Thailand’s tourism sector is gearing up to welcome the return of Chinese tourists, as China finally eases nearly 3 years of tough travel restrictions. The Thai government has stated that arrivals from China will not be required to show a negative Covid test. However, arrivals from ALL countries will once more need to show proof of being fully vaccinated.
In 2019, Chinese travellers were up to 38% of the tourist mix that year, providing an important economic driver for the island.
The Bangkok Post reports that the president of the northern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association says Chiang Mai is ready to welcome the Chinese back, pointing out that hotel workers are fully vaccinated and wear face masks on duty.
Phunut Thanalaopanich adds that from the end of this month, hotels will ask guests from China to show a negative test result at check-in. He explains that most Chiang Mai hotels have been asking every guest for this, regardless of where they’ve come from. Hotels also require proof of vaccination and may carry out random testing during a guest’s stay.
Phunut says there are currently no bookings from Chinese tourists but these are expected to begin next month. He adds that the Chinese accounted for up to 70% of Chiang Mai’s more than 3 million international visitors in 2019. In the first quarter of this year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is forecasting around 300,000 Chinese arrivals.
Meanwhile, Thai Vietjet is working with travel agencies in China to conduct studies on potential new routes. The airline’s Director of Commercial Sales, Pinyot Pibulsonggram, says demand is high in China for Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. The carrier currently operates 2 flights a week between Thailand and the Chinese cities of Nanjing and Kunming.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post