Chinese visitors are starting, slowly, to return to Thailand, both from Hong Kong and Mainland China. Both Pattaya and Phuket have reported an uptick in Chinese tourists over the past month, albeit a small number compared to pre-2020 travel patterns.
Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, speaking on behalf of the Thai government, outlined new hope for the return of Chinese tourists claiming that a recent report in Global Times indicated that Thailand was the fourth most preferred destination for Chinese travellers after South Korea, Japan and the US.
Global Times is a daily newspaper owned by the Chinese Communist Party.
A total of 2,845 flights are scheduled to depart from China in August, nearly triple the number of flights in July.
“It’s a good sign that Chinese tourists still want to visit Thailand as they did before the pandemic.”
In July international arrivals into Thailand, from all countries, topped 1 million for the month, for the first time since March 2020.
Pre-2020 Chinese tourists were responsible for around 25% of Thailand’s total international arrivals, reaching nearly 10 million arrivals in 2019.
Flights out of China continue to slowly increase as restrictions start to be relaxed in many Chinese provinces. In Hong Kong there has been a relaxation of quarantine requirements over recent weeks.
“Ensuring all foreign visitors have a positive experience in Thailand will ultimately contribute to the revival of the tourism industry.”
Almost all Chinese travellers into Thailand at the moment are independent individuals, couples or families organising many of their bookings through independent travel agents or websites.
Chinese tourists were one of the highest spending international groups in the Pre-Covid era, but staying fewer days in Thailand and often visiting more than one location in the Kingdom.