Chinese tourists search for new experiences in Thailand

Photo courtesy of Invest Bangkok Property

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reveals that travel trends of Chinese tourists have shifted, no longer visiting Thailand in large tour groups.

Data from the TAT and ATTA roadshow to China 2023 revealed a seismic shift towards independent and small-group travel, with groups of six to eight stealing the show.

Nonglux Yooyendee, the director of TAT’s Shanghai office disclosed that Chinese tourists are no longer settling for mundane sightseeing. Instead, they’re craving high-quality tours tailored for the young, families, luxury enthusiasts, and those yearning for an authentic local experience.

“Chinese tourists were also focusing on in-depth tours to experience Thai life firsthand instead of just sightseeing.”

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This paradigm shift is driven by the young generation’s hunger for unique experiences. Chinese tourists demand villas with ample bedrooms for their entourage and Instagram-worthy hotels that scream selfie central.

Cooking classes, Muay Thai lessons, traditional attire rentals – the list is endless. Week-long tours for students with guardian-friendly optional activities are also popular. Detox programmes, in-vitro fertilisation, yoga, and beauty services are sought after – health-conscious travellers are on the rise.

Other attractions include picturesque spots listed in the Michelin Guide, quirky coffee shops, and buzzing night markets. Building relationships, boosting confidence, and finding the perfect setting for meetings and exhibitions have also come to Chinese tourists’ attention when planning their visit to Thailand. Music, sports, festivals, nightlife, and healthcare are the millennial must-haves, reported The Nation.

Edison Chen, vice president of Group, revealed that 74% of Chinese tourists are now solo adventurers, with only 26% opting for group tours. B-leisure travel is also taking the scene by storm, with business travellers yearning for leisure amidst their professional pursuits.

Chen stated that AI is set to revolutionise the travel industry, promising increased efficiency and unparalleled experiences for wanderlust-stricken customers.

In related news, Chinese tourist arrivals are staging a phenomenal comeback, promising a lucrative windfall for local hotels just in time for the high season. Chinese tourist arrivals are making an astonishing recovery, igniting hopes for a booming hospitality sector that analysts believe will persist until the upcoming Chinese New Year on February 10.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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