Thai tourism association says number of Chinese tour groups still unexpectedly low

Chinese tourists at the Folding Umbrella Market, photo by Pattaya Mail.

A Thai tourism association says the number of Chinese tour groups making their way to the Land of Smiles is still unexpectedly low.

The president of the Thai Association of Tourism Businesses (ATTA), Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, said the number of Chinese tour groups travelling to Thailand remains unexpectedly low due to a lack of flights.

Instead, most Chinese arrivals in Thailand are free independent travellers (FIT), which are tourists who travel on their own without a tour guide or joining a tour group.

Sisdivachr said this was due to insufficient flights. He said…

“The current number of Chinese arrivals is still not that exciting, but there has been a continuous recovery since the beginning of this year. This is especially notable when compared to the period of 2021-2022, during which Chinese tourists were unable to travel abroad. As a result, the Chinese visitors, which is a major market for Thailand, disappeared altogether.”

Sisdivachr noted that if the number of operational flights met the demand of the visitors, Thailand might see an increase in Chinese tour groups next month, The Pattaya News reported. However, he mentioned that the advance room reservations from Chinese tourists during March-April or Songkran festival were still stagnant.

Regarding the recent entry fee for international visitors, Sisdivachr stated that nothing could be done because the regulation has already been approved and is waiting to go into effect.

Last week, it was reported that independent Chinese travellers were demanding freedom. Tour operators in Singapore said that Chinese travellers “want specific things, and they’re very aware of what they do. They don’t want to blindly follow a tour guide.”

Nearly 2,000 Chinese flights are set to enter Thailand in the coming months. Thailand’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAT) authorised1,910 flights from China to enter the kingdom, with 671 expected to arrive in February and 970 slated for arrival in March, according to CAAT president Suttipong Kongpool.

Thai tourism association says number of Chinese tour groups still unexpectedly low | News by Thaiger

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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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