Archive for the 'Tourism' Category

International arrivals at Suvarnabhumi Airport, chart : -26 % in may

After the chart of international passengers (embarking, disembarking and transit) at all international thai airports… here is another set of data : International tourist arrivals at Suvarnabhumi Airport, per month.

I prefer this one. More focused.


We had -26 % in may (606 533 arrivals) compared to may 2008 (821 601 arrivals).

As per nationality, we can see a striking -55 % for China, -32 % for Japan, -37 % for Asean. Europe resists with -10 %. USA at -19 %.

There is no improvement whatsoever… And there won’t be any any time soon.

The flu scare does not help of course. The politicians love the flu, because it can help them to hide their own responsabilities and limitations. But I believe it’s a secondary factor. The main one is of course the crisis, followed by the political crisis (absolutely not solved despite the stupid Abhisit’s smile).

People have less money to travel. Period. It’s a budget easy to cut.

We are likely to see a -25 % decrease, minimum, for the whole year. The inane Tourism Minister can eat his hat and his stupid projections and “targets” (thai politicians love “targets”, it helps them to feel important).

(Source, Office Of Tourism Development)

Abhisit’s Stimulation : “to boost tourism, let’s make public holidays longer”

Abhisit is totally burned out.After 6 months as PM, he’s becoming as dumb as his predecessors Surayud, Samak, Somchai… It’s pathetic and scary.

Here is his latest Grand idea, launched into the air like a fart.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday announced that the government is ready to encourage a long public holiday as part of efforts to stimulate local tourism.

Speaking during a visit to the “Seminar in Thailand, Proud of Assisting Country,” he said his government had increased promotion of seminar and tour activities in Thailand in a bid to ease the impacts of the current economic sluggishness on tourism. (TNA)

I mean… WTF ? !

Abhisit should explain how people could enjoy long holidays and boot tourism sector ? I mean financially speaking ?

Crisis ? Allo ? Recession ? Exports crash ? Deficit ? No problems. In the Abhisit’s Lalaland Brain problems do not exist. Only solutions.

I have another arse-idea for our dashing PM : declare the year a permanent holiday… people would therefore stop working… and for sure we would see a fantastic boost of tourism business.

And another one : in order to ease the recession (a very annoying concept created by those damned westerners), create a lottery that would give 1 billion THB to each thai, adults and children as well (and cats and dogs too, it could be useful). Voila !

Welcome to the Rabbit Hole.


Airports and Green Shoots : -22,21% fall in international passengers in may

Airports of Thailand suffered a -22.21% fall in international passenger numbers in May compared with the same month last year.

Airports of Thailand operates six international airports – Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang in Bangkok, plus Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai and Chiang Rai. It handled 2,252,571 international passengers (embarking, disembarking and transit) in May.

The poor May figures are linked to the political instability in the country which has hit tourism hard, plus the global financial crisis and the Influenza A(H1N1).

It has been a bad year for travel and tourism in Thailand with year-on-year monthly international traffic falls of -17.97% in January, -21.15% in February, -15.47% in March and -12.91% in April. For the first five months, international traffic was down by -17.93% year-on-year. (Moodie)

Another tasty Green Shoots Salad.

Watch out however : AOT wants to hide behind a fog cloud… and is mixing all the data : embarking, disembarking and transit. 😉 Still we have -apparently- a valid year on year comparison. We would need the “international arrivals” data… But those data will be published in several months

As for the “political crisis”… well… it was rather in april (with the “revolucion” and the thai army shooting in Bangkok’s streets)…

And you can see the trend is not improving, month after month… Of course the flu doesn’t help (albeit in may, there were no cases in Thailand)… The main explanation is of couse : the crisis.

Less money, more problems lead to less international visitors. It’s Economy 101.

Like we had Peak Exports (last july)… Peak Tourism is behind us… And we won’t see again those levels any time soon.

I wrote it many times : this is not a linear process. The longer the crisis lasts, the uglier the fallouts on the economy will be.

A proof : after several month of hard conditions… the tourism businesses in Thailand are calling for help.

Association of Domestic Travel (ADT), the Thai-Chinese Tourism Alliance (TCTA) and the Thai-Japan Tourist Association (TJTA) complained to the House committee on tourism and sports that the government was not doing enough despite the gravity of the situation.

“There have been empty promises. We just can’t wait for state agencies’ help, and the prime minister must take a leading role,” said ADT president Maiyarat Pheerayakoses. (Nation)

Of course, those lobbyists have the wrong reaction.

To give them “loans” won’t solve the issue ! It’s not a liquidity problem, like they say, just a big, very big demand problem ! Throwing money at those companies won’t help.

They have to downsize, lay off, cut their prices etc.

Too many hotels, too many restaurants, too many “spas (today, virtually all hotels in Thailand are “spas” too, what a joke), too many guides, too many minibus drivers, too many employees, too many of everything etc.

And governments around the world can’t give a bailout to every freaking business sector on this freaking planet !

People don’t want to understand this simple equation.

Too bad for them.

Hotel industry : vertigo and delirium

The Thai Hotels Association (THA) will urge the government to launch a global campaign from May to November to revive tourism and stave off unemployment.

Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silapa-archa will be asked to submit the seven-month measure for Cabinet approval.

The promotion will be aimed at attracting international tourists by offering special packages and benefits to all visitors during that period.

The special deal requires four continuous days of stay in a member hotel.

“The association would like the government to help by encouraging travel agencies across the world to push the campaign, but officials must award them Bt1,500 per tourist,” Methee Tanmanatrakul, president of the THA’s southern chapter, said yesterday.

The THA has projected the campaign would draw 2 million travellers during the low season and inject Bt36 billion in revenue into the industry, with Bt12 billion going directly to hotel operators. (Nation)

2 millions ? Why not 4 ? Or 8 ? Or 10 millions ?

The THA has to understand that during a solvency crisis, they can organize all the promotions they want… It won’t change the grim situation, It won’t create B747 full of gluttonous tourists ready to ransack 5 stars hotels, like Jesus multiplying bread.

Wake up guys.

The challenge is not to revive tourism… but to prevent a collapse of tourism.


In 2007, 14,46 millions tourists arrived in Thailand (among them 11,97 millions arrived by plane).

In 2008 (we don’t have yet the data for december), but the total should be around 14 millions.

So 2 millions = 15 %.

Songkran holidays : “room reservation rates decreased by more than 40 %”

The Association of Domestic Travel revealed that the economic crisis has had an effect on hotel bookings for Songkran days this year.

Association of Domestic Travel president Maiyarat Pirayakoset said that 3-month tallies of tourism figures show stagnation as the world’s economy slows down, and that people are spending about 50 per cent less. It has effected the hotel industry, which reports that room reservation rates have decreased by more than 40 per cent.

The president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents Apichart Sankary confirmed what Maiyarat said, adding that room reservations have dropped by more than 40 per cent, compaired with the same period last year. Chinese tourists who leased more than 60 private flights last year, have leased only 30 flights this year. (TOC)

I don’t really trust this kind of feedback. Because those people are the same who ask for help from the government, therefore their interest is to make us cry.

But in any case, they don’t lie about the trend. They can’t lie about the trend. And my friends, the trend is all what matters. This is one of the ideas I’m toying with on this blog since a few months.

The trend is negative. The trend is a freaking negative loop, a non linear process, a self reinforcing process…

The trend makes the politicians look like fools.

Abhisit sees “yields” for his stimulus plan in 2 or 3 months. Trichet sees recovery on Q4. Bernanke too. Obama sees everything in pink. Geithner sees nothing at all… The Big Clowns Circus is pumping like crazy. Coming to your neighbourhood soon.

Anyway. The thais officials were thinking that tourism would bail them out from the exports slump… The foreigners would come to Thailand by A380 loads… Sabai.

But those brainless people forgot something : during a recession, what is the first budget people cut ? … holidays. Of course.

Just plain common sense. Even a high schooler knows this. But no, the clowns don’t.

What happens when a millionaire sees his stock portfolio melting ? When Joe The Plumber loses his job ? When a business owner loses 25 % of his turn over ? Do they continue to come to Thailand and spend the money they don’t have anymore ? A few yes. 😉 But other don’t.

And what is true with the foreign visitors is also true for the local tourists. Obviously.

Therefore, expect no miracle from tourism, as far as GDP growth is concerned.

Chart, tourists arrivals until september, and glimpse on Q4 2008

The Office Of Tourism has updated the data until september for the total of international arrivals (by air + land + sea), and until december for the airport of Suvarnabhumi.

First the chart by month, with the figures and the percentage of change year on year (compared to the same month of the previous year).


And then per quarter.


What about Q4 ? Right now we have only the data for the airport of  Suvarnabhumi (= 73 % in average of all the international tourists arrivals in Thailand).

The figures aren’t good (closure of the airport 1 week in november, and 5 days in december).

October : 749 976
November : 687 625
December : 646 321

International air traffic : “unprecedented and shocking” free fall in december (passengers and freight)

Another “unprecedented” news (read here). I told you : it’s every day now.

International air freight traffic plunged by 22.6 percent on the year in December, an ‘unprecedented and shocking’ free fall, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday.

‘There is no clearer description of the slowdown in world trade,’ it said in a statement, adding that international passenger traffic had dropped 4.6 percent year-on-year.

For the full year of 2008, international air cargo traffic was down 4 percent, while international passenger traffic posted modest gains of 1.6 percent, according to the Geneva-based body. (Forbes)

And what about sea freight ? Unprecedented too in Thailand (read here). Thai exports results ? “Unprecedented” too.

So ask yourself : how are going to be january, february and the following months ? “Unprecedented”. And how will be the crisis fallouts ? “Unprecedented”.

You want more ? Yesterday, USA… Philly Fed Index was published. “Unprecedented” low.

You want more ? Yesterday, USA, “Record Low New Homes Sales in December“.

More ? Today, Japan : “Factory output slumped an unprecedented 9.6 percent in December“.

Do you start to understand ?

Whether we received data in value, volume, or percentage of growth year on year, month on month, moving average etc… we get “unprecedented” readings. More and more.

The black swans are multiplying.

[Have a look on this blog… 20 charts with data released in january to show the on going economic disaster in the USA].

Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.