Reported in Thai News, the ministry data placed luxury imports at 102.4 billion baht ($3.2 billion), thanks particularly to the perfume and cosmetics sectors, which together were valued at 19.3 billion baht ($598.7 million), a 35.63% rise year-on-year.
Last year, the ministry lowered import duty on luxury goods to encourage growth, with the hope of providing a “shopping paradise” for tourists, according to Areepong Bhoocha-oom, permanent secretary at the finance ministry.
The new statistics suggest the ministry was right to focus on luxury imports to encourage consumer spending; their value has increased 4.2%, with perfume and cosmetics now boasting an import value of 5.02 billion baht ($155.7 million).
The luxury imports figures participate in a positive climate for Thailand’s beauty and personal care market more generally.
According to UBM Asia, Thailand's beauty industry is fuelled by a strong economy and increasingly sophisticated consumers, including the men's market which is proving to be particularly lucrative.
In the wider region other markets are telling a similar tale, with Singapore and Hong Kong continuing to profit well from consumer tourism.
Singapore’s luxury goods market recently registered a significant growth in revenues, reporting a healthy CAGR of 13.8% from 2007-2012, Whatech.com reports.
Malaysia consumers are putting out similar demand, and anti-aging player Bonamour recently announced its focus on exporting there, stating its intention to target growing demand for US-produced, technologically-advanced luxury skin care products.
The company is now also eyeing up a move into Thailand, responding to the increasingly luxury-focused market displayed in the latest figures:
“We are pleased to announce the addition of Malaysia to our CFS Certification list and we are currently working to receive approval for Thailand as well,” said Nathan Halsey, CEO of Bonamour.
“Malaysia and Thailand have similar consumer demographics to Hong Kong where we enjoyed great success during a test market launch of our Rejuvenating Trio product line.”