Pattaya prepares for return of Chinese tour groups

Photo by Ryutaro Uozumi on Unsplash

Cities across Thailand continue to prepare for the expected rise in the number of Chinese tourists to the kingdom.

Pattaya is preparing for Chinese tour groups to finally return to the renowned party city. On Tuesday, Pattaya Mayor Poramase Ngampiches met with the Thai-Chinese Tourism Association to discuss how best to accommodate the influx of Chinese tourists to the city.

The association’s president, Chanaphan Kaewklachaiwut, advised Poramese to step up Pattaya’s security and sanitation to impress Chinese tourists.

Chanaphan said a tour company in the association would create a tour package for Chinese tourists, The Pattaya News reported. The package will be divided into three groups: luxury, medium, and normal.

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Chanaphan added that Chinese tourists would be guided to tourist spots around Pattaya that have been quality-assured by the association.

Pattaya is also looking to speed up construction work on Second Road since tour buses with Chinese tourists are expected to return. However, the work isn’t expected to be finished until around Songkran in April.

China has lifted its restriction on group tours travelling to Thailand and 19 other countries. The reopening of tour groups officially started on January 20, marking a significant step towards normalising international travel for Chinese tourists.

This move officially allows tour agencies and online travel companies to begin booking large group tours. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, large Chinese tour groups were ubiquitous in Thailand and many other countries, seen travelling by buses and led by flag bearers.

Before the pandemic, China had for years been the top country in terms of the sheer number of tourists travelling to Thailand. The country accounted for around 30% of the overall tourists visiting the kingdom.

The first arrivals in three years on a direct flight from China to Thailand landed in Bangkok on January 8, with 200 enthusiastic travellers. After Covid restrictions were lifted, Chinese people who have been waiting for years for their government to allow travel are bursting to get out of the country.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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