The number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand has surged following the introduction of visa-free policy during the Chinese National Day holiday from October 1 to 8, 2023.
Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s Deputy Governor for Asia and the South Pacific Markets, stated that the number of Chinese tourists entering Thailand had previously ranged from 7,000 to 8,000 people based on data until September 30.
After the implementation of the visa free policy, the numbers have skyrocketed to 18,000 visitors per day. The total number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand from January 1 to September 30 stands at 2.4 million. With three more months to go, reaching the target of 4 million Chinese tourists for the year seems achievable.
Approximately 60% of Chinese tourists fall into the “F.I.T” (Free Independent Traveler) category, which means they plan and travel independently. These tourists tend to stay in Thailand for an average of 6 days, with an estimated expenditure of 60,000 baht per person per trip. If the target of 4 million Chinese tourists is met, it could bring over 200 billion baht in revenue to Thailand.
Therefore, the TAT is preparing to expand the visa-free program to several more countries, focusing on long-haul markets. Additionally, they are planning to invite the Prime Minister to discuss with private sector organizations related to Chinese tourism to ensure that the momentum continues, much like the pre-COVID era.
Meanwhile, Adisak Chairattananon, Secretary-General of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), noted a significant increase in Chinese tourists. He attributed this clear change to the visa-free policy, as Chinese tourists are not fond of the complexity of document preparation and English form filling. Chinese travel websites have reported a nearly 20-fold increase in international flight ticket bookings during this extended holiday period compared to the previous year.
Hotel bookings in Thailand have also surged by an astounding 6,220% compared to the same period last year. It is expected that Thailand will become the number one international tourist destination for Chinese travelers, followed by South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and the United Kingdom. (TNA)