Beginning early in 2017, businesses welcoming foreign tourist arrivals in Thailand faced a number of challenges. Not only had the number of Chinese travelers slowed, but that trend coincided with fewer tourist arrivals from other countries, as well. As a result, total arrivals expanded only 0.7 percent YoY during 1Q17, with the largest numbers coming from Russia, Laos, South Korea and India.
However, more positive signs emerged recently, with Chinese tourists. Contrary to recent months when Chinese visitors had declined, their numbers grew due to political tensions between China and South Korea. Russia is another promising market, which is being regularly stimulated by travel businesses there that offer holidays in Thailand.
The Songkran Festival is a regular attraction in April during which many thousands of foreign visitors come to Thailand. Public agency PR promotions have an important role toward promoting Songkran, making it famous worldwide; many tour agents in various countries offer Songkran packages to their clients. Apart from the well-known water splashing, holidaymakers also visit our famous tourism destinations, too. Asian tourists, particularly Chinese and Malaysians, are steady customers. This year, travelers from Malaysia may remain numerous, but their falling Ringgit will perhaps inhibit spending.
Gains in our tourism sector during April will bolster the total arrivals for 4M17 that may reach 11.81 million persons, growing 1.2 percent YoY. Such business is expected to generate THB612 billion in income for tourism and related businesses, up 3.1 percent YoY, which would thus represent a clear gain in performance.
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