Credit Suisse Picks Three Stocks to Benefit from Tourism Boom in Thailand

Thailand’s economic growth looks promising in 2023 amid the recovery in the tourism sector from Covid-19 outbreak that kept foreign travellers out of one of the most attractive destinations in the world.

Thailand, which relies heavily on tourism to drive its economy, recorded 8.5 million tourist arrivals in the first four months of this year and generated over 350 billion baht. The figure was larger than nearly 800,000 tourist arrivals from January to April in 2022.

The Thai authority expects the kingdom to welcome 30 million tourist arrivals this year.


Credit Suisse stated that Thailand’s tourist arrivals continue with solid momentum in the year to date and even tracking ahead of Credit Suisse’s expectation. The number of tourists in April 2023 already accounts for 67% of pre-Covid level, notably Chinese arrivals.

The Swiss bank raised its 2023/24 tourist arrival assumption to 74%/105% of pre-Covid, from 70%/104% with the normalization of Chinese tourists as one of key drivers. Credit Suisse expected the number of Chinese tourists to accelerate from 2H23 when constraints should ease further.


For tourism stocks, Credit Suisse gave Outperform ratings for Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (SET: AOT), Asset World Corp Public Company Limited (SET: AWC) and Minor International Public Company Limited (SET: MINT), while downgrading Central Plaza Hotel Public Company Limited (SET: CENTEL) to Neutral.

Earnings of Thailand’s airports operator; AOT, in 2023/24E were raised by 23%/1% with an upgraded target price to THB 87 per share (from THB 86) to reflect an increase in Credit Suisse’s passenger volume assumptions, AOT’s positive operating leverage, and the fine-tuning of the model.

Credit Suisse raised AWC’s 2023-24E earnings by 9-19%, and upgraded it to Outperform from Neutral with a target price at THB 6.70 per share, given better hotel operations improvement momentum and more appealing upside after an 8-10% share price correction over the past 3-6 months.

The Swiss bank raised MINT’s 2023/24E earnings by 17-20% and lift the target price to THB 40 (from THB 38) to reflect the lower-than-expected impact of utility costs on its European hotel operations, MINT’s resilient room rates so far and promising Chinese outbound travel.

Lastly, CENTEL got downgraded by Credit Suisse to Neutral (from Outperform) as the brokerage firm pointed out that CENTEL outperformed the market by 13%/21%/32% over the past 3/6/12 months and offers a more limited upside. Still, Credit Suisse raised CENTEL’s 2023/24E EPS by 11-17% and also raised target price to THB 62 (from THB 59).