Chinese visitors give Thailand good ratings overall

TUESDAY, JULY 09, 2024

Thai food warrants the highest rating in survey of Chinese visitors, but overcharging, overpriced taxis and overly crowded tourist attractions seen as major issues

The majority of Chinese nationals travelling to Thailand in the second quarter of this year came to enjoy Thai foods and fruits, according to the Tourism Council of Thailand.

The Council’s report, published last Thursday (July 4), surveyed 205 Chinese nationals, 44 per cent of them from Mainland China, 24 per cent from Hong Kong, 18 per cent from Taiwan and 14 per cent from Singapore.

The report indicated that respondents from Singapore have the highest spending per trip of 54,456 baht per person, followed by those from Mainland China (46,153 baht), Taiwan (37,295 baht) and Hong Kong (36,144 baht).

Tourists from Mainland China make the highest number of repeat trips, averaging 2.83 times per person, followed by those from Singapore (2.58 visits), Hong Kong (2.49) and Taiwan (2.32).

The report also revealed that 88 per cent of Chinese nationals prefer travelling in Thailand independently compared to 12 per cent who opt to travel with tour operators.

However, 45 per cent of respondents said they had faced an increase in travel spending compared to the pre-Covid-19 era though 44 per cent said nothing has changed and 11 per cent said their travel spending has dropped.

Asked about how they would save on costs, 38 per cent said they would reduce spending on shopping and souvenirs, followed by travel expenses (33%), accommodation (31%), entertainment (26%) and food (12%).

Chinese visitors give Thailand good ratings overall

Meanwhile, 68 per cent of respondents said they paid attention to spending on food, followed by entertainment (48%), tourism services like tour guides and spas (35%), shopping and souvenirs (25%), and accommodation (21%).

Apart from enjoying natural attractions, Chinese nationals said delicious food is the main reason for visiting Thailand, followed by safety (55%), appropriate travel spending (48%), services (45%), variety of destinations (32%) and convenient shopping centres (20%).

Preferred activities include eating Thai food and fruits (84%), taking spa and massage courses (73%), shopping (55%), experiencing vibrant nightlife (55%), enjoying beach activities (30%), taking Chao Phraya River cruises (21%), visiting floating markets (16%), visiting zoos and amusement parks (16%), and taking part in ecotourism activities like bathing with elephants (13%).

Bangkok was named the most popular destination among Chinese nationals (100%), followed by Chiang Mai (20%), Phuket (18%), Pattaya (16%), Samui and Phangan Islands (14%), Krabi (12%), Ayutthaya (10%), Chiang Rai (6%), Cha-am district (6%), Hua Hin district (6%), Lipe Island (5%) and Rayong (3%).

As far as spending on accommodation is concerned, 50 per cent of Chinese nationals prefer hotels priced between 2,001-3,000 baht a night, followed by 1,001-2,000 baht (39%), 3,001-5,000 baht (7%), less than 1,000 baht (4%) and more than 5,000 baht (2%). 91 per cent of respondents booked with online travel agencies, followed by direct hotel channels (16%), walk-ins (11%), and tour operators (11%).

Chinese nationals also preferred hotels with breakfast service (65%), followed by location close to tourist attractions (51%), appropriate price (44%), convenience in getting around, (41%), with a swimming pool (34%), with sauna rooms (33%), with personal pools (20%), with fitness centres (13%) and allowing extra persons to stay in the room (12%).

Chinese visitors give Thailand good ratings overall

On the complaints side, the majority of Chinese nationals said they were uncertain about unfair taxi services while travelling in Thailand with an average score of 3.65 points from the highest of 5 points.

Most issues received a moderate rating, including safety for life and property (3.20 points), PM2.5 pollution (3.18 points), convenience in travelling (3.00 points), cleanliness (2.99 points), food standards (2.92 points), unfair offers for products and services (2.79 points) and police corruption (2.77 points).

Only three issues received low scores, namely tourism deception (2.49 points), safety on the coast (2.48 points) and congestion in tourist attractions (2.43 points), the report added.