Thailand's focus on attracting Chinese and Indian tourists

By Anh Minh   February 27, 2024 | 04:44 pm PT
Thailand's focus on attracting Chinese and Indian tourists
Tourists visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, on Jan. 7, 2023. Photo by Reuters
Thailand has made significant investments in marketing, visa policies, and tailored offerings aimed at visitors from China and India.

With expectations of hosting 35 million international tourists this year, Thailand is counting on the contributions of the world's two most populous countries. The number of Chinese tourists visiting has seen a promising start, with over one million visits recorded in the first two months alone, according to TTG Asia.

"It is for the first time post-pandemic that we have welcomed more than one million Chinese travelers within the first two months of a year," Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) told TTG Asia.

Factors such as the Lunar New Year, visa exemptions, various promotional campaigns, and collaborations with travel agencies have fueled Thailand's success in this regard. TAT anticipates China emerging as the leading source market this year, with an estimated 8 million visitors.

In September 2023, Thailand started a five-month visa-free policy for Chinese visitors, which became permanent from March 1. China came second in the countries sending tourists to Thailand in 2023, with 3.5 million visitors. India came fourth with 1.6 million visits, while the United States was number one with 4.6 million visits. Thailand had 28 million visitors overall last year.

TAT has also set its sights on India as a primary market this year, with expectations of welcoming over 2 million visitors.

According to TAT News, to attract more visitors from India, the authority plans to create tailored experiences and activities catering to different groups, including older individuals, women, those seeking relaxation, and those interested in adventure sports. Additionally, Gen Z and LGBTQ+ travelers are also identified as potential segments for engagement.

Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sports has announced plans to increase flight connectivity to India to bolster tourism. Beginning April 2, Thai Airways will inaugurate a new route between Bangkok and Kochi, operating three flights per week, as reported by The Thaiger.

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