Thailand’s travel and tourism sector grew by nearly 11 per cent in 2016 and will be the world’s 10th fastest growing country for the industry over the next decade with an average growth rate of 6.5 per cent per annum, a new report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows.
Travel and tourism contributed Bt2.9 trillion to Thailand’s gross domestic product in 2016, which was 20.6 per cent of total GDP. Additionally, the sector supported over 15 per cent of total employment last year, which is 5.7 million jobs.
The report also showed that visitor exports, which is money spent by foreign visitors in the country, grew by 13 per cent, generating Bt1.9 trillion – 19.2 per cent of total exports.
Investment in the sector totalled Bt245.5 billion, accounting for 7.1 per cent of all investment in the country. This investment served not only to boost inbound figures, but Thailand’s outbound expenditure grew by 10.7 per cent, showing that Thailand is not only an attractive destination in itself but that its citizens are increasingly exploring internationally, the report found.
Over 2017, the sector’total contribution to GDP is forecast to grow by 6.9 per cent and to rise by 6.5 per cent per year on average over the next decade to Bt5.9 trillion (US$169.9 billion), which would represent nearly a third of the country’s GDP.
The number of jobs in sector are expected to rise by 6.9 per cent in 2017 to 6.1 million jobs and rise by 4.6 per cent per year to 9.6 million jobs in 2027 (24.9 per cent of the country’s total number of jobs). This means that 3.9 million new jobs are expected to be created by the sector over the next 10 years.