CHIANG RAI – Almost half of the Approximately 60,000 foreign tourists, entered Thailand through major airports nationwide during the Thai New Year Songkran festival April 12-16 were Chinese, according to the Association of Thai Travel Agents.
ATTA executive Thongyoo Suphavittayakorn said China requested landing permission for 427 additional flight arrivals, including 19 chartered services, mainly at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
He said a large number of Chinese tourists will arrive Thailand during the Golden Week – a one-week holiday from May Day in China.
Chinese tourists spent an average of Bt3,500-4,000 per person during their stays in Thailand.
ATTA forecasts an increase in the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand this year from 2.5 million to three million while the total number of tourists should also rise from 22 million last year to at least 25 million this year.
Chiang Rai Tourism Association urges tour operators to organise more tour package for Chinese travellers to boost the tourism industry.
The association chairman, Apicha Trasin, said the province should create tour package for Chinese tourists that draw their attention to the far north destination before they visit Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Pattaya.
The most popular destinations for Chinese visitors are Bangkok and Pattaya, but as Chiang Mai evolves from a rural to urban business hub it has also attracted attention, mainly because it duplicates the shopping and entertainment attractions of Bangkok and Pattaya.