China’s optimized COVID-19 strategy is expected to help accelerate Thailand’s economic recovery amid a gloomy global economic outlook.
According to Kevalin Wangpichayasuk, assistant managing director of Kasikorn Research Center, the return of Chinese tourists is projected to bolster the tourism industry and related businesses such as accommodations, transportation, food and beverages, and retail.
She added that for the pre-pandemic era, it was estimated that Chinese tourist consumption accounted for more than 3% of Thailand’s nominal GDP.
The Thai government expects about 300,000 Chinese tourists to visit Thailand in the first three months of this year. It has also set a target for welcoming some 5 million Chinese tourists in 2023, equivalent to 45% of Chinese arrivals in 2019.
Kevalin noted that she does not expect a major return of Chinese tourists until the second half of this year, or as soon as the second quarter of this year, due to visa processing time and gradual resumption of international flights, among others.