A more stable and peaceful political climate seen in the countrysince mid-2010 and joint efforts by public and private agencies in promoting Thai tourism overseas have helped enhance the confidence of foreign tourists toward security in Thailand this year. In addition, greater political stability under a democratically-elected government has freshened the domestic travel mood as well. Those factors coupled with many festivals toward the end of the year, e.g., the Buddhist Lent. ‘Kin Jae', End of Buddhist Lent, Loy Krathong and New Year celebrations, will help draw more international tourists to Thailand steadily this year.
KResearch expects that the number of international tourist arrivals to Thailand in 2011 will increase at least 20 percent YoY, to around 19.26 million. It is expected that tourist arrivals from key short-haul markets, e.g., East Asia and South Asia, will exhibit impressive growth, eclipsing that seen in 2010, whereas tourist arrivals from long-haul markets, including Europe, America, Oceania and the Middle East may decline.
Amid bleak economic prospects in Europe and the US that may crimp arrivals of long-haul tourists to Thailand during the year-end high season, relevant agencies and travel-related businesses should adopt proactive strategies to penetrate high-yield markets, especially China, South Korea, India and Russia. At the same time, they should maintain existing markets and expand our share of MICE, health, wedding and honeymoon travel markets that tend to spend more than general tourists. Thai tour agencies should improve their packages to meet more diverse tastes expressed by such segments as retirees, career women, health-tourists, adventure and natural-loving travelers as well as spiritual pilgrimages.