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 September 12, 2001
Thailand Visitor Arrivals Reach Five Million In First Six Months

 International visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 5,003,691 in January-June 2001, an increase of 7.86% over the same period of 2000.

Arrivals from major markets included East Asia (2,986,703), Europe (1,175,436), the Americas (326,787), Oceania (200,407), South Asia (172,247), the Middle East (99,581) and Africa (42,530).

All of the regions reported strong growth. Arrivals from East Asia were up by 6.09%, from Europe 8.58%, the Americas 12.96%, Oceania 16.58%, South Asia 6.38%, the Middle East 22.52% and Africa 15.02%.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Pradech Phayakvichien commented, "We are very happy to see this strong growth from our major markets, thanks to strong support from the government and co- operation from related public and private sectors."

Japanese visitors were the biggest source market with a 12.23% (or 611,902) share of overall visitors to Thailand during this period. This was followed by Malaysians (10.27% share or 514,122), Taiwanese (7.44% or 372,070), Chinese (6.77% or 338,578) and Singaporeans (6.53% or 326,757). <bigger>

Also in the January-June 2001 period, female visitors grew by 8.6% (to 2,005,957), a higher growth than the 7.37% rise in male visitors (2,997,734).

Repeat visitors comprised a total of 52.94% (or 2,648,967) of the market share and showed a healthy 20.84% growth while first-time visitors declined slightly by 3.77% (2,354,724). Visitors travelling independently (FITs) had a bigger market share of 58.72% (or 2,937,971) of the total number of visitors and grew by 13.30% over 2000, a much higher growth than the 0.96% rise in visitors travelling as part of a tour group (2,065,720).

Business travellers and convention delegates grew slightly by 3.69% to 441,339 and 0.99% to 45,328, respectively.

In term of age groups, most visitors to Thailand were aged between 25-34 (comprising 26.73% or 1,337,458 of total visitors) and 35-44 (24.06% or 1,203,957) years.

Children aged under 15 years and senior citizens aged 65 years and over also showed growths of 6.73% and 6.55%, respectively, indicating the strength of Thailand as a destination for families and retirees. A strong increase of 11.08% in student travellers also indicated that the country's image is changing positively.

The average length of stay grew from 8 days in January-June 2000 to 8.11 days in January-June 2001. This is very much in line with TAT's major effort to encourage visitors to stay longer. <bigger>

On the outbound front, the number of Thais travelling overseas totalled 1,072,479 during January-June 2001, an increase of 9.03% over the same period of 2001.

TAT projects that visitor arrivals to Thailand will total about 10.3 million in 2001, up about 8.32% and bring about 320,124 billion baht in revenue to the country's economy.