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10 Feb 2006

Tourism

South Korea Tourism Market Earning THB 25 Billion

South Korea is one of the main tourism markets for Thailand. In 2005, there were 10 million South Korean tourists traveling to foreign countries for the first time. The majority of them took short-haul trips within Asia. China is the top tourism attraction that South Korean tourists would like to visit most among Asian countries.

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand's statistics about foreign travelers who visited Thailand in the first six months of 2005, it was found that there was a high rate of South Korean tourists traveling to Thailand, attaining the level of the fourth most numerous nationality for visits after Malaysia, Japan and Singapore. They totaled 345,046 persons, decreasing 15.7 percent from the same period of the year before, but showing a tendency toward increase in the final half of this year. Kasikorn Research Center (KResearch), hence, expects that, for all of 2005, there will be about 800,000 South Korean tourists traveling to Thailand.

In 2006, the South Korea tourism market will tend to expand more because of many factors, especially government and private sector cooperation on arranging major tourism activities during 2006 for the campaign, "Thailand Grand Invitation 2006", as part of the '60th Anniversary Celebration of His Majesty the King's Accession to the Throne' on June 9, 2006. Also, efforts of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the private business sector toward expansion in main tourism markets in Asia, including South Korea, are bearing fruit. This effort covers the general tourist market, plus niche markets such as honeymoon group and golfing tours, which exhibit high purchasing power and have high growth in accordance with the preferences toward foreign travel displayed by South Koreans.

In 2006, KResearch expects that South Korean visitors to Thailand will rise 12 percent over 2005, totaling not less than 900,000 persons, and that Thailand's tourism income from them will rise 16 percent, to total THB 25 Billion.

Tourism