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With the restoration of outbound group travel to 20 nations, including Thailand, starting on February 6, 2023, Thailand is welcoming the arrival of Chinese group tours.
High-ranking TAT executives, Chinese officials, and members of the Thai public and business sectors all attended a welcoming ceremony on February 6th.
The first group of tour travelers touched down on a Spring Airlines aircraft from Guangzhou with plans for a 6-day tour that will include some of the most well-known sights of Bangkok and Pattaya.
They are expected to visit places like Bangkok’s Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Pattaya’s Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Yaowarat (Chinatown), and Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen, which is famous for its giant seated Buddha figure.
14 flights from China will arrive in Thailand each day delivering group trips. These flights, run by different airlines, are set to leave from Guangzhou as well as Xiamen, Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Chengdu, and Nanning before landing in Bangkok and Phuket.
36,896 flights between China and Thailand in 2023
Aeronautical Radio of Thailand estimates that there would be 36,896 flights between China and Thailand in 2023, a 227.6% increase over the previous year and more than twice as many as there were in 2022. In the second half of the year, the number of flights is anticipated to progressively rise, reaching the pre-COVID record level in 2024.
In 2022, Thailand saw a significant increase in foreign visitors, with a total of 11.15 million people traveling to the kingdom. This was a significant jump from the previous year, when just 428,000 visitors were recorded due to pandemic-related travel restrictions.
China’s reopening boost
Thailand is aiming to attract 25 million international visitors this year, with a focus on attracting at least five million visitors from China.
There were 286,511 Chinese visitors to Thailand in 2022, according to statistics. 99,429 Chinese visitors came to Thailand between January 1 and February 2023. It is anticipated that in the first quarter of 2023, there will be 300,000 Chinese visitors in Thailand, and that there will be more than 5 million visitors overall.
The reopening of China is expected to further boost Thailand’s vital tourism sector, which before the pandemic accounted for about 12% of the gross domestic product in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.