According to the latest figures released by the Thailand Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, visitor arrivals to the country totaled 12.4 million between January-May 2015, up 25% over the same period of 2014, and are on track to cross the estimated 28-million projection for the entire year.
The top five source markets in January-May 2015 were China (3,273,695), Malaysia (1,397,241), Japan (575,186) Korea (546,520), and Lao PDR. (459,225).
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports reported that the total arrivals of 12,448,641 were an increase of 24.72% over January-May 2014. They generated 592.9 billion Baht in tourism income, up 25.13% over the same period.
The Ministry is projecting total earnings from tourism to hit the 2015 target of 2.2 trillion Baht, comprising of 1.4 trillion Baht from international tourism and 800 billion Baht from domestic tourism.
In May alone, Thailand welcomed 2,309,250 tourists, an increase of 38.21% over May 2014, and 18.79% over May 2013. It was also the highest monthly growth for that month, as compared with May 2014 (1,670,860), May 2013 (1,943,968), and May 2012 (1,546,888).
By region, strong growth was reported in arrivals from East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and America. Only the European market showed a decline, primarily because of the decline in arrivals from Russia.
Analysis of visitor expenditure in the January-May 2015 period indicated that the top spenders were Chinese tourists (156.839 billion Baht), followed by Malaysian tourists (33.092 billion Baht), Russians (29.021 billion Baht), the UK (27.949 billion Baht) and the U.S. (25.047 billion Baht).
The top-spending per trip were tourists from Israel, who spent an average of 84,995 Baht/person/trip, followed by Sweden (78,177 Baht/person/trip), Canada (78,010 Baht/person/trip), Switzerland (75,893 Baht/person/trip), and Brazil (75,533 Baht/person/trip).
It indicated that the policy to better promote dispersal of visitor arrivals was also producing results, thanks to the promotion of the “12 Hidden Gems” (12 provinces that tourists should not miss).
Of these 12 provinces, the highest hotel occupancy rate in April 2015 was recorded by Nakhon Si Thammarat (59.19%) in South Thailand, followed by Trang, Trat, Lampang Chumphon, Samut Songkram, Chanthaburi, Nan, Buri Ram, Ratchaburi, Phetchabun and Loei provinces. The top 3 provinces with the highest occupancy growth were Lampang, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Nan.
Buri Ram province reported the highest tourism income with 3.666 billion Baht, followed by Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trat, Trang, Chumphon, Chanthaburi, Phetchabun, Loei, Lampang, Nan, Ratchaburi and Samut Songkram. The top 3 provinces with the highest growth rate in tourism income were Lampang, Nan and Loei.
During January – April 2015, the most visited provinces were Bangkok (18,137,860), followed by Nakhon Ratchasima (5,481,327), Phuket (5,337,616), Chon Buri (4,862,017), and Chiang Mai (2,771,407).