Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/31/2012 -- The Thailand Tourism Report examines the enormous long-term potential of the country's tourism market, but raises short-term concerns about the impact of slowing tourist arrivals as a result of a deteriorating economic environment in Europe and North America.
The report examines how best to maximise returns in the Thai tourism market, while minimising investment risk and also explores the impact of the increasingly precarious-looking external macroeconomic environment on the Thai hospitality sector, which has proven particularly resilient so far.
The report also analyses the growth and risk management strategies being employed by the leading players in the Thai tourism sector, as they seek to maximise the tremendous growth opportunities offered by the local market.
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Thailand experienced a strong first quarter in 2012, building on its recovery in 2011. In the first quarter, 5.7mn visitors arrived in Thailand, representing year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 7.1%. While below the impressive growth rates of 2011, this 7.1% growth figure reflects a high base of comparison in 2011 owing to the statistical rebound, with growth rates now set to normalise. Arrivals were the highest amount ever registered in a quarter, indicating the sector's return to a growth path.
The Ministry of Tourism launched a new marketing campaign in April, designed to boost tourist arrivals throughout the year. Named the 'Miracle Year of Amazing Thailand', the campaign will focus on attracting visitors from other Asian countries, in order to compensate for any potential downturn in arrivals from Europe and North America, where the economic environment remains uncertain. The campaign also aims to boost domestic tourism, particularly between north and south Thailand. This domestic angle will be focused on three royal birthdays occurring in 2012, the celebrations for which Thais will be encouraged to attend. Thailand currently has a relatively limited domestic tourism market, with the majority of resources directed towards the international tourist market.
In the commercial sector, Thai airports are beginning to suffer from over-capacity. In particular, Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, only opened in 2005, is feeling the pressure from high arrivals levels. Airports of Thailand (the country's airport operating body) anticipated 51mn passengers to pass through the airport in 2012, well above its official capacity of 45mn. To help ease the pressure, in March Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ordered all budget carriers to relocate to Don Mueang. Before Suvarnabhumi opened, Don Mueang was Bangkok's international airport and was used as a backup terminal in 2010, when major protests closed Suvarnabhumi.
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