An improving domestic tourism climate and the government's aggressive marketing campaigns helped bolster international tourist arrivals to Thailand during 4Q14, notably during December that numbered 2,841,333 arrivals, up 11.8 percent MoM, which was better than hoped. That increase represents a positive beginning towards tourism here during 2015. If it continues, we expect that tourism should grow on track over the remainder of this year.
Since tourism should be one of Thailand's growth engines during 2015, relevant public sector agencies are now accelerating marketing campaigns here and abroad. At the start of 2015, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports unveiled a “2015 Discover Thainess” marketing campaign aimed at promoting Thai culture and traditions. It will be staged at major and secondary tourist destinations here, as well as abroad throughout the year. We expect that this proactive campaign will help retain Thailand's status as one of the top destinations for foreign tourists.
During 1Q15, we at KResearch expect that the number of inbound tourists to Thailand will reach perhaps 7.3 million, rising a staggering 15 percent YoY due to a low 1Q14 base when it contracted 9 percent YoY. International tourists should generate around THB382.9 billion, up 16.4 percent in revenues for travel-related businesses, versus a contraction of 4 percent during 1Q14.
Such increase may come thanks to rising Asian arrivals, especially during the Chinese New Year beginning February 19, when Chinese tourists and others of Chinese descent from Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore are expected to travel here, too.
However, any inbound tourist recovery would largely rely on Chinese tourists this year, but that might be at risk since many countries are vying for a share of Chinese tourists. As a result, the marketing plans of Chinese tour agencies and travel decisions of independent Chinese tourists may be affected.
Meanwhile, close attention should be paid to European tourist markets because they are grappling with domestic economic problems, e.g., Russia that is facing economic crisis, and the Eurozone economy that has not fully recovered. Also, the Euro has weakened again, which could affect European holidaymaker arrivals to Thailand over the year.
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