January 10, 2024
BANGKOK – Nonglux said at the event, travellers were paying more attention to high-quality tour programmes aimed at younger people and families, as well as tourists interested in luxury and local life.
“Chinese tourists were also focusing on in-depth tours to experience Thai life firsthand instead of just sightseeing,” she said.
She added that the young generation were more interested in specific activities being part of their tour programmes, such as music, sports, festivals, nightlife and healthcare.
They also paid more attention to niche and unique experiences, freedom and relaxation as well as in-depth tours that allowed them to immerse themselves in local life, she said.
According to Nonglux, the most frequent questions posed by customers to travel agents were related to:
• Hotels and accommodations
Most Chinese tourists asked for villas with two or three bedrooms for friends and family. In terms of hotels, they wanted beautifully decorated ones that would provide plenty of selfie opportunities for social-media posts. Family travellers sought hotels with facilities for children, such as baby pools, kid clubs, playgrounds, meals and security.
• Activities and experiences
Many tourists showed interest in specific activities and experiences they can enjoy while in Thailand, such as cooking classes, lessons in Muay Thai, renting traditional attire, surfing, wines, local markets, street food, diving, elephant camps, traditional massage and cruises.
• Summer Camp
Many showed interest in week-long tours for students with optional activities for their guardians.
• Health and medical
Chinese travellers showed interest in medical checkups, detox programmes, in-vitro fertilisation, yoga and beauty services.
• Social media destinations and products
Chinese tourists showed interest in tourist destinations that are not just beautiful but are also popular on social media. These include food outlets listed in the Michelin Guide, interesting edibles, prettily decorated coffee shops and bustling night markets.
• Themes for MICE travellers
Chinese travellers focus on activities to strengthen relationships, as well as building confidence and cooperation among employees. They also look for functions that suitable for meetings, gala dinners and local exhibitions.
• Products and activities for the new generation
Young people mostly showed interest in music, sports, foods, festivals, nightlife and healthcare.
• Thai food
Chinese tourists are interested in street foods, food outlets that are listed in Michelin Guide and local snacks.
Separately, Edison Chen, vice president of multinational travel service conglomerate Trip.com Group, said 74% of Chinese tourists come to Thailand independently, while only 26% join group tours.
Some 42% of Chinese tourists had booked stays of seven days in Thailand, while 23% booked stays of between eight to 14 days, Chen said.
He also said that “bleisure travel”, which is a combination of business and leisure travel, is also trending.
“More than 90% of business travellers said they would spend their own money to visit local attractions while here on business,” he said. “Over 38% also hope to have more time for rest and leisure during their business trip.”
He added that tourists are keen on seeking unique experiences while planning their trip, as 35% of Trip.com application users have participated in “Trip Moments” function, that gathers tourism-related data.
Some 22% of the participants booked a trip within one month of watching the content, he said.
Chen added that unique travel experiences are fast becoming the norm, instead of going on trips with a busy itinerary.
He added that artificial intelligence will also help boost efficiency in tourism industry development and experience for customers.