Traveling solo in Thailand will become more of a joy for those Chinese tourists who find itdifficult and time-consuming to plan a trip, as Baidu Inc has been developing a one-stopinformation service with multiple partners in the southeast Asian country.
The Chinese tech giant on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, or TAT, in part to help independent visitors figure out top picks for local attractions, restaurants as well as hotels, and more importantly, how to get there.
Such information will be easily accessible via Baidu Map, a mapping service technology inboth Chinese and Thai launched in Bangkok on the same day with an audio smart guide and17,000 points of interest provided by TAT.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “TAT aims to restructure the market by expanding to high-end tourists from various cities of China like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing and Chengdu. This cooperation will allow TAT to reach this target group directly and rapidly.
Through this effort with Baidu, Chinese tourists will have a wealth of information even before their departure and can always find more information upon their arrival in Thailand.”
The number of Chinese tourists is expected to hit at least 10 million by end-2016, bringingThailand’s total tourism earnings to 509 billion baht ($14.5 billion), a 35.4 increase from a yearearlier.
Statistics from the China National Administration of Tourism show a total of 120 millionChinese traveled overseas in 2015 spending $194 billion across the world, making it the thirdyear in a row to top the list of international outbound travelers.
However, according to Supasorn, more and more Chinese tourists to Thailand are choosingflexible travel methods, which makes one-stop information service such as Baidu Map evenmore important.
A report jointly released on Monday by Baidu Thailand, Union Pay and Ctrip shows only 41percent are willing to join group tours when traveling in Thailand in the past six months, andthe share is expected to drop to 26 percent in the next half year.