Showing again that Thailand appreciates Chinese tourists more than ever, an inaugural charter flight from Xi’an was met with a five-star welcome at U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya Airport.
Ten million tourists arrived in Thailand last year, but not all of them got the type of appreciative welcome the 160 Chinese on the March 9 Loong Air flight received.
Airport Director Adm. Rapeepong Sowan, greeted all the tourists personally after the Airbus A320 passed through a celebratory water tunnel to arrive at Terminal 2.
The tourists from Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province in central China were greeted with dancers and traditional Thai drummers from Nong Nooch Tropical Garden and were presented with flower garlands and gifts.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Chinese tourists accounted for one in three foreign tourist arrivals in Thailand. They only began returning to the kingdom in February, when Thai and Chinese tourism firms collaborated to issue tourism promotion campaigns to attract Chinese travelers to Thailand.
This comes after China approved tour agencies’ operation of group tours in 20 nations from February 6 onward. Meanwhile, The Thai Chamber of Commerce in China indicates that the number of Chinese travelers arriving in Thailand could potentially reach 10 million this year.
Thai Chamber of Commerce in China Secretary-General Phaichit Viboontanasarn said the Chinese government authorizing tour agents to operate group tour services will greatly benefit Thai tourism. He said the development will result in Chinese tourists returning faster and with greater intensity than earlier expected.