Thailand Tourism Slow Down
A strong Thai baht and a slowdown in arrivals from China are battering the kingdom’s moneymaking tourism machine even as the country hopes to welcome a record 40 million visitors by the end of the year.
Most travelers to Thailand are from China and other countries in the region, but millions also come from Europe and the US and currency conversion rates impact decisions when budgeting for trips.
“It affects, when compared to other Asian country currencies they would rather go to Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia,” said Wichit Prakobgosol, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents.
Before the baht strengthened, Chinese visits were already flagging after a boating disaster in Phuket last year killed dozens of mainland tourists.
Visits from China to Thailand fell almost five per cent in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2018, according to official statistics.
Past surges are also unlikely to repeat.