Thailand’s tourism sector looks bright for 2017
Thailand’s travel and tourism sector is currently a strong position in the global rankings, having grown by almost 11 percent in 2016 with an average growth rate of 5.5 percent per year.
Analysts predict that Thailand’s tourism sector will be the 10th fastest-growing market in the world over the next decade, according to a recent report by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
In 2016, travel and tourism contributed THB2.9 trillion (US$84 billion) to the country’s GDP, some 20.6 percent of the total. The sector also provided jobs for more than 15 percent of Thai people in employment, with 5.7 million positions across the country.
The latest report also showed that overseas visitors are spending more than in previous years whilst on holiday in the kingdom, generating THB1.9 trillion (US$55 billion), an impressive growth of 13 percent.
Investment into the sector reached THB245.5 billion (US$7 billion), comprising 7.1 percent of all investment in the country. This comes as positive news for Thailand’s tourism sector, as its outbound expenditure also increased by 10.7 percent – showing the country is not only an attractive destination with overseas tourists, but also that Thai people are enjoying more international travel.
To support growth in the sector and the rising demand, it is predicted that the number of jobs it provides will rise by 6.9 percent to 6.1 million. By 2017, it is forecast that the total number of jobs the travel and tourism sector provides will grow by 4.6 percent per annum, to 9.6 million jobs.
The Thailand tourism industry also got off to a shining start this year, with impressive visitor numbers recorded in the first quarter of 2017. In the past six months, Thailand estimates that revenue from the tourism industry increased by 4 percent. According to figures covering the period from October 2016 – end of March 2017, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports revealed that the sector had generated THB1.33 trillion (US$38 billion) in revenue. Overseas visitors are thought to have generated THB860 billion (US$25 billion) of that figure. The figures published in the reports are based on exit surveys and financial sources including credit card spends.
Visitors from China, Russia, Malaysia, the UK and the US represent Thailand’s leading visitor nationalities. According to the figures, Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket were the most popular destinations, followed closely by Koh Samui, Krabi and Chiang Mai.