David Scowsill, the president and CEO of World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), said that Southeast is one of the best performing regions when it comes to tourism but he hopes ASEAN governments will improve their infrastructures to cater to the demand of the growing number of visitors.
In 2015, Southeast Asia contributed an average of 7.9% to travel and tourism, ahead of South Asia (7.4%) and Oceania (6.2%). The growth in tourism was driven by a strengthening economy and proximity to China which is one of the biggest sources of overseas visitors.
Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar were among the 10 fastest growing tourism economies in 2015. In terms of the absolute size of their tourism industry, Thailand and Indonesia are in the top global 20. Because of the growth of tourism in the region, the future forecasts for Southeast Asia are extremely positive. However, growth in tourism has its challenges.
ASEAN has taken significant steps in facilitating visa applications to encourage travel but governments must prioritize the security and efficiency of airports and air connectivity and entry and exit systems. Natural and cultural resources make Southeast Asian countries unique in the eyes of visitors but these resources must not be compromised to ensure rapid tourism growth.
After the period of mourning for the death of its beloved King, Thailand announced that it is open for business and the tourist industry is as resilient as ever. Last March, WTTC made a forecast that the contribution of travel and tourism to the country’s GDP will grow by 4% over 2016 to about 3 billion baht or 21% of the country’s total GDP and support more than 6 million jobs. Recent data from WTO revealed the truth to the forecasts because the number of foreign visitors increased by 12.3% year-on-year by July.
Bangkok is popular to foreign tourists because of the wide range of activities it offers. A multitude of luxurious hotels and low-budget accommodations are available for those looking for accommodation. Sathorn hotel in Bangkok is designed with luxury and comfort in mind so that you can dine, play and spa in style.