Over the past several years, Chinese tourists have become a lucrative market for us, filled with visitors of varying purchasing power that are being targeted by many countries worldwide, including Thailand. This year, Thailand has not devised any travel program specifically for Chinese holidaymakers, e.g., exemptions of visa fees, but powerful marketing tactics have been launched by the Thai government and private sector to attract them, not to mention help from the Chinese business sector also using marketing to promote travel in Thailand.
The Chinese tourist market still looks rosy over the remainder of 2015, given the China National Day ‘golden week' when many travelers come here for good value in vacationing. With the help of powerful campaigns initiated by relevant agencies here, KResearch projects that Thailand will receive over 1.8 million visitors from China during 4Q15, surging 22.6 percent compared with last year when growth was as high as 69.8 percent, which was spurred by visa fee exemptions granted to Chinese nationals during August to November, 2014.
It is obvious that Thai tourism is now heavily dependent on Chinese inbound tourists. But with the economy stuttering in China, those who have planned overseas trips may change their mind later. Travel operators should heed economic developments in China and focus exclusively on high-end visitors whose spending power is higher.
Currently, only 10 percent of well-to-do Chinese tourists come for a holiday in Thailand but they are trending well, given our tourism facilities that satisfy this niche market, including activities such as shopping, marine tours and health tourism. KResearch estimates that Thailand will receive some 380,000 high-end travelers from China this year.
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