A survey conducted by KResearch on Chinese tourists visiting Thailand shows that 83.4 percent of them agree with Thailand's efforts to eliminate “zero dollar” tours, citing that it will improve tour quality. In addition, 98 percent of the respondents consider Thailand to be their top holiday destination in Asia, and 65.5 percent said that they will visit Thailand again on their own rather than with package tours.
The poll shows that Chinese holidaymakers generally have a positive attitude towards Thailand. The rise of independent Chinese travelers will be a challenge for travel businesses here, though. As a result, businesses will have to adjust, most notably tour agents who may have to focus more on Chinese families and MICE travelers, since they are significant segments that attach great importance to convenience. To be less dependent on Chinese tourists, Thai hotels may align their marketing efforts towards independent Chinese travelers or other international tourists, e.g., Russian and ASEAN nationals, who are expected to visit Thailand more this year.
During the upcoming 2017 Chinese New Year, it is expected that the number of Chinese tourist arrivals to Thailand on their own should rise, while those taking holidays here via package tours may continue to contract. Given this, we at KResearch expect that the number of Chinese tourist arrivals to Thailand during 1H17 may reach perhaps 4.88-4.98 million, representing (-)0.4 to 1.6 percent growth YoY.
The Chinese New Year is a time of the year that helps travel businesses boost income, but competition will likely be intense this time around, so they should focus on offering the best value for money by bundling popular services with core packages, or upgrading services, to induce Chinese clients to come again in the future.
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