(CTN News) – As a result, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has reduced its original goal for the number of Chinese tourists expected to visit Thailand this year to between 3.4 million and 3.5 million. This is happening even though a visa-free policy was implemented to attract Chinese travelers.
With an unprecedented 11 million tourists, China was a major player in Thailand’s tourism industry before the 2019 epidemic. Nearly 25% of all arrivals that year fell into this category. When we go ahead to 2023, the results are discouraging. The decline is obvious, as only over 3.01 million Chinese tourists have visited the Land of Smiles.
Chattan Kunjara na Ayudhya, TAT’s Deputy Governor for International Marketing in Asia and the South Pacific, explains the reasons for this unanticipated downturn.
The tourism spending zeal of Chinese citizens has been dampened by the country’s economic recession. The desire to travel to new places decreases in tandem with the economic slowdown.
A recent gun incident in a Bangkok mall has added to the problem and spread worry throughout the tourism sector. People are rethinking their trip plans due to the decline in tourist confidence. The lingering repercussions of such tragedies often impact prospective tourists’ perceptions of safety.
According to TAT’s June more bullish forecast, 4–4.4 million Chinese tourists were anticipated for the year. Current data, however, do not meet the government’s original objective of 5 million visits, thus painting a darker picture of reality.
According to Bangkok Post, the TAT deputy governor has admitted difficulties and revealed that the total number of international tourists expected to arrive in 2023 is around 23.88 million.
Despite these setbacks, the Thai government is still committed to welcoming 28 million visitors by the end of the year. This is no easy feat, particularly in light of Thailand’s record-breaking 1.91 trillion baht in pre-pandemic tourism in 2019 from approximately 40 million international visitors.
Incidents that damage tourist confidence are just as important as economic worries for Thailand. Strong safety measures and efficient crisis management are necessary to reassure tourists about their security during their visit to Thailand, as demonstrated by the recent shooting event at a Bangkok mall.