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First Chinese tour group in 3 years arrives in Phuket

Facebook/Phuket International Airport - HKT

Phuket tourism officials have welcomed the first Chinese tour group to visit the island in 3 years. The Phuket Express reports that the group touched down at Phuket International Airport at 3.15pm yesterday.

Tour groups in the past have been linked with Zero Dollar tourism where the package tours are all prepaid in China and only focus on commission-based restaurants and visits.

Passengers were welcomed by airport director, Monchai Tamod, and Montree Manator from the Phuket office of the Tourism Authority from the Thailand. There were 180 passengers in the group, arriving on a direct flight from Shanghai with Spring Airlines.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese tour groups were a regular feature on the island. However, harsh outbound travel restrictions imposed by Beijing meant there have been none for nearly 3 years. China recently relaxed restrictions on outbound tours, allowing travel to resume to 20 countries, including Thailand.

In addition to reinstating direct flights from Shanghai to Phuket, the Chinese carrier Spring Airlines has resumed flights from Guangzhou to Chiang Mai and increased the frequency of flights between Shanghai and Bangkok. Juneyao Air, another Chinese airline, also plans to increase its service between Shanghai and Chiang Mai.

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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