BANGKOK – Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (AEROTHAI) sees a decline in the number of Chinese visitors to Thailand during this Lunar New Year festival.
AEROTHAI president Somnuk Rongthong said from Jan 24 to 30 there would be 21,199 flights over the Thai sky. The traffic dropped by 3.71% from the same festival last year (Feb 4-10, 2019).
He said the number of domestic flights had fallen since the second half of last year and Chinese tourists were visiting Japan instead. The Asian economic slowdown was another factor, he said.
During the present Chinese New Year holiday, flights from China to Japan number 3,899 compared to 3,261 flights from China to Thailand. As a result, Thailand becomes the second most popular destination of Chinese vacationers, following Japan, during the Lunar New Year holiday. Mr Somnuk expected the destination shift among Chinese tourists would continue throughout this year.
Meanwhile, his deputy Thinnakorn Chuwong said that the spreading novel coronavirus also resulted in the decreasing arrivals from China.
During this Chinese New Year festival, the heaviest air traffic happens at Suvarnabhumi airport with 7,784 flights, followed by 5,541 flights at Don Mueang airport, 2,547 flights at Phuket airport, 1,733 flights at Chiang Mai airport and 611 flights at Samui airport.