Bangkok: Never in the history of Thai tourism has any source-market grown so strongly, both in terms of percentages and actual numbers.The Dispatch News Desk (DND) reported.
According to fighures released by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, China has surged to the top of Thailand’s visitor source-markets, leap-frogging the long-standing front-runner, Malaysia. Chinese arrivals totaled 2,789,345 in 2012, up by a huge 62% over 2011, and comprising a market share of 12.51% of total visitor arrivals to Thailand. The figure has more than trebled in four years and there is no end in sight to the future growth potential.
In 2006 and 2007, Chinese visitor arrivals nearly crossed the one million mark but fell in 2008 due to various factors, including political instability in Thailand and global economic conditions. Arrivals fell by 8.87% to 826,660 in 2008 and again by 5.95% to 777,508 in 2009. However, those few years have been followed by a remarkable turnaround, with growth figures of 44% in 2010, 53% in 2011 and 62% in 2011.