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C9 Hotelworks Founder and Managing Director Bill Barnett is a noted columnist, author and leading authority on travel trend, hotels and property.View all the books from C9
Despite the issues of a Chinese slowdown over the boat incident in Phuket this July, Thailand’s visitor numbers for the first eleven months of the year have risen by 7.5% year-on-year.Country markets that now deliver over one million visitors a year to the Kingdom include Mainland China, Russia, India, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia. It’s expected that the US, Singapore and Vietnam will join the club once the December full year data is in.
One of the brightest spots is the fast-emerging Indian segment which has experienced 12% growth and over 1.4 million arrivals this year.
This trend is expected to rise in Phuket with GoAir’s recent direct flights from three major Indian gateways shifting to daily service and next adding seven other cities on the subcontinent in 2019.
One area of concern is the declining Middle East market, with a drop in UAE visitors by over 7% this year. Highlighting this trend has been the slowdown in medical tourism over the past 18-24 months with the growth of Dubai Healthcare City and change in insurance coverage for Thai treatments for the Emiratis.
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