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Thailand tourism officials to tap into Chinese market as they attract more visitors

Caitlin Ashworth




Thailand has so far welcomed 2 flights with Chinese visitors on the new Special Tourist Visa, a first step after a 7 month ban on international tourists. Now, tourism officials are proposing to bring in more whilst tapping into the vast Chinese market to draw in more visitors.

Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn says they’re planning on 7.45 million Chinese arrivals next year with hopes that travel restrictions ease up (in 2019 there were around 11 million Chinese visitors to Thailand). Tourism officials expect a high season in July during the school break, assuming that international travel restrictions are lifted by then. Next year’s overall goal for the Asian market is 11.2 million, a 34% decrease from 2019, before the pandemic.

“Some 7.45 million arrivals from China is in our sight, but it depends on how situation develops.”

A marketing strategy is being prepared by TAT’s deputy governor of marketing for Asia South Pacific, Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya.

“When the pandemic subsides we will change their focus from business travellers and retirees, to a younger generation that are ‘less concerned’ with health risks.”

He says he’s focusing on millennials, those born in the early 1980s to late 1990s. China has 321 million millennials, while Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan altogether have 69 million.

“Millennial travellers have more flexibility as they can actively penetrate technologies and online information — essential tools for post-pandemic tourism.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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  1. Avatar


    Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Just stop it. It’s already dead!

  2. Avatar


    Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Very good policy. Tap into any market with low risk in reference of JHU data. Humanity matters!

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    As I commented elsewhere …

    “Opening Pattaya as a government-sponsored gambling hub, based initially around the Ambassador which is coincidentally built with exactly the right layout of ‘ballrooms’ that could be used for gambling with no changes to the layout, and with U-Tapao on the doorstep, would attract millions of Chinese as an alternative to Macau.

    That would put all the underground gambling out of business overnight, with their income going not to organised crime but to Thailand instead, and provide all the money required to keep Pattaya going and resolve any economic issues Thailand has as a result of losing tourists since Macau gets over US$40 billion a year from their ‘tourism’ industry..

    Just a thought …”

    • Avatar


      Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 9:52 pm

      A bad thought. You only have to look and see what is happening to Cambodia in general and Sihanoukville specifically to imagine the damage in store for Thailand and Pattaya. The idea it would be the end of underground gambling and a drain on the money to organized crime is naïve at best. There is an even better chance it hyper charges it instead, especially the organized crime part. Every loan shark in Thailand should be thanking you in advance. Last the Macau comparison might not be very good. Not saying Thailand can’t generate money, just it won’t be anywhere near what Macau makes. The destructive side effect of the gambling industry aside. Pattaya would not be an alternative to Macau. To Sihanoukville yes, Macau no. One is in China, the other is not and that’s a huge difference. In addition Pattaya would have a lot of competition for Yuan/dollars/etc. The Chinese have already built up Sihanoukville and funneling their gamblers there (and to all their other casinos in neighboring countries). The time so do this was before China invested billions into Sihanoukville, not after. The term “Pandora’s box” comes to mind.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 1:01 am

        It would all depend on how it’s managed and controlled, and who you allow to participate.

        Cambodia’s as it is purely because it’s a free for all, while there are alternatives – the gambling’s happening here already anyway and Pandora’s box has been open for a long time, so it’s really more a question of whether the country profits from it or if they let others do so instead.

        Thailand’s losing an enormous amount of money unnecessarily just with the lottery, which is a massive money maker but could make an equally massive amount more if only the sales and distribution were run differently and it offered the same options as the underground set-up. The farce over saying that lottery sellers could only sell tickets for 80 baht when most lottery sellers can’t even buy them for that shows just how little thought has been put into it.

        .. and while Macau’s “in China” it’s always been very different, while avoiding pretty well all the issues of HK; I’m not suggesting Thailand could compete with Macau, so much as it could learn from it.

        … and I agree with you entirely that the ideal time would have been before Sihanoukville was in the picture, but at that time it wasn’t an option.

    • Avatar


      Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 9:44 am

      Why are underwear sold in pairs? Are you the one caught stealing 70 of them?

  4. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Nobody will be alive by then…

  5. Avatar

    kelly fitch

    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 1:40 am

    i was in sihanoukville 3 years ago looking at possable areas to buy a condo. it was crazzy there casinos all over and taxi drivers and street vender say there not happy with china taken over. some i talked to say hay can,t aford to work and live there every thing the price has gone way up rent food just not good i will not go back there other part of cambodia i will thow

  6. Avatar


    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 7:18 am

    Since the Vietnam war Thailand, a conservative country, has catered mainly to fat white beer drinking western males who chased economically challenged Thai women half their age. This was tolerated by the population only because of money. But the country isn’t proud of being known for this type of tourism and would eliminate it if it could.

    Then the Chinese got wealthier over the last few decades and started showing up and outspending westerners. Thailand’s finances also improved as evidenced by a stronger baht and it isn’t cheap to visit anymore.

    Fast forward to COVID-19 and the temporary stoppage of tourism. Time to reset! Should we go with the Chinese who spend more MONEY and engage in the type of tourism we want or stick with the mixture we had before COVID-19? Let’s go with the Chinese! There’s enough of them with money. What do the Chinese like that we can be proud to offer? Family friendly activities, gambling, beaches with great weather, food and culture. There’s our blueprint! How do we get started? Let’s clean ourselves up a bit and enforce the immigration laws already on the books. Great idea and good way to get rid of undesirables! Let’s build a casino in Pattaya, clean up the beaches and make it a family oriented resort town. Maybe locals could go there too! What about all the sex workers? They’ll have to be retrained so they fit into our new blueprint. This is beginning to sound good – maybe someday we’ll be like Hawaii or Singapore. Does this work for all of you? I’m good with that-let the fat white westerners go chase the Filipinos or Cambodians. But those fat white westerners will accuse us of being a Chinese puppet. Who cares about what they think. This has been a great brain storming session. Good job!

    • Avatar


      Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 9:53 am

      When did gambling become something a society is proud to offer? Besides the point over 90% of all “transactions” occur with Thai men and not fat beer drinking white men, the Chinese tourist didn’t make the baht strong or outspend westerners. They spend more per day, but not per person or per trip. That’s because most Chinese only visit Thailand for about 4-5 days while most westerners do for two weeks. There is a reason the term “two week millionaire” exists and it’s not because of the Chinese. Also while it’s not often mentioned in the media, there are plenty of studies which show the Chinese don’t have as high of an economic multiplier. It’s actually an important point and one people in charge don’t pay enough attention to. Let just say there is a reason the term “zero dollar tourism” exists and it is because of the Chinese.

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 1:22 pm

      You’re hired!

  7. Avatar


    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    Confucius say:
    Man who make mistake in elevator wrong on many levels.

  8. Avatar


    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    I think the point above about fat white westerners is misguided. You could say that about all resorts around Europe. Pattaya is not the be all end all of Thailand. There are other places to visit and if you know a Thai local, there a thousands of great places to explore. Anyway, I think Pattaya is great, wouldn’t change it. Touristy, but great seafood, lots to do, people friendly. Been to Chang Mai, Hua Him and a few other places, Pattaya best place for seafood in Thailand. Went on a squid fishing trip. The best, koh learn island, great seafood. Great hotels, everything you need.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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