Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports international tourist arrivals to Thailand reached slightly more than 3 million, an improvement of 14.99% in January.

China continues to dominate the inbound market with an improvement of 45% in January alone.

Released late last week, the ministry’s data showed the country attracted 3,001,327 international visits in January compared to 2,610,141 visits during the same month last year.

Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said the strong performance was driven by Asian markets led by China.

“To ensure a steady growth for  tourism, the government will work on policies to attract international visitors and to encourage Thai people to take more trips within the country,” the minister said.

Intra-ASEAN tourism is considered a prime market to balance the surge in Chinese visitors. Citizens of ASEAN nations enjoy at least a 15-day visa-free stay in Thailand.

The ministry’s report showed that all regional markets recorded increases in January except Oceania.

East Asia (ASEAN included) posted the highest growth of 22.25% from 1,508,985 to 1,844,794 visits.

The markets that showed improvements were: China (+45.37%); Cambodia (+36.71%); Laos (+33.79%); Myanmar (+30.26%); South Korea (+14.31%); the Philippines (+7.71%); Hong Kong (+7.55%); Indonesia (+6.31%); Malaysia (+6.12%); and Japan (+0.55%).

The markets that showed a decline were: Taiwan (-9.41%); Vietnam (-9.39%); Brunei (-9.27%); and Singapore (-4.89%).

Americas recorded an increase of 13.72% from 121,283 to 137,924 visits. Argentina reported an 85.07% increase from a small base of 3,422, January last year, to 6,333. The United States recorded the highest arrivals at 92,979 up 14.62% from 81,118 followed by Canada (27,253; +8.11%) and Brazil (5,079; -17.04%).

South Asia showed an improvement of 12.01% from 107,314 to 120,202 visits. India led the field supplying 91,248 visits growing 14.49% from 79,697 followed by Bangladesh (9,290; -6.10%), Pakistan (5,856; +0.15%), Sri Lanka (5,249; +5.23%), and Nepal (3,787; +37.81%).

The Middle East increased 10.04% from 55,461 to 61,032 visits. Israel recorded the highest arrivals with 13,998 visits decreasing 8.20% from 15,248 visits.

Other main markets in the Middle East: United Arab Emirates (7,559; +2.70%); Kuwait (6,797; -3.98%); Egypt (2,269; -2.11%); and Saudi Arabia (1,819; +43.68%).

Europe grew 3.25% from 724,552 to 748,065 visits. Markets that showed improvements were: Spain (+11.58%); Sweden (+11.22%); the United Kingdom (+10.66%); Italy (+7.77%); Germany (+7.14%); France (+6.52%); the Netherlands (+5.38%); Belgium (+4.07%); and Ireland (+2.41%).

Markets posting declines were: Norway (-5.69%); Russia (-4.61%); Austria (-4.10%); Finland (-2.63%); Denmark (-1.47%); Switzerland (-1.09%); and East Europe (-0.85%).

Africa reported a slight growth of 2.04% from 11,589 to 11,825 visits. The main market South Africa decreased 10.49% from 5,299 to 4,738.

In contrast, Oceania declined 4.29% from 80,957 to 77,485 visits. The main market Australia was down 4.35% (69,054) and New Zealand dropped 3.95% (8,227).

Top 10 source markets January 2016  inside-no-11

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