Chinese tourism deterred by tourist scams in Thailand, says ATTA

Photo: ATTA's President Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn via ttgasia

Fear of being conned by tourist scams poses a bigger concern to prospective Chinese tourists than Thailand’s political ambiguity, advises the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA). Given a sluggish economic recovery on the mainland, the Chinese tourism market could slightly be affected.

Calling for tougher safety measures, ATTA’s president, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, indicated that improving the country’s image and reassurances over touristic scams would encourage Chinese travellers. He also emphasised the necessity to uplift the quality of services provided in the tourism sector to boost Chinese tourism.

Cheewarattanaporn argues that even with the likely political vacuum in the coming two to three months, Chinese tourists wouldn’t consider Thailand’s political instability as a reason for rerouting their destinations.

Attaining the government-set target of five million visitors necessitates a footfall of at least two million Chinese travellers in the third quarter, around 12,000 to 15,000 daily. This figure is expected to be followed by more than two million arrivals in the final quarter, resulting in a surge in Chinese tourism.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry report highlighted the significant impact of Chinese tourism in the country, with nearly 1.29 million Chinese arrivals recorded as of June 18 this year, reported Bangkok Post.

The process for visa acquisition has drastically limited group tours due to its intricate procedures and lengthy waiting periods. Cheewarattanaporn highlighted that currently, a mere 10% of Chinese visitors utilise the tour service by ATTA’s members. This is a marked contrast compared to 40 to 50% of 2019, signifying a downturn from when Thailand had massive influxes of group tours, significantly impacting Chinese tourism.

At present, the spending of Chinese visitors in Thailand has not dipped significantly because of the economic slowdown in China. However, the tourism industry needs to monitor this factor, as it could impact consumer confidence and Chinese tourism.

Working on accommodation for over 1,000 business travellers from China, ATTA is preparing for the World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention. The convention scheduled this weekend at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center is likely to boost Chinese tourism indirectly.

In a business-to-business meeting, “Atta Travel Mart,” held yesterday — the first since pre-pandemic times, Cheewarattanaporn stressed that the forthcoming tourism minister ought to harmonise further with private sectors for tourism promotion initiatives. Additionally, he emphasised fostering better relations with other ministries to upgrade Chinese tourism, a key driver of the economy.

Cheewarattanaporn predicts that the number of Chinese tourists could cross the 10 million mark by 2024. Inbound tourists could even regain their pre-pandemic figure of 40 million, conditioned there are no further negative impacts.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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