Surge in Flights from China
Thailand has seen an influx of nearly 10 million foreign tourists from January to May 15, contributing approximately 391 billion baht in revenue. The majority of visitors come from East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. The government anticipates reaching seven million Chinese tourists this year.
Supporting Chinese Tourist Growth
Deputy government spokeswoman, Traisulee Taisaranakul, stated that the government has instructed affiliated agencies to enhance support for incoming tourists, especially Chinese visitors, in order to boost the tourism sector’s growth. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) predicts over 5.3 million Chinese tourists will visit the country, with the potential to reach seven million if supported by additional tourism incentives.
Increase in Flights from China
Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai) reported a 98% increase in flights from China to Thailand, with 12,805 flights between October 2022 and April 2023, compared to the same period the previous year. The number of Chinese tourists rose after China announced on February 6 that it would permit international travel via travel agencies. Aerothai expects the number of flights from China to increase until September this year, with estimates of 5,330 flights in May, 6,090 flights in June, 7,150 flights in July, 7,460 flights in August, and 7,340 flights in September.
Fiscal Year 2023: Chinese Flights to Thailand
The total estimated number of Chinese flights arriving in Thailand during the 2023 fiscal year, from October last year to September this year, is 46,175, according to Ms. Traisulee. The Economics Tourism and Sports Division of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports reported that 415,309 foreign tourists visited Thailand between May 8-14, with an average of 59,329 people per day. The top five international tourists arriving in Thailand by nationality are Malaysians, Chinese, Indians, Lao, and South Koreans, comprising 47.5% of all international tourists.
Incentives and External Factors Impacting Thai Tourism
Despite entering its low season, Thailand offers numerous incentives to attract foreign tourists. However, external factors such as the global economy, US debt ceiling talks, high inflation, and the Russian-Ukrainian War have negatively impacted Thailand’s tourism industry. Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thai Hotels Association (THA), believes the country’s tourism sector will experience a slowdown in the latter half of the year.