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Online searches for Thailand up sevenfold in China

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There has been a significant rise in online searches for Thailand in China, since both countries signed a reciprocal visa waiver agreement. Google Trends is reporting a 7-fold increase in searches for “Thailand tourism” in China. But, so far, this ‘searching’ hasn’t resulted in a sudden rise in actual Chinese tourists although a surge is expected in the lead up to the Chinese New Celebrations, especially in Phuket and parts of Bangkok where the CNY is widely celebrated.

The two-way visa waiver agreement recently signed by both countries comes into effect on March 1 and is widely expected to boost tourism in both directions. The pact is also being seen as a sign of growing ties, both economic and cultural, between Beijing and Bangkok.

China has long been a significant tourism market for Thailand and, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, was the largest tourism market by far. However, since the end of the pandemic, numbers have not bounced back to those seen previously, prompting PM Srettha Thavisin to implement measures such as the visa waiver. It’s thought the agreement could boost tourism revenue by up to 10%.

In addition, Thailand’s job market is expected to benefit, with increased employment opportunities in the hospitality and tourism sectors. Tourism is already a significant source of employment in the kingdom and the visa waiver agreement could see thousands of new opportunities created, according to the Nation Thailand report.

The Thai economy is expected to benefit more widely too, with hopes for an increase in foreign exchange earnings of up to 1 billion baht.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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