a substantial 20%  increase, while arrivals in October will go into a free-fall in the wake of heavy flooding in Bangkok.
High season tourism prospects will remain bleak until the floods recede and overland routes reopen from Bangkok to the provinces possibly in early December.
In September, floods overflowed the central plains covering the world heritage town of Ayutthaya and cutting all overland routes north from the capital.
Now the floods are covering roads leading to southern resorts and there are fears that later in the month they will cut highway 4 that links the capital to Hua Hin a popular resort on the west side of the Gulf of Thailand.
Most of northern Bangkok is crippled including the domestic Don Mueang Airport. However, heritage sites in the capital’s Rattanakosin Island district escaped serious flooding, but getting to the area around the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is difficult due to flooding in surrounding districts. Chao Phraya River currents are strong due to the run-off water making it impossible for cruises to operate. Bridge clearance is now too narrow for cruise boats to navigate.
There are varying travel warnings issued on Thailand adopting different risk levels and this causes cancellations or postponement of trips. The south may escape a major loss in international tourists but like all destinations domestic travel is down.
At the end of the third quarter, Thailand welcome 14,389,752 international tourists, up 27.11% from 11,320,987 last year.
In September alone, the data showed 1,490,358 arrivals, a 22.68% increase.
Asia contributed 70.65% of the total with 1,052,900 arrivals. Breaking down to sub-regions, East Asia including ASEAN supplied 878,792 tourists, up 23.86%; Europe supplying 271,346, up 20.88%; Americas, 64,407, up 20.01%; South Asia, 105,647, up 22.67%; Oceania, 87,116, up 24.25%; Middle East, 68,461, up 16.17% and Africa, 14,589, up 22.08%.
The top supplier was Malaysia (199,936, +5.88%) followed by China (147,544, +46.63% and Japan (119,275, +35.86%). Although Russia was not in the overall top 10 with 39,516 arrivals it enjoyed a growth of 62.38% was remarkable.
Considering arrivals through gateways, Suvarnabhumi Airport received 1,028,723 (+31.25%) followed by Phuket Airport (137,558, +20.9%); Sadao checkpoint on Thai-Malaysian border (98,911, -3.15%); Nongkhai Checkpoint on Thai-Lao border (57,558, -10.37%) and Aranyaprathet checkpoint on Thai-Cambodian border (33,452, -11.12%).
In addition, Thai outbound tourists dropped 5.44% to 519,914 compared to the same month last year. Of that total, 219,838 travelled abroad through Suvarnabhumi Airport while Aranyaprathet on the border with Cambodia recorded as many as 114,521 Thai tourists and Sadao on Malaysia border tallied 38,855.
The primary statistics are filed on the Tourism Department’s website, based on the Immigration Bureau’s data at all international checkpoints.
Top 10 markets in September