The Importance of European Visitors to Thailand

 | Thu 13 Mar 2014 12:20 ICT

The European market has long played a major role in the development of Thai tourism. In 2013, European visitor arrivals totalled 6.3 million, up 11.62% over 2012.

Russia topped the list with 1.73 million arrivals (+31.93%), followed by the UK 906,312 arrivals (+3.81%), Germany 744,363 (+9.08%), France 614,455 (+6.66%), and East Europe 346,246 (+23.23%).

Numerous other European markets also showed growth: Spain (+9.15%) to 123,490, Austria (+7.75%) to 102,007, Belgium (+7.15%) to 101,683, the Netherlands (+5.35%) to 219,260, Ireland (+4.34%) to 62,924, Norway (+4.30%) to 155,198, Switzerland (+4.23%) to 199,223, and Italy (+2.66%) to 206,050.

The only three markets to show a decline were Finland (-11.90%), Sweden (-7.37%), and Denmark (-2.14%).

In 2014, European visitors to Thailand are expected to reach 6.73 million, generating more than 451.65 billion Baht in tourism income.

In addition to the number count, European visitors are very important because they have the longest average length of stay. For example, the average length of stay of visitors from Germany is 18 days, as against 7.15 for India and 7.95 for China. Other European countries with high average lengths of stay are Sweden (19.75 days), the UK (18.13 days), and the Netherlands (16.58 days).

Other noticeable statistical information on the German market is as follows:

Germany is Thailand’s third largest source market from Europe after Russia and the UK. In 2013, Thailand recorded 744,363 German visitors, up by 9% over 2012.

Germany was once the top source of arrivals from Europe. Its drop to third-place status is due to stronger growth in arrivals from other markets; such as, the UK and Russia, as well as competitive pressure from other destinations and uncertain economic conditions in Germany generally.

In 2012, Thailand recorded 663,611 visitors from Germany, with an average length of stay of 18 days and daily expenditure per person of 3,617 Baht. This generated a total tourism income of 43.286 billion Baht, the 8th largest source of tourism income after China, Russia, Australia, Malaysia, the UK, Japan and the USA.

According to available figures, the profile of German travellers to Thailand in 2012 showed some interesting characteristics:

• 37% of German visitors were female; up +9.76% to 249,615.

• 67% of German arrivals were repeat visitors (450,182) while first-time travellers totalled 213,429.

• The overwhelmingly vast majority of German visitors (92.10%) were FIT (611,913) while visitors travelling by group tour totalled 52,418.

• In terms of age groups, visitors from Germany are mainly between 25-34 years and 35-44 years. These two groups were up 6.49% and 5.03%, respectively. Other fast-growing segments were the young generation aged under 25 (up by 25.58%) while senior citizens aged over 55 were up by 14.33%.