Chinese travel companies resume full operations

Chinese travel companies resume full operations

Officials welcome the first group of Chinese tourists to arrive in Thailand at Suvarnbhumi airport on Jan 9.(Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Officials welcome the first group of Chinese tourists to arrive in Thailand at Suvarnbhumi airport on Jan 9.(Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

Chinese travel agencies will today resume outbound group tours to 20 countries including Thailand, following the relaxation of rules governing personal foreign travel at the beginning of the year.

The number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand is expected to hit pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels by the end of the year, said deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul, citing a projection by the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Co.

"In 2023, the company expects 36,896 flights from China, a 227.6% increase," Ms Traisuree said.

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob has been monitoring airports' capacity to handle the expected rise in tourist volumes.

He wanted to ensure their convenience at Suvarnabhumi airport and the five other international airports under the Airports of Thailand, she said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha appreciates the hard work of all sides in contributing to the recovery of Thailand's tourism, said PM's Officer Minister Anucha Burapachaisri.

Another indicator of the recovery was recent figures reported by Grabtaxi (Thailand) Co which showed a 45% growth in business in the third quarter of last year, compared with the figures in the previous quarter, said Mr Anucha.

"Additionally, the decision by Qatar Airways to add three more direct flights from Doha to Phuket from the start of this month means the airline is now operating the full seven flights daily between Doha and Thailand again," he said.

More importantly, he said Thailand has also been voted along with Singapore and Japan to be in the world's top three destinations in Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, a video interview given by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul with Chinese media outlet CCTV which was posted on has been viewed more than 490 million times.

The health minister said he appreciated the positive comments from Chinese viewers who apparently were impressed by his remarks about the long-held close ties between Thailand and China.

He said Thai and Chinese people are more like a family.

"I really appreciate that Chinese people haven't forgotten Thailand and I believe that Thai people's love for their Chinese counterparts is a family bond.

"May I invite everyone in China to come and visit Thailand?

"I'm sure every Thai is looking forward to welcoming all of you," Mr Anutin said in the video interview which was recorded on Jan 9 when he visited Suvarnabhumi to welcome Chinese arrivals.

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