International visitor arrivals to Thailand slumped 9% in March, as the political protests in Bangkok continue to hit tourist confidence.
According to data from the country’s Tourism Department, reported by the Bangkok Post, Thailand welcomed 2.1 million visitors last month, 9.4% fewer than in March 2013.
Asian markets fared particularly poorly, with arrivals from South Asia down 17.7%, the Middle East down 14.8% and East Asia falling 14.7%. This included an 11.1% drop in tourist numbers from China – Thailand’s biggest source market. Arrivals from Europe however, increased 2.3%.
For the first quarter of the year, Thailand has now welcomed 6.6m international arrivals, down 5.9% year-on-year. Tourism revenues declined 4.0% to THB311 billion (US$9.6bn).
Thailand is targeting a record 28m international arrivals in 2014, a result that would mark a 4.9% increase from the 26.7m achieved in 2013.