Sunday, November 10, 2013

China: Chinese Tourists Are Largest Nationality Visiting Thailand, Numbers Will Only Rise

According to China’s news agency, Xinhua, the latest data has revealed that the number of Chinese visitors to Thailand in the first nine months of 2013 more than doubled, rendering China the second-biggest foreign tourist destination country for Chinese citizens.

Over 3.24 million visits were made from China to Thailand, up 107.7% compared to data reported in 2012.

Two recent surveys showed that Chinese tourists now make up the largest group of foreign nationals visiting Thailand, and that 55% of hotels in Thailand plan to increase room rates next year, according to The Bangkok Post.

A survey by in May 2013 revealed the Chinese to be Thailand’s number one tourist group, and that the top two activities for the Chinese travelers visiting Thailand are sightseeing (77%) and shopping (69%).

The survey showed Thailand to be the third largest travel destination for the Chinese, following the United States and Hong Kong.

The study also revealed that Chinese tourists to be the highest spending travelers worldwide last year, surpassing tourists from Germany and the United States.

Chinese tourists spent US$102 billion on international travel in 2012.

Another study by conducted in June and July (2013) revealed that 82% of hotel owners in Thailand expect to generate higher profits in 2014, compared to 67% of hoteliers worldwide.

Of the 55% of Thai hotels planning to raise rates next year, 47% said that higher costs is the reason they will do so.

COMMENT: In January-March 2013, a period containing China's Spring Festival holiday, the number of Chinese visitors to Thailand was 93% more than in the same period of 2012. 

Experts predict that the Chinese tourists will surpass more than four million by the end of 2013. 

"If the two countries can simplify visa procedures in the near future, we will see another surge in tourism," said Shao Qiwei, director of the China National Tourism Administration. 

Chinese tourists are choosing Thailand because of its low prices, proximity to China, easy visa procedure and more airline choices, added Guo Dongjie, vice president of CTRIP, China's largest online tour operator. 

Naturally, this will dramatically increase employment opportunities for both Chinese interpreters and translators in the coming years.