Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/12/2014 -- BMI expects growth across a range of key indicators in the Thai tourism market throughout our forecast period. Despite continuing political unrest in the capital, Bangkok, we expect an increase in the number of visitors overall, with growth concentrated in traditionally popular beach destinations such as Phuket, or mountain resorts in the north of the country, in Chiang Mai.
Several years of positive GDP growth have boosted the number of outbound travellers, with the number of outbound travellers expected to increase from 7.4mn in 2013 to 10.4mn in 2018. As well as higher volumes of outbound travel we also expect increased levels of internal travel, providing for a very healthy travel market.
We forecast healthy increases in inbound travel, with Thailand well placed to take advantage of growth in the Asia Pacific region as a whole, particularly in key source markets such as China and India, which are experiencing exceptional economic growth. By 2018, based largely on growth in the travel from countries in the Asia Pacific region, we expect the number of inbound arrivals to reach just under 30mn.
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We are forecasting investment across a range of infrastructure projects, including air and rail travel. Thailand has good air travel connectivity, both domestically and internationally, mainly via the newly redeveloped Suvarnabhumi Airport near Bangkok, and through a wide network of smaller domestic airports. The Thai rail network is relatively limited, but several large-scale projects should lead to improvements. The road network is in need of extensive modernisation and improvement, particularly in more rural areas. A great deal of travel also takes place via boat between coastal areas and outlying islands and there are some safety concerns, with several high profile accidents in recent years causing concern.
The accommodation market is well established, thanks to Thailand's long-standing position as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Asia Pacific region. However, there is plenty of room for development, with the increases in inbound and outbound travel supporting a steady rise in occupancy rates.
Thailand offers potential visitors plentiful attractions ranging from Bangkok's vibrant nightlife and modern shopping centres to the jungles of the north around Chiang Mai and the beaches of Phuket, as well as many cultural and historical sites. While already a popular tourist destination, Thailand will get a further boost from the arrival of the first Formula One race in Thailand 2014, which will not only see an increase in arrivals and awareness but will also instigate further investment in the development of tourism infrastructure.
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