Thailand to see rise in tourists as fallout continues in the US-China trade spat

Thailand may end up being a beneficiary in the ongoing US-China trade spat as mainland Chinese tourists will decide to travel closer to home or could even find it difficult to gain entry into the US.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is monitoring the situation to see if Beijing blocks Chinese tourists from making trips to the US. The restriction could even come from the US side as the trade wars escalate.

It is expected that TAT offices in Kunming, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu and Beijing will actively promote Thai tourism whilst Beijing and Washington keep rolling out new sanctions.

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn commented about anecdotal evidence from TAT branches suggesting the trade disputes is keeping Chinese travellers from planning trips outside of Asia.

“These factors may slow down decision-making for overseas trips and tourism spending. The ultimate goal is to attract visitors from China to engage in tourism events in Thailand to boost the tourism sector as a whole,” he was quoted saying in the Bangkok Post.

Despite potential competition from other Asian rivals, Thailand is still the most popular choice for many Chinese travellers. In 2018, around 10.5 million visited Thailand and industry analysts are expecting the numbers to balloon further this year, especially if the trade war keeps stumbling along.

At this stage, China is yet to announce if it will prohibit its residents to travel to the United States just like it did when it had tensions with Japan and South Korea.

SOURCE: Business Times

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