The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects at least 100,000 Chinese tourists to spend the coming Chinese New Year in Thailand, up from 60,000 last year, with the easing of H1N1 flu fears and a perception in China of a calmer political situation in Thailand.
For two years Thai tourism has suffered from concern over the flu outbreak and the country’s political turmoil, especially in sensitive countries such as China, said Sansern Ngaorungsi, the executive director of the TAT’s East Asia Region.
In the coming Chinese New Year, which falls on St Valentine’s Day, the number of Chinese tourist arrivals is forecast to increase by 67% from a year earlier, he said.
But Chinese tourists are changing their behaviour by increasingly travelling on their own and using the internet to pick destinations, instead of relying on tour agents.
China has the world’s second-highest internet penetration after the United States and TAT must increase online marketing campaigns in China, he said.