MONDAY, April 15, 2024

Thailand expects over 20,000 Chinese tourists a day as free visa starts

Thailand expects over 20,000 Chinese tourists a day as free visa starts

The Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) expects more than 20,000 Chinese arrivals per day from March 1 when Thailand and China permanently waive visa requirements for their citizens.

“The confidence of Chinese tourists in travelling within Thailand has been fully restored,” ATTA president Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn said on Friday, citing statistics of Chinese arrivals in the first two months of 2024 at over 1 million people.

“However, the government must continue tourism promotion campaigns together with private partners to attract Chinese tour agencies organising group tours and chartered flights,” he added

Sisdivachr hoped that the permanent free visa policy would help maintain Chinese arrivals at over 20,000 per day throughout the year, which would help Thailand meet the target of welcoming 40 million foreign arrivals, generating around 2.3 trillion baht in revenue.

“The key is to keep the confidence level high. The government must make sure there are no negative news that could disrupt tourists’ confidence in travelling to Thailand, especially regarding tourists’ safety,” he said.

He was referring to the news of a Chinese tourist in Phuket having to wait two hours for an ambulance after she fell to the ground while parasailing and broke her leg. The tourist recently posted her grievance on social media, which went viral.

“The government must order all provincial governors to increase measures to ensure tourists’ safety as well as improve the quality of tourist services. This will ensure that the tourists would have a good experience while in Thailand,” said Sisdivachr.

Thailand had first implemented temporary visa exemption in September last year, beginning with visitors from China and Kazakhstan followed by India and Taiwan in November.

The temporary visa waiver for the citizens of China and Kazakhstan expired on February 29, but Chinese tourists can continue visiting Thailand under the permanent free visa policy, which started on March 1.