Bangkok – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has released its latest findings from the TAT Intelligence Centre that shows the kingdom’s strong brand awareness continues to place it at the top of the mind with holidaymakers.
The TAT Intelligence Centre compiled the latest findings and tourism-related research that demonstrates the resiliency of Thailand’s tourism sector.
TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn said, “The annual increase in the number of tourists and tourism revenue indicates the importance of tourism as a key economic driver. However, the big question we are facing now is whether Thailand can maintain its popularity and tourists’ satisfaction when compared to other countries around the world.”
So far Thailand’s popularity remains intact. The TAT Intelligence Centre ranked Bangkok first for international visitor arrivals, welcoming 23.85 million visitors in 2018, which was in turn supported by the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index that also ranked it the Top City for the fourth consecutive year.
The secondary city in Thailand with the greatest number of visitors in 2018 was Nakhon Si Thammarat with 3.88 million arrivals in 2018, generating 17.136 billion Baht in revenue.
Of the 77 provinces, Phuket was the destination with the highest tourist spending in Thailand with an average of 4,951 Baht per person per day. Buri Ram was the destination with the highest growth in the number of Thai tourists in 2018, recording 2.1 million trips that represented a 21% increase over 2017 thanks to its sports entertainment status.
China maintained its status as the leading inbound market to Thailand with 10.63 million arrivals in 2018, while tourists from Sweden stayed the longest with an average of 19 days per trip. Arrivals from Kuwait were the freest spending with an average of 95,330 Baht per person per trip. Almost all (95.89%) respondents said dining on tasty Thai food was the most favourite activity while visiting Thailand.
Other sources also corroborate the TAT Intelligence Centre’s findings. According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019, World Economic Forum, its Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (TTCI) rates 140 countries in four main categories (Enabling Environment; T&T Policy & Enabling Conditions; Infrastructure, and Natural & Culture Resources) with 14 indexes rated at 7.0 as the maximum points given.
The world’s top three destinations for travel and tourism competitiveness remain unchanged from the 2015 index, which were Spain, France and Germany in order of ranking.
In ASEAN, the top three destinations were Singapore (No. 17 worldwide) at number one; Malaysia at number two (No. 29 worldwide), and Thailand ranked as number three (No. 31 worldwide).
The index illustrates Thailand’s competitiveness in three areas: 1) Natural Resources Index at No. 10 Global at 4.8 points or down by three places from 2017; 2) Tourism Infrastructure Index at No. 14 Global at 5.9 up two places from 2017, and 3) Air Transportation Infrastructure Index at No. 22 Global at 4.6 or down two places from 2017.