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European Travelers Become Less Interested in Thailand

News Thailand has always been a popular holiday destination for tourists from Europe, but the situation has started changing in recent years. While hotels in Koh Samui and Phuket do not seem to lose their popularity, the price of such vacations is growing, so it currently costs as much or even less to travel to Greece, Turkey, Spain, Egypt, and Italy.

European-based tour operators say that recently they have experienced troubles promoting resorts in Thailand to European tourists. The prices are on par with vacations in Europe. Moreover, as Thailand is increasingly popular with Asian travelers, primarily guests from China, some Europeans feel not welcome anymore. Indeed, one night including American breakfast in a 5-star hotel in Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and Koh Samet can reach US$500. Tourists can book a 5-star hotel in Spain, Italy, and Greece for the same price. A night in a 5-star hotel in Turkey and Egypt will be even cheaper – approximately US$350.

If we look at 4-star hotels, the situation is the same. The price of 4-star hotels in popular Thai resorts is roughly US$350, which is the same with 4-star hotels in Italy, Spain, and Greece. Turkey and Egypt have lower prices – roughly US$200 per night in a 4-star hotel. In Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, the average price is US$300 per night.

Strong baht is one of the reasons for such high prices. Many hotels in Thailand have also raised their rates because they can always count on guests from Asian countries. Within just five years, the price of a holiday in Thailand has increased by almost 40% in euro and by 30% in US dollars. This is definitely a change that many European tourists cannot overlook. Some hotels in Thailand now focus on Chinese guests and don’t care much about tourists from Europe. Some tour operators in the EU, such as Zurich-based Asia365, saw a two-digit drop in bookings in Thailand.

Of course, there are hotels in Thailand that have not raised their rates drastically, and so they do not have a significant decrease in the number of guests from Europe. Vietnam is the winner in this case because the country gets more tourists who previously made their choice in favor of Thailand. Southern Europe, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Caribbean are now the biggest competitors of Thailand on the international tourism market. According to the data published by Kasikorn Research Center, the share of European tourists in Thailand is to reduce by 1.5% in 2019, and their spending is to decline by 1% to 468 billion baht.


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