The recent steady increase of Chinese tourists to Thailand has been observed by a Thai expert, who views it as a positive sign for the Thai tourism industry and the broader Thai economy.
From Jan. 1 to April 23, over 737,000 Chinese tourists visited Thailand, marking a 30-fold increase from the same period last year, according to Kevalin Wangpichayasuk, assistant managing director of Kasikorn Research Center.
This increase came after China optimized its COVID-19 restriction measures late last year. The daily average of Chinese tourist arrivals is currently around 10,000, and this trend is expected to continue, Kevalin said in a written interview with Xinhua on Thursday.
“We view that the number of Chinese tourists in 2023 will become the highest of all nationalities, as it was in the pre-pandemic era,” she added.
However, she noted that the Thai tourism industry, which eagerly anticipates the return of Chinese tourists, also recognized that the preferences of Chinese tourists have changed.
According to Kevalin, the majority of current arrivals are young travelers and small group tours who are showing an increasing preference for local food and fashion, as well as visiting new travel destinations such as secondary cities.
Thailand has implemented measures such as expanding international flights between China and Thailand and offering visa-on-arrival services to attract Chinese tourists.
The expert believes that as long as long-haul travel costs remain high and Thailand offers valued products and services, Chinese tourists will continue to be attracted to the country.
Her suggestions for Thailand’s hospitality sector include focusing on providing unique value rather than competing on price, utilizing social media for promotion, and preparing workers who can communicate effectively in Mandarin Chinese.
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