Thai and foreign tourists up during Songkran

Thai and foreign tourists up during Songkran

Revellers enjoy splashing water on Silom Road during this year's Songkran activities. The Tourism and Sports Ministry reported a rise in visitor numbers. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Revellers enjoy splashing water on Silom Road during this year's Songkran activities. The Tourism and Sports Ministry reported a rise in visitor numbers. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Up to 506,136 foreigners visited Thailand during Songkran, generating 24.65 billion baht in tourism income, up 6.2% and 16% respectively from the year-earlier period, says the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

The festival, which ran April 12 to 16, spurred as many as 3.1 million trips by local people that helped contribute 10.4 billion baht in tourism income, up 12.4% and 20.5% from last year's holiday, according to Pongpanu Svetarundra, permanent secretary of the ministry.

Total income from foreigners and local people was 35.1 billion, up 12.1% from the same period last year, Mr Pongpanu said.

For domestic trips, 1.94 million were made to major cities, with travellers spending 8 billion baht, up 14.9% and 21.4% respectively year-on-year.

Some 1.16 million trips were to secondary provinces, with 2.4 billion baht in tourism expenditure, up 8.4% and 17% respectively.

The ministry said an increase was also noted in average spending per person per trip by foreigners.

Major origination markets for foreign tourists included Southeast Asia countries and China.

Meanwhile, Airbnb said its hosts in Thailand earned more than 165 million baht during Songkran, a 20% increase compared with the typical week last year.

Mich Goh, Airbnb's head of public policy for Southeast Asia, said Thai hosts earned 67,000 baht on average from renting out their space for 29 nights last year.

Thai hosts have received nearly 1.2 million guests in 2017; 400,000 Thais travelled with Thai hosts at other destinations.

Airbnb also released data on its worldwide community for 2017, showing that 84% of guests said they decided to use Airbnb because they wanted to live like a local, while 66% of guests said the environmental benefits of home-sharing were important in their choice.

Some 89% of guests said they chose Airbnb because it was more conveniently located in a city.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the travel industry supports 313 million jobs and generates 10% of the world's GDP.

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