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Phuket tourism officials pin hopes on China junket

Flickr/Dawn in Phuket, Thailand

With the number of Chinese arrivals nowhere near those seen pre-pandemic, Phuket tourism officials embarked on a promotional roadshow across 3 Chinese cities. With the post-Songkran slump in numbers, local tourism officials are hoping a boost in Chinese visitors may take up some of the slack.

Now they’ve declared the China travel show a success, saying they’re confident Phuket will welcome an extra 1 million Chinese visitors this year.

Between April 8 and 12, local government officials and tourism operators from Phuket met with Chinese travel agents in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu in what critics are calling a government junket.

China has long been a significant tourism market for Thailand and prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, was the largest tourism market by far. The roadshows follow similar events held in recent months in the Middle East.

The Vice-President of the Phuket Administration Organisation says an additional 1 million Chinese would mean 40 billion baht in tourism revenue for the island. Anupab Vejwanichsanong is confident of seeing the increase in Chinese arrivals before the year is out.

Last year, Phuket welcomed around 1.7 million Chinese arrivals, well below the 3.1 million who arrived in 2019, pre-pandemic. The Phuket Tourism Association remains hopeful that 2024 will be the year those numbers return.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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