Southeast Asia tourism performance experienced a significant decline in September 2023, with an 18% decrease in international tourist arrivals from 7,029,210 to 5,750,050 visitors.
Although Thailand still holds the top spot in the list of countries with the highest number of international visitors in the region, it experienced the largest decline in tourist arrivals compared to the previous month, with a 31.6% decrease in September compared to August. The other countries in the region also saw negative growth in tourist arrivals compared to the previous month, with Indonesia experiencing the smallest decrease. This helped Indonesia surpass Vietnam to regain a spot in the top three countries with the highest number of tourist arrivals in the region for the month, alongside Thailand and Singapore.
Recovery rate and tourism targets
Cambodia achieved almost complete recovery in September, with a recovery index of 93.61%. The other countries had relatively average recovery rates compared to the same period in 2019. For the 2023 targets, Vietnam and Indonesia officially became the first two countries in the region to surpass their annual targets. Vietnam led the way with a completion rate of 111.07%, followed by Indonesia with a completion rate of 100.08%.
Starting from October 2023, Vietnam also announced an adjustment to its annual target, increasing it to 12 million visitors.
The top three Southeast Asian destinations with the highest number of international visitors in September 2023:
Thailand: 1,687,354 international visitors, a 31.63% decrease compared to August 2023 Singapore: 1,130,755 international visitors, a 13.6% decrease compared to August 2023
Indonesia: 1,070,245 international visitors, a 5.5% decrease compared to July 2023, pushing Vietnam out of the top three.
In term of Recovery rate:
Cambodia achieved a recovery rate of 93.61%
Singapore achieved a recovery rate of 77.45%
Vietnam achieved a recovery rate of 77.07%.
In term of Aviation:
The Hanoi (HAN) to Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) route continued to be the most popular domestic route in Southeast Asia, with a slight decrease of 5.9% compared to the previous month, totaling 749 thousand seats. Other domestic routes in the Southeast Asian region also experienced a decrease in domestic flight demand, except for the Jakarta – Kota Makassar route, which maintained a growth rate of 6.3% compared to the previous month.
For international routes, Singapore remained an important hub in Southeast Asia, with seven out of the top ten international routes in the region either starting or ending there. The routes from Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Bangkok to Singapore were still the busiest international routes in the region, with slight growth compared to the previous month.