The first group tour from China arrived on a flight into Don Mueang airport on Monday morning, as Chinese travel agencies resumed outbound tours to 20 countries following the relaxation of rules governing personal foreign travel at the beginning of the year, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said.
Thirteen flights bringing tour groups from China were scheduled to arrive in Thailand on Monday.
Spring Airlines Flight 9C7419 landed at Don Mueang airport at 8.05am from Guangzhou with a group of 40 tourists. The flight also brought 90 independent Chinese travellers.
Mr Yuthasak said the first group is on a six-day tour of Bangkok, Pattaya and Rayong. They will visit popular tourist spots including Koh Samet, Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens in Pattaya, Pak Nam Phasi Charoen, the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Bhuddha (Wat Phra Kaew) and Yaowarat's China Town.
He said on Monday 13 flights were scheduled to arrive at Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and Phuket airports from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xiamen, Nanjing and Nanning with more group tours.
From Jan 1 to Feb 2, a total of 99,429 Chinese tourists arrived in Thailand, sending a positive signal of an economic upturn, he added.
The TAT governor expected at least 5 million Chinese visitors this year.