In 2018, inbound tourism market continues to be driven toward further growth. This year, the government and related agencies, including the private sector, are actively planning tourism activities to draw international travelers to Thailand. They have shifted toward new tourism markets focusing on niche campaigns to stimulate tourism activities and generate more hospitality-related revenues. For instance, they have further explored potential areas such as Gastronomy Tourism and Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Events (MICE) to attract travel reward groups as the global economic recovery should contribute to the boom in these segments. Other promising markets include Health and Wellness Tourism, a popular trend for global trotting, and Sport Tourism, which should be the highlight of this year. The government agencies have, in the past couple of years, paid strong attention to the fast-growing Sport Tourism and planned to organize a series of international tournaments this year, not to mention new sports events as well.
Due to the abovementioned factors, KResearch anticipates the number of international tourists in 2018 to reach 37.64 million-37.99 million, up 6.5-7.5 percent from an expected growth of 8.7 percent in 2017. An increase of international tourists and new marketing campaigns should boost tourism incomes in different segments. KResearch forecasts that inbound tourism activities in 2018 would generate approximately 1.97 trillion-2.01 trillion Baht in revenue, rising 8.8-10.4 percent versus an estimated growth of 11.7 percent in 2017.
The tourism trend in 2018 will be driven externally by an international trend to link information and communication technology with hospitality business. Locally, the government agencies are gearing up various marketing activities, including the Tourism Authority of Thailand's “Thainess” campaign, Sport Tourism and the promotion of culinary experiences. The hospitality operators should adjust their strategies to catch up with these evolving trends to meet the market demands.
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