Feb 15, 2023
On January 9th 2023, the first batch of Chinese tourists arrived at Suvarnabhumi after China reopened borders and lifted travel restrictions. On February 6th, 14 flights carrying touched down the land of smile when China resumed group tour to 20 countries in the world.
What will be the trend of Chinese tourists this year? And how it may boost the economy in Thailand? Prof. Dr. Tang Zhimin, Director of CASPIM, commented in his recent interview with the People’s Daily:
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) estimated the number of Chinese tourists to be 0.3 million in Q1 2023 and 5 million in the year. More optimistic prediction is 7 to 10 million. Chinese tourist is one important pillar in global tourism. Before Covid 19, China had been the largest market for outbound tourist for years. The number of outbound tourists peaked in 2019 at 169 million, accounted for about 20% of global tourism expenditure.
According to China Tourism Academy, the outbound Chinese tourists spent $133.8 billion in 2019, an average of $863 per person.
China is also the largest source country of foreign tourists in Thailand. The number peaked in 2019 at 11 million, accounted for 27.6% of international tourists, brought in revenues of $17 billion. Coming back of Chinese tourists imbues hope and imagination for government and tourism sector in Thailand. TAT opens Amazing New Chapters this year with estimated 25 million foreign tourists and ฿2.38 trillion (around $70 billion) tourism revenue.
Tourism contributes 20% of GDP of Thailand, which is about $525 billion in 2023. NESDB (National Economic and Social Development Board) predicted in February 17 that Thai economy will grow at 2.7%-3.7% this year. Rebounding of Chinese tourists will be a positive propeller to that growth through expenditure in the tourism supply chain and higher income and employment from its multiplier effects.