Chinese travel agencies are resuming outbound group tours to 20 countries including Thailand from today. The Bangkok Post reports that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand is expected to reach pre-Covid levels by the end of the year, according to government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul.
“In 2023, we expect 36,896 flights from China, a 227.6% increase.”
Out bound group tours were part of the ‘mass tourism’ problem in Thailand in the past, some of them also classified as Zero Dollar tours, whereby payments were made to Chinese tour companies with pre-panned tours and payments made to mostly Chinese companies.
Meanwhile, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob is monitoring airport capacity to handle the rise in tourist volume and ensure passenger convenience at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and another 5 airports run by Airports of Thailand.
According to Anucha Burapachaisri from the Prime Minister’s Office, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha appreciates the work of all sides in reviving Thailand’s tourism industry, which shows a 45% growth in business in the third quarter of last year according to data from Grabtaxi (Thailand).
The number of direct flights is also increasing, with Qatar Airways adding 3 more direct flights from Doha to Phuket, making 7 daily flights between the two destinations.
“Additionally, the decision by Qatar Airways to add 3 more direct flights from Doha to Phuket from the start of this month means the airline is now operating the full 7 flights daily between Doha and Thailand again.”
Meanwhile, a video interview with Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, in which he expresses his appreciation for the close relationship between Thailand and China, has been viewed over 490 million times.
In the clip, Anutin says the Chinese are like family and invites all Chinese people to visit Thailand, adding that every Thai person looks forward to welcoming them.
“I really appreciate that Chinese people haven’t forgotten Thailand and I believe that Thai people’s love for their Chinese counterparts is a family bond. May I invite everyone in China to come and visit Thailand? I’m sure every Thai is looking forward to welcoming all of you.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post