Chinese tourists flock back to Thailand

By Hoang Phong   January 9, 2024 | 08:21 pm PT
Chinese tourists flock back to Thailand
People pose for a photo in front of lantern decorations on Lunar New Year's Eve at Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 21, 2023. Photo by Reuters
Chinese topped the list of travelers to Thailand in the first week of 2024 as the country eyes a strong recovery in Chinese tourist numbers after last year's fiasco.

Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol said there were 81,854 Chinese tourists, accounting for 13% of total foreign arrivals.

Malaysians were second at over 64,000, followed by Russians (51,467), South Koreans (43,894) and Indians (30,203), she added as cited by Nation Thailand.

Thailand targeted five million Chinese arrivals last year but only 3.51 million turned up.

A Bangkok mall shooting last September in which two foreigners, including a Chinese national, died affected Chinese tourists' confidence, and a number of Chinese carriers canceled flights to Thailand in December and January due to the resultant low demand.

This year the Thai government targets eight million Chinese visitors after the countries agreed to mutually waive visas starting in March.

Before the pandemic China was the biggest market for Thailand, sending 11 million tourists.

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