Thais will be globetrotting all over the world in 2016 with outbound tourism expected to hit 7.5 million trips – a growth rate of 7 percent.
This is due to competitive pricing from tour operators, a preference for short and medium-haul trips, and lower fuel prices, leading to less costly air travel, reports the Bangkok Post.
The growth rate is especially impressive given the precarious state of the global and domestic economy.
“We should closely monitor the economic situation even though the rising tourism momentum from last year is continuing,” warns the president of the Thai Travel Agents Association, Suparerk Soonrangura.
Total trip spending is still set to grow this year, albeit at the relatively slow pace of 2 to 3 percent, hitting an estimated total of ฿182 billion (US$5 billion).
Where are we going?
The top 5 destinations for travelling Thais are all inevitably in the Asia Pacific region:
- South Korea
Cambodia is also likely to be a preferred destination, with tourist numbers to the neighbouring country steadily increasing, reports TTR Weekly. Cambodia is focusing on improving its infrastructure and transportation, while growing its hotel segment in various cities in order to attract more international visitors.
Their efforts appear to be working, according to these inbound tourism stats from Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism:
The 18th Thai International Travel Fair will be held in the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center from 17 to 21 February which is expected to cash in on the latest craze for travel.
Three other similar events will be held in Chiang Mai, Phuket and Udon Thani.
Total visitors to all four tourism fairs are expected to hit half a million while ฿700 million (US$19 million) is expected to be spent.
While many Thais are planning short-haul trips around the region, especially thanks to the recent opening of the Asean Economic Community, longer-haul voyages to European countries are garnering less interest. This is variously attributed to higher travel and accommodation costs, as well as threats from terrorism and rising crime rates.
Where would you like to travel to this year?
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