Indians are driving growth of Thailand tourism; 10 million expected in 2028

Published on : Monday, July 8, 2019

At least 10 million Indians are now expected to arrive in Thailand by 2028, a more than five times increase than the 2018 numbers. This growth trajectory would be similar to the rise of Chinese tourists, who jumped from 800,000 in 2008 to more than 10 million last year. India is set to become the new expansion story in Thai tourism, though China will remain an important market. Tourism accounts for about 20 per cent of gross domestic product. Chinese visitors currently make up 28 per cent of total foreign arrivals, well ahead of Indians at 4 per cent. But within a decade, Indian arrivals are forecast to surge to about 15 per cent of the total, while Chinese are predicted to edge up to about 30 per cent. Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, Vijitt’s general manager and vice president of the Thai Hotels Association said that Indians are now driving industry growth like the Chinese had previously done. Indian arrivals accelerated in recent months due to more direct flights, a visa waiver and, most importantly, increasing wealth. The Thai industry had been expanding at about 10 per cent annually on escalating inbound Chinese arrivals. However, a 2018 boat accident in Phuket saw their numbers decline. Thailand received about 180,000 Indian tourists in June as per the Tourism Ministry. It also said Indians spend 11 per cent more per trip than average foreign visitors. One of the factor in increase in Indian visitors is more direct flights between Indian and Thai cities. India’s fifth-largest airline GoAirlines India Pvt currently connects three Indian cities to Phuket, and plans to add seven more. InterGlobe Aviation Ltd’s IndiGo launched services to the tropical island late last year.

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