More than 2.2 million foreign visitors arrived in Thailand during the first half of the year, clearly showing that the country’s tourism sector is rebounding and regaining international attention.
As of July 6, Thailand has welcomed 2.21 million tourists, of which 277,146 came from Malaysia, followed by India (249,466), Singapore (137,739), the UK (128,369) and the US (112,791).
The number of international tourists has increased significantly after the country dropped the Test & Go entry regulations in May and the Thailand Pass registration on July 1, allowing travelers to enter Thailand without being required to take an RT-PCR test.
Monthly foreign arrivals rose to 709,967 in June, up from 542,410 in May, since scrapping of the Test & Go schemes, accroding to the official data.
With both domestic and international tourist arrivals on the rise in 2Q22, Maybank Securities (Thailand) (MST) forecasts that the tourism industry would see a positive QoQ financial performance, apart from CENTEL, which was negatively impacted by rising food expenses. The only company MST anticipates being profitable again in 2Q is MINT, while AOT, AWC, CENTEL, and ERW should all report losses. The key driver of MINT’s profitability will be the recovery in Europe, which will bring 2Q RevPar near to the pre-Covid FY19 level (THB593 million).
As a result, MINT is the Top Pick with a THB42.00 target price. Tourist arrivals increased sharply once entrance restrictions were relaxed in April 2022, and this continued into July. The brokerage believes AOT will benefit from this rebound, citing a potential increase in 3Q22 visitor arrivals to 1 million per month as a positive driver for AOT’s share price due to its standing as Thailand’s gateway. MST maintains its BUY rating on AOT, with a target price of THB80.
MST, however, warns that growing costs, such as fuel, may have an impact on international travel. Rising costs are also a threat to the profitability of all tourism companies, including CENTEL and MINT due to their restaurant businesses.