TAT sees Chinese tourists returning soon
text size

TAT sees Chinese tourists returning soon

A Chinese tour group during a visit to the Grand Palace in 2018. (Photo: Taweechai Tawatpakorn)
A Chinese tour group during a visit to the Grand Palace in 2018. (Photo: Taweechai Tawatpakorn)

Outbound tourism from China is expected to restart during the Chinese New Year in late January 2023 as Beijing gradually lifts Covid-19 restrictions, aiding tourism-related stocks and the overall travel sector in Thailand, say industry operators.

Speaking at an event on Wednesday hosted by the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (Fetco), Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the agency plans to promote Chinese travel to Thailand during the holiday next month, or within the first quarter at the latest.

"It is possible China will start to allow its citizens to travel outside the country as early as Chinese New Year. Hopefully Thailand will be on a list of countries the Chinese government allows its people to visit," he said.

Thailand is on course to attract around 11 million tourists this year, and the projection for 2023 is 20 million, excluding Chinese travellers, generating tourism income of 2.38 trillion baht, or 80% of the 3 trillion baht tallied in 2019, said Mr Yuthasak.

However, a global recession, currency volatility, and energy price crises are the major challenges for the tourism industry, particularly when the low season starts in March, he said.

Tourists from Asean and other Asian countries are the main targets for the TAT next year, as those from the US and Europe have started to decrease because of the economic crisis, said Mr Yuthasak.

Middle Eastern tourists are set to increase, especially from Saudi Arabia. Saudi tourist arrivals totalled 90,000 this year, with a target of 200,000 in 2023, alongside an expected increase in Indian and Russian travellers.

"TAT's marketing will focus on generating quality tourists with high spending, as well as medical tourism. I am confident tourism revenue in 2023 will reach 80% of the pre-Covid level," he said.

Fetco chairman Kobsak Pootrakool said tourism and related industries will benefit from the rapid recovery of the sector. The prices of many stocks in this sector remain low, including those in aviation, food and hotels.

"Thailand is fortunate the tourism industry recover quickly, providing a buffer as the US and Europe are expected to enter into a recession next year," said Mr Kobsak.

Do you like the content of this article?