11 July 2024

Thailand is expected to benefit from China’s recent easing of travel restrictions, and Thai tourism and tourism-related businesses are preparing to cope with a surge in Chinese tourists after three years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has predicted that the number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand next year is expected to double, from this year’s 11 million, excluding Chinese tourists who are expected to visit Thailand in droves after the relaxation of travel restrictions imposed upon them by the Chinese government under its “zero infection” policy.

An executive of a hotel in the Vibhavadi Rangsit area of Bangkok said that many hotels are revising their plans to cope with the return of Chinese tourists.

He said that many hotels are familiar with the precautionary measures adopted by the Thai Public Health Ministry to cope with foreign arrivals, adding that he thinks room occupancy next year may increase by 100%, thanks to the return of Chinese tourists.

Currently, tourists from Russia, India and Malaysia account for the largest portion of foreign arrivals.

Meanwhile, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has admitted that the budget for Phase 6 of the “Rao Thieu Duaykan” (We Travel Together) program will be reduced substantially, from 8.7 billion baht to about 4 billion baht, forcing the Tourism Authority of Thailand to review the project before it is to be resubmitted to the cabinet next week.