Thailand receives highest number of Chinese tourists in Southeast Asia

By Hoang Phong   May 25, 2024 | 01:31 am PT
Thailand receives highest number of Chinese tourists in Southeast Asia
Chinese tourists arrive at Bangkok's International Airport, Thailand, Sept. 25, 2023. Photo by Reuters
The number of Chinese tourists to Thailand during the first quarter of this year was the highest in Southeast Asia, with 1.75 million arrivals thanks to its visa policy and tourism promotion campaigns.

Vietnam came in second with 889,000 followed by Singapore with 786,000 and Malaysia with 758,772, according to data collected from the countries' tourism ministries.

Laos was fifth with 242,404 arrivals.

Cambodia ranked sixth with 190,000 tourists from China, making it the third largest source of visitors to the kingdom after Thailand and Vietnam.

Indonesia received 113,000 Chinese arrivals during the period and the Philippines 109,568.

Realizing tourism potentialfrom the world’s biggest outbound tourism market, Southeast Asian countries have rushed to offer visa-free entry for visitors from China.

Thailand made a special move as it permanently granted visa-free entry for Chinese tourists from March 1.

A survey by marketing solutions company Dragon Trail Research for Spring 2024 revealed a shift in safety perceptions regarding Thailand among Chinese travelers, with 24% of surveyed respondents saying it was safe compared to 18% last year, when many Chinese tourists canceled their Thailand travel after a shopping mall shooting in Bangkok killed two people including a Chinese tourist on October 3.

Malaysia granted 30-day visa-free entry to Chinese tourists in December last year while Singapore did the same last February.

Indonesia recently considered granting visa-free entry to nationals of 20 countries, including China.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung last year also proposed the Vietnamese government consider lifting visas for tourists from both China and India, the world's two most populous countries.

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