Table of Contents
This report profiles Thailand's tourism industry, discussing market trends between 2014 and July 2015, as well as outlook for 2015 and beyond. The report also highlights the industry's key leading players, including Mint International Pcl (MINT), Central Plaza Hotel Pcl (CENTEL), Erawan Group Pcl (ERW), and Dusit Thani Pcl (DTC).
The Thai tourism industry faced a difficult year in 2014 with the number of international tourist arrivals decreasing by 6.5% to 25mn, far below its initial target of 12% growth to as high as 27-29mn. Total revenue from foreign tourists was THB 1.3tn, down 8% in comparison to 2013. The main factors contributing to the decline were the political demonstrations and the announcement of the coup and martial law, which impacted the confidence of foreign tourists. However, business and consumer confidence subsequently improved towards end-2014, resulting from the high season and the temporary waiver of visa fees for Chinese tourists traveling to Thailand. This increased the number of international tourist arrivals well into 2015. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reported a 31% y/y increase in tourists to 17.5mn in January-July 2015. East Asian tourists, which represent the largest share of arrivals to Thailand, rebounded strongly during this period, while European tourists were impacted by the slowdown in their economies.
TAT has estimated international tourist arrivals to reach about 28mn in 2015, up 15%, with the industry generating around THB 1.4tn in revenue. The key growth factor is the significant increase in the number of Chinese tourists while the risk factor is the continuing lack of tourists from some parts of Europe. In order to boost tourism growth, Thai tourism agencies have engaged in aggressive tourism recovery marketing campaigns as well as capitalized on niche markets to attract more quality tourists to visit Thailand.
Majority of the leading tourism and leisure companies in Thailand reported higher growth in performance and revenues in the first half of 2015 due to the strong recovery Bangkok hotels and tourist arrivals. The outlook for Thai tourism industry looks bright with increasing tourist numbers for 2016 and beyond; however, the prospects of political unrest may deter its growth to some extent.
o After a year of political unrest, the Thai tourism industry is expected to fare well in 2015, driven by resumed growth of East Asian and European tourists.
o China, Malaysia, Japan, and Korea are the important destinations from where the large amounts of visitors come to Thailand from East Asia.
o Growing medical tourism in Thailand due to comparatively lower medical treatment costs and state-of-the-art private healthcare facilities, as well as lower hotel room rates.
o Golf tourists to Thailand are on the rise, thanks to the high-standard golf courses, good weather, tourism infrastructure, friendliness of the people, and affordable cost.
o Tourist expenditure was estimated at THB 1,309bn in 2014, contributing about 9% to GDP. It is expected to remain rise in 2015 and grow by 7.7% per annum over the next ten years.
o Leisure travel is the largest bulk of the overall tourism expenditure in Thailand (88%), while business travel constitutes only a small portion (12%).
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