As we commented earlier this month following the release of the tourist arrival stats for August which saw a 25%-increase year-on-year:
Despite the August 17 bomb attack in Bangkok that killed at least 20 people, including six Chinese nationals and several other foreign tourists, Thailand’s Teflon tourism industry continues to boom in 2015.
A slowdown to some extent was expected for September. But as the newly released arrival figures for last month show, the impact the Erawan Shrine attack had on the continued surge in tourist arrivals was much less severe than expected. In fact, arrival numbers were up by 8.67% from 1.87 million in September 2014 to 2.031.496 this year.
As in previous months – and despite the fact that many of the victims of the shrine attack were Chinese and East Asian nationals – this was mainly due to a continued increase in arrival numbers from China.
Granted, the number of Chinese visitors slipped from more than 800,000 in August to “only” 532,696 last month, but this was still a massive 25% increase from the 424,461 Chinese that visited Thailand in September 2014. The tourism minister now even expects a record seven million Chinese tourists for 2015 (compared with 4.63 million last year) and as it seems, her outlook is realistic.
Let’s have a look at the arrival numbers for September 2015 in detail:
While total tourist arrivals were up 8.67% year-on-year this was once again mostly due to a continued increase in arrival numbers from China. In fact, the number of Chinese visitors surged by 25.50%, from 424,461 last year to 532,696 in 2015.
Arrival numbers from other East Asian countries and the ASEAN region also grew by 10.81% in September. Most notably, only arrivals from Singapore (-18.60%) and Hong Kong (-23.89%) dropped substantially.
On the downside, tourist arrivals from other parts of the world have grown relatively little or even decreased.
Tourist arrivals from North and South America were up 9.61% in September, with the number of visitors from the United States growing 12% year-on-year. Arrivals from the Middle East (up 31.42%) and South Asia (16.21%) also increased significantly, with the number of visitors from India rising by 17.48% to 89.164 in September. On the downside, the number of Australian tourists again decreased by 4.28%.
As in previous months, tourist numbers from Russia were down 38.61%. In fact, the combined 275.576 visitors from Europe (that’s a drop of 3.85% year-on-year) paled beside the more than one million arrivals from China and East Asia over the same period.
Here are the #10 tourist arrivals by nationality for September 2015:
- China (532,696)
- Malaysia (260.029)
- Japan (115,137)
- Laos (102,443)
- South Korea (94,249)
- India (89,164)
- Australia (70,321)
- Singapore (63,704)
- United Kingdom (58,788)
- United States (53,057)