KResearch has conducted a survey on the viewpoints and behavior of 400 Chinese tourists in Thailand; the interviews were taken at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang Airports during August 15 to September 15, 2016. The results show that Chinese inbound tourists consider Thailand as their top holiday destination in Asia. Respondents were most impressed by natural attractions, e.g., mountains and beaches, followed by leisure and sports activities, Thai food and shopping. Moreover, 41.1 percent of the respondents plan to visit Thailand again.
Regarding the government's intent to eliminate ‘zero-dollar tours', KResearch views that such efforts may cause the number of visitors and tourism receipts to fall over the short term. As tour operators speed up to adjust their strategies, the situation will likely improve. As for 2016 overall, KResearch expects that there will be 9.0 million tourists from China visiting Thailand, rising 13.4 percent over the 7.39 million arrivals recorded in 2015.
KResearch expects that attempts to reform tour operators serving Chinese tourists may reduce the number of visitors from China by 300,000 in 4Q16, most of which plan to visit Thailand on package tours during China's National Day holiday. However, such reforms are not likely to affect those visiting Thailand on their own. We estimate that such a drop in Chinese arrivals may cause an actual loss of about THB8.5 billion in tourism receipts, which would be generated directly into the Thai economic system, excluding money spent on Chinese entities carrying out tourism-related activities illegally, and/or engaging in matters that abuse visitors from China.
Nonetheless, KResearch believes that the Thai government's long-term plan to solve deep-rooted tourism problems, together with cooperation between Thailand and China's tourism authorities, will elevate Thailand's tourism service standards to a level that provides the best experience to tourists. This would also help increase the proportion of repeat tourists to more than the currently forecast 41.1 percent of visitors from China to Thailand (KResearch Poll).
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