FORECAST Foreign Arrivals Top 14 Million in 2009
Roll back the clock to those gloomy early and mid year forecasts that saw many analysts saying both the economic and political issues could see overseas arrivals fall to 12 million. As a result of a strong Q4 Thailand is now looking at 14.1 million arrivals according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Helping the recovery is the increased number of flights and seat capacity, a rapidly spreading regional and domestic network of low cost airline carriers and increase in charter flights. A return of the Mainland China market has been helpful where an unofficial travel ban had seen sharp declines during the H1 2009.
As we move into 2010, it will be interesting to see how two big global events with the World Cup in South Africa and World Expo in Shanghai may play into the tourism equation.