The Tourism Authority of Thailand, or TAT, stated that the country will continue to promote itself as one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, with the goal of attracting more foreign tourists, particularly from China.
TAT Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool stated that the administration is sure that overall foreign arrivals will exceed the 25 million objective this year.
Although the tourism authority reduced its expectations for Chinese tourist arrivals from 5 to 7 million to around 3.4 million this year, the authority estimated that Chinese arrivals will exceed 8 million next year due to an increase in the number of flights and improved economic conditions.
“Thailand is well-known for its diverse tourism experiences and excellent service.” And we will step up efforts to assure tourist safety in order to attract more international visitors, particularly from China,” Thapanee said, adding that Chinese tourists might contribute 452 billion baht ($13 billion) in tourism receipts next year.
People from all over Thailand have been celebrating the full moon with the Loy Krathong Festival for the past few days. Residents and visitors flocked to lakes, rivers, canals, and beaches in the evening to pay their respects to the river goddess by floating krathongs — banana leaf “rafts” decked with flowers, incense, and candles.
Visa Waivers for Chinese
According to a survey conducted by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, spending for this year’s Loy Krathong Festival is expected to climb by 3.3 percent over last year to 10 billion baht.
Despite fierce competition from other countries that have also offered visa waivers to Chinese travelers, Thapanee said Thailand remains one of the top destinations for Chinese mainland tourists.
According to government figures, China was Thailand’s largest source of international visitors prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, accounting for approximately 11 million arrivals in 2019.
Malaysians, with 3.66 million persons thus far this year, have contributed the most to total foreign arrivals, followed by Chinese (3.03 million), South Koreans (1.43 million), Indians (1.4 million), and Russians (1.24 million).
In order to encourage more visitors, the Thai government approved a 30-day visa exemption for Chinese and Kazakh people. It began on September 25 and will end on February 29 of the following year.
TAT’s deputy governor for international marketing in Asia and the South Pacific, Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, recently told the Bangkok Post that the authority is planning a media trip to invite more than 100 Chinese key opinion leaders to explore new activities and destinations in Thailand, as well as test safety measures for tourists.
More Travellers from India Coming to Thailand
Meanwhile, interest in Thailand has increased, following a wider Southeast Asia visa-waiver trend that is relaxing restrictions for Indian visitors. Indian vacationers’ searches for Thailand have increased.
According to search data from online travel operator Agoda for the peak December travel season, recent visa policy changes have influenced Indian passengers’ travel preferences and top destination choices.
Thailand permitted Indians to come without a visa at the end of October. According to Agoda data, there was a 28% increase in Indian travelers searching for vacations to Thailand in the 10 days preceding the visa-free announcement.
Malaysia is the latest country to join Thailand and Sri Lanka in granting Indians visa-free entrance.
According to government figures, Malaysia received 9.16 million visitor visits between January and June this year, with 498,540 from China and 283,885 from India. This contrasts to 1.5 million Chinese arrivals and 354,486 Indian arrivals in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) revealed on Tuesday that an astonishing 24,081,613 foreign tourists entered Thailand between January 1 and November 25 this year, with foreign arrivals in November alone totaling 100,059 persons.
The organization believes that total international arrivals will exceed its objective of 25 million people this year.
Malaysia (15,467), China (11,556), Russia (6,538), India (5,842), and South Korea (5,652) were the top five international visitors in November.
Malaysians provided the most to total foreign arrivals this year, with 3.66 million people, followed by Chinese (3.03 million), South Koreans (1.43 million), Indians (1.4 million), and Russians (1.24 million).