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2023 marks the 48 years of diplomatic relations between Thailand and China. It also marks 17 years of cooperation between the TAT and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Chinese Embassy in Thailand.
Thailand continues to strengthen tourism ties with China following the high-profile meeting between H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, and H.E. Mr. Hu Heping, Minister of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China.
“During the meeting, there is also a discussion on an opportunity to collaborate on organising the Moon Festival in Thailand. This would help to further strengthen relationships among the public and private sectors as well as the people of China and Thailand.”Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor
In 2023, Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival falls on 29 September.
TAT and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Chinese Embassy in Thailand are already organising together the Chinese New Year celebrations in Thailand – one of five countries around the world that celebrate the biggest Chinese New Year festivities outside of China.
Minister Hu Heping, meanwhile, highlighted that the recent visit to Thailand by Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok as being significant for strengthening the long-standing Chinese-Thai relations.
He noted that the Chinese government recognised the importance of tourism and cultural exchanges between the two nations, hence Thailand was included among the 20 pilot countries for the resumption of outbound group travel from China.
Meanwhile, on 22 February, 2023, Minister Phiphat witnessed the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) between the TAT and China Tourism Group Travel Services Corporation Limited.
This year, from 1 January to 15 February, Thailand welcomed 161,540 Chinese tourists. The number is expected to reach 300,000 in the first three months, and 5 million for the entire year.
Thailand recorded 2.14 million foreign visitors in January
The majority of these tourists reportedly came from neighboring countries such as China, Malaysia, and Laos, especially China after Beijing lifted its COVID-19 restrictions.
China’s reopening is giving the Thai economy an additional boost, with the government projecting 7-8 million Chinese tourists in 2023, down from 11 million in 2019.
At least 26 million international visitors are anticipated to arrive in Thailand this year, contributing to the sector’s recovery to 60% of its pre-pandemic level.
China arrivals following the country’s lifting of travel restrictions on January 8 are expected to drive the total revenue from domestic and foreign tourists in 2023 to 2.4 trillion baht, or 80% of the level before Covid-19.