March 8, 2023
BEIJING – Efforts to boost Chinese tourism to Thailand are underway after a key document was signed.
Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, hopes that with the efforts of both parties, the country’s high-quality tourism products will be promoted intensively in China.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand and CTG Travel Services Corp Ltd recently signed a letter of intent to deepen strategic cooperation in the tourism industry to encourage Chinese tourists to visit Thailand.
Regarding visa exemptions for the two countries, Ratchakitprakarn says that it needs to be discussed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand to see if it is feasible and to determine a timeline.
Lei Haisu, chairman of CTG Travel, says that the company will work with the tourism bureau to cater to the needs of Chinese visitors, offering them quality tourism products with attractive prices, and organize various activities involving major Thai festivals to draw tourists.
“Thailand will welcome Chinese tourists with safety, quality and a diversified travel experience,” the tourism bureau’s governor Yuthasak Supasorn says.Thailand will impose fees on foreign tourists from June 1, which will be used to develop attractions and cover accident insurance costs for those who are unable to pay such costs themselves. He says their aim is to enhance travel experience and ensure visitors’ personal and property safety in Thailand.
Most tourists like to visit popular destinations such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai. To enrich their travel experience, the tourism bureau has now prepared about 200 community activities to guide visitors to Thailand to enjoy local life and the Thai culture.
“The Thai government attaches great importance to the travel experience of Chinese visitors, in which visa applications are an important part. We’re working to resolve the issue of long processing time of visa applications,” Supasorn says.
“The current e-visa policy of Thailand has simplified the visa application process. We will also urge relevant departments to improve the efficiency of visa-on-arrival applications for Chinese visitors.”
Currently, the Thai embassy and consulates in China, he says, are processing about 8,000 visa applications per day, compared to the pre-pandemic level of about 20,000.
The tourism bureau expects that about 20 million overseas tourists will travel to Thailand this year. Supasorn adds that after China recently announced its resumption of outbound travel, that figure is expected to increase by five to seven million.
“It’s a conservative figure because of the current inadequate flight capacity, which is expected to recover to 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels within the year,” he says.