High and Low Season in Thailand – More Than Meets the Eye

What does the data tell us?

For business owners operating in the tourism sector high season is the most important time of the year. The common thought is that this flood of arrivals and tourism dollars into Thailand occurs during the cooler months in November, December, and January. When we look at the global arrivals data for 2023 this is in fact what happened. If we dive deeper into the data at the country level, a different story emerges. While Europe and the US continue to follow the traditional high season cycle around major holidays and cold weather in those regions, other major sources of tourists to the Kingdom are breaking from that cycle.

Last year India accounted for 1.6 million arrivals to Thailand with the highest recorded month occurring in December. There is typically a dip in arrivals during the summer months in Thailand – this slowing of arrivals is most obvious in the Europe data and would be commonly called Low Season. India arrivals paint a different picture as we see May and June accounting for the second and third highest months for arrivals. Similarly for China, July and August account for its second and third highest months. The cooler months in Thailand and major holidays, such as Christmas and New Year, will continue to be a huge revenue generating opportunities for business, but the notion of high season may depend on which audience a particular business is attracting.

2023 Arrivals to Thailand

Tips for attracting Chinese and Indian customers during the alternate high season

The spike in arrivals during months that we do not typically consider high season represents an opportunity for business owners. Here are five tips to help you attract customers during this time:

  1. For food and beverage businesses, consider adding limited time special items to the menu that people from India or China might be familiar with. Use social media platforms such as Facebook in India and WeChat in China to promote these special offerings.
  2. Hotels should consider offering special rates on the leading travel booking websites in India and China. Meituan accounts for more than 50% of travel bookings in China and MakeMyTrip in India continues to be a leader in the country’s travel industry.
  3. Offer menus and brochures in Hindi and Mandarin.
  4. Create special offerings around other major holidays such as the Qixi Festival, China’s version of Valentine’s Day which takes place on August 10th.
  5. Research and teach your staff important cultural norms to make the experience for these customers exceptional.

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