WTTC Report, Thailand in World Top Ten for Tourism Growth

Bangkok (Thailand) – March 28, 2017 (travelindex.com) – Thailand’s Travel & Tourism sector grew by nearly 11% in 2016 and will be the world’s 10th fastest growing country over the next decade at 6.5% per annum, a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows. Travel & Tourism contributed THB2.9 trillion (US$82.5 billion) to Thailand’s GDP, which is 20.6% of total GDP in 2016. Additionally the sector supported over 15% of total employment, which is 5.7 million jobs.

The report further showed that visitor exports, which is money spent by foreign visitors in the country, grew by 13%, generating THB1.9 trillion (US$53.7 billion), 19.2% of total exports in 2016.

Investment in Thailand’s Travel & Tourism totalled THB245.5 billion (US$7 billion) in 2016, accounting for 7.1% of all investment in the country. This investment served not only to boost inbound figures, but Thailand’s outbound expenditure grew by 10.7%, showing that Thailand is not only an attractive destination in itself but that its citizens are increasingly exploring internationally as well.

Over 2017, Travel & Tourism’s total contribution to GDP is forecast to grow by 6.9% and to rise by 6.5% per year over the next decade to THB5.9 trillion (US$169.9 billion), which would represent nearly a third of the country’s GDP. Employment figures are expected to rise by 6.9% in 2017 to 6.1 million jobs and rise by 4.6% per year to 9.6 million jobs in 2027 (24.9% of total). This means that 3.9 million new jobs are expected to be created by Travel & Tourism in Thailand over the next ten years.

Visitor exports are estimated to grow by 10.3% in 2017, and by 7.3% per year, from 2017-2027, to THB4.2 trillion (US$119.5bn) in 2027, 29.7% of total exports. These growth figures are far above the global average of 4.3%. This means that Thailand will see a continued increase in visitors, which is good for the country’s economy, however also highlights the importance of having the right strategies in place to ensure infrastructure can cope with more visitors and ensure that the impact of tourism on communities, environments and heritage is managed sustainably.

David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “Thailand is one of the world’s top tourism destinations, and I am pleased to see that the country registered another year of strong Travel & Tourism sector growth. The Thai government recognises the importance of the sector and its investment is paying off. As the sector continues to grow, it is extremely important the government drives through its sustainability programme as outlined in its National Tourism Development Plan II (2017 to 2021), to ensure that it safeguards its natural and cultural assets.

We are very much looking forward to seeing the strength of the Thai tourism sector at our 2017 Global Summit, held in Bangkok next month, 26 – 27 April. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Tourism Authority Thailand have done a wonderful job in bringing the Summit to Thailand. This Summit will address the most pressing issues in our sector. It will also showcase the strength of the country as a global tourism destination, and the beauty and warmth of the country’s people and culture.”

About WTTC
The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism. It promotes sustainable growth for the sector, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. Every year WTTC, together with Oxford Economics, produces its flagship Economic Impact Report, which looks at the socioeconomic benefits of Travel & Tourism on global, regional and country level. This year the report shows data on 25 regional groupings and 185 countries.

Travel & Tourism is a key driver for investment and economic growth globally. The sector contributes US$7.6 trillion or 10.2% of global GDP, once all direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account. The sector also accounts for 292 million jobs or one in ten of all jobs on the planet.

For over 25 years, WTTC has been the voice of this industry globally. Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world’s leading, private sector Travel & Tourism businesses, who bring specialist knowledge to guide government policy and decision-making, and raise awareness of the importance of the sector.

WTTC’s annual Global Summit brings together over 900 delegates to discuss the opportunities, challenges and issues facing the industry, while its Tourism for Tomorrow Awards recognise the industry’s power to be a positive force in sustainability. This year’s Summit will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, 26 – 27 April 2017.

For further information, please contact:
Communications Manager: Annebeth Wijtenburg +44(0) 207 481 6483 annebeth.wijtenburg@wttc.org
Communication Consultant: Komson Kaemthong +66(0)8 1710 1740 komson@neotarget.com

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