With affluence improving post-war as well as its value for money, Sri Lanka is among the fastest growing markets for tourism in Thailand.
According to official data from Thailand, visitors from Sri Lanka grew by 20.85% to 32,878 in the first half of this year. Percentage growth wise it is one of the highest apart from Sri Lanka being a bigger market than for example Brazil.
In the first six months of 2012, Thailand had recorded a total of 10.5 million visitor arrivals, up 7.60% over the same period of 2011. The most important contributor to this growth was the number of arrivals from China, which for the first time, crossed the one million arrivals mark in the six-month period to record a total of 1,124,234, up by a robust 28.87% over January-June 2011.
During the period East Asia recorded 5,486,941 arrivals (52.27% of total arrivals); Europe 2,971,939 (28.31%); the Americas 545,042 (5.19%); South Asia 632,976 (6.03%); Oceania 477,894 (4.55%); Middle East 296,653 (2.83%); and Africa 85,344 (0.81%).
Within East Asia (+5.73% y-o-y), Japan is the fourth largest source of visitor arrivals to Thailand with total of 630,058, up 11.47% and Korea is the fifth largest source of visitor arrivals with total of 540,523, up 4.88%.
Arrivals from the neighbouring ASEAN countries also showed good growth, e.g., Vietnam (+24.96%), Brunei Darussalam (+20.15%), Cambodia (+12.32%), Myanmar (+12.30%), Laos (+9.16%), Indonesia (+4.40%), Singapore (+4.53%). Only the Philippines was down (-3.44%).
Arrivals from Europe were up 11% year on year with Russia being ahead of the UK and Germany as the largest source market from Europe, with total arrivals of 634,312, up 12.21%.
The UK and Germany ranked the second and third largest sources of visitor arrivals – 433,989 (+1.52%) and 357,472 (+9.71%), respectively. French visitor arrivals totalled 304,717 (+17.11%). Arrivals from the Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark grew by 17.59%, 16.45% and 14.84%, respectively.
The US was the tenth top source-market of arrivals to Thailand with a total of 379,430 (+8.63%) with Canadian visitors growing by 10.62% to 114,678. Brazilian visitors grew by 23.65% to 14,965.
Within South Asia, up by 6% India is the biggest source of visitors in South Asia and the sixth largest source of total arrivals. Arrivals were up 6.32% to 504,634 arrivals. Pakistani visitor arrivals totalled 34,809 (-2.65%) whilst Bangladeshi visitor arrivals totalled 33,494 (-0.20%).
Arrivals from Australia and New Zealand were up 9.63% to 427,096 and 8.15% to 49,365, respectively.
Middle East arrivals dipped marginally with the UAE experienced a decline of -0.76%. Visitors from other Middle East markets (such as Iran) were down 7.08%. However, other Middle East source markets were up, especially Saudi Arabia (50.51%) and Kuwait (19.97%). Arrivals from Egypt were up by 22.49%.
The most important African source market was South Africa was up 13.99% to 35,319. Other countries are also showing considerable promise with a total growth of 41.97% to 50,025.