Searches for Bangkok surge following China-Thailand permanent visa exemption

By Hoang Phong   January 3, 2024 | 11:38 pm PT
Searches for Bangkok surge following China-Thailand permanent visa exemption
Chinese tourists arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, January 2023. Photo by AFP
Travel searches for Bangkok soared by 200% on Chinese travel platforms following the announcement of a permanent visa waiver between China and Thailand.

Thai Prime Minister SretthaThavisin said on Tuesday that Thailand and China would permanently waive visa requirements for each other's citizens from next March as both countries seek to recover tourism post-pandemic.

Data from travel platform Mafengwo showed searches for the keyword "Bangkok" surged by 200% by Tuesday noon, Global Times reported.

Searches for round-trip tickets between China and Thailand jumped 3.6-fold day-on-day by 2 p.m. Tuesday based on data from travel app Flight Master.

Bookings by Chinese tourists for Thailand from now until the Chinese New Year, which occurs around the same time as Vietnam's Lunar New Year (Tet) in early February, have increased by more than 10 times compared with 2023, according to data from

Data from Ctrip also showed a 90% increase in searches an hour after the visa waiver announcement while flight searches from Shanghai to Bangkok and Beijing to Bangkok jumped by 40%, iChongquing news site reported.

Thailand welcomed 28 million foreign tourists in 2023. The top source market was Malaysia with 4.5 million visitors, followed by 3.5 million arrivals from China.

This year Thailand eyes 35 million foreign arrivals.

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