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Thai travel agents post figures showing a drop of 11.5% in inbound traffic



Travel bookings have dropped by 11.46% during the first six months of the year. For the first six months of 2019 the Association of Travel Agents’ member companies handled 2,786,204 customers. That translates into a real loss of 360,470 clients  for inbound travel agents based on the turnover of guests at Bangkok’s two gateway airports, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang.

The data is based on fees paid to the Airports of Thailand (AoT) for clients offered meet-and-greet services by member companies. The data shows a steady decline ranging from 9% in January and February to a massive drop of 20% in May. June closed with a decline of 12%. Only two of the top five source markets, Vietnam and India, recorded upticks during the first six months.

While China is still the biggest inbound market for travel agents with 58.29% of all arrivals, 2019 so far has shown a steady decline of nearly 15%.

Vietnam inbound traffic was up a mere 1.85%. Third-placed India generated 140,885 clients an increase of 5.72%. South Korea in fourth place and previously a star performer for travel agents delivered 117,365 clients, a drop of 15.76% while Japanese traffic was also down 8.48%

Alarm bells are ringing over the decline in Chinese visitors a market that travel agents up until last year had come to rely on to maintain a healthy revenue stream.

Travel experts blame declines on a strong baht against the Euro and UK pound. Travel from the UK market dropped by nearly 25% for ATTA members. Visits from Germany declined by 6.77% and France dipped by 10%.

Another key factor in the general drop is that more travellers are booking their own trips to Thailand, a trend that has slowly eroded totals over the last five years. Competition is tough worldwide and in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is a rising star that will challenge Thailand’s dominance.



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