One million Chinese tourists visited Thailand this year
Over one million Chinese tourists visited Thailand since the start of the year, a Thai government spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday.
Flights from China to Thailand rose 98 percent from a year earlier to 12,805 between October and April, according to the statement.
Thai government expects the number of Chinese visitors to meet its target of five million this year, with spending of 446 billion baht ($13.18 billion). Last year, about 274,000 Chinese tourists visited the Southeast Asian country, compared with 11 million in pre-pandemic 2019, or about 28 percent of the total.
China's outbound travel was halted in early 2020 due to the COVID-19. As the country optimized its COVID response, it resumed regular passenger flights with 58 countries and rolled out a pilot program to resume outbound group travel to 20 countries from February 6 this year. Thailand was among one of the pilot countries.
China has expanded the outbound group travel pilot since mid-March as it released second list of 40 destinations.
"As cross-border travels gradually resume on an orderly basis, China will strengthen people-to-people exchange and economic contact with other countries and inject more confidence and strength into the world economic recovery," said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson in February at a regular press briefing.
(With input from agencies)
(Cover: Chinese tourists queue up at check-in for a flight in Bangkok, Thailand, February 15, 2023. /CFP)