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Thailand Gets Aggressive on Tourism With 35 Million Visitor Target

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Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry is sure that the country will welcome 35 million foreign visitors this year, with 3 million arriving in the first month, while tourism operators claim expensive tour packages will not deter Chinese tourists from second-tier towns.

According to Kitti Chaodee, secretary to the tourism and sports ministry, Thailand received over 90,000 daily visitors during the week and more than 100,000 on weekends in January, indicating a strong start to the year.

This year, the government is offering a variety of incentives, including visa-free schemes for all exempted nations, the suspension of TM6 immigration forms at Thai-Malaysian border checkpoints, and tourism marketing in second-tier cities.

Chinese tourists were 533,450 as of February 1, with Malaysian arrivals at 337,729 and South Korean arrivals at 229,517.

Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, head of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (Atta), stated airfares for China-Thailand routes remain higher than in 2019, with round-trip tickets costing 4,000-5,000 yuan (about 20,000 baht) during Chinese New Year.

However, he stated that more expensive airfares and tour packages were not a deterrent for Chinese travellers from second-tier cities, as many of them were willing to spend their savings on exceptional vacations.

Mr Sisdivachr stated that the number of charter flights has increased, but largely for holidays, as tour operators are still hesitant to organise long-term services of six months to a year, as they were previous to the pandemic.

He suggested that the government incentivize charter flight operations and encourage private operators organising more roadshows in second-tier cities to boost tourism confidence and develop momentum from large markets, allowing the government to meet its arrivals target more easily.

According to Mr Sisdivachr, a roadshow involving two cities would cost between 7 and 10 million baht in exchange for the opportunity to speak personally with over 800 travel agents in the targeted areas. In January, Atta members reported about 127,000 Chinese tourists.

Tourist Arrivals in Thailand Surpasses 12 Million Mark

Airports of Thailand Braces for Influx of Tourists

Meanwhile, the government said it will collaborate with Airports of Thailand (AOT) to improve services and security for passengers, particularly Chinese, during the Lunar New Year.

More than 3 million tourists are anticipated to visit Thailand during the festival.

According to Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit, AOT’s six international airports, Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, and Chiang Rai, are scheduled to receive approximately 3.5 million travellers from February 5 and 14, Chinese New Year.

According to the minister, the AOT must have proper security measures in place and collaborate with other authorities to deal with the large number of travellers as well as increasing air traffic.

He also ordered an inspection of automatic channels, additional immigration agents on duty, and the use of technology to improve service quality.

According to Mr Suriya, more than eight million Chinese visitors are projected to visit Thailand this year, a 200% increase due to Thailand’s visa-free arrangement with China. The deal becomes effective on March 1.

According to government spokeswoman Chai Wacharonke, within an hour of the visa exemption announcement, Thailand-related searches on Chinese travel agency platform CTrip rose by 90%.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin then personally asked Chinese citizens to visit Thailand via a livestream message on CTrip.

Indian Tourists Thronging to Thailand Like Never Before

Chinese New Year Travellers

Meanwhile, Suvarnabhumi Airport, which is projected to receive the most travellers during Chinese New Year, is working to improve services, particularly for Chinese visitors, by providing interpreters and Chinese signs in shops, restaurants, and other locations.

According to Deputy AOT Director Kirati Kitmanawat, almost 3,524,000 passengers are expected to travel through its six international airports during the forthcoming Chinese holiday, a 20% increase from the previous year.

More than 1.7 million will pass via Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Another programme that attracts visitors to Thailand is the 90-day visa for tourists learning Muay Thai in Phuket. The project is part of Thailand’s soft power strategy, which includes promoting the martial art.

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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