Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and Lei Haisu, chairman of CTG Travel Service Co at the signing ceremony in Beijing on February 22, 2023 Photo: Courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
Amid the restoration of international travel in the post-epidemic era, closer cooperation in tourism can be expected between China and Thailand, Thai government officials said on Wednesday, predicting that the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand may reach 500-700 million in 2023, a recovery to around 64 percent of the pre-epidemic level in 2019 amid China’s optimized epidemic response and pent-up demand for international travel.
Speaking at a signing ceremony in Beijing on Wednesday between the Tourism Authority of Thailand and China Tourism Group (CTG) Travel Services Co, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s minister of tourism and sports, said he was expecting to see more Chinese tourists in Thailand.
Tourism has been like a bridge connecting the people of the two countries and an important mechanism for boosting the further development of bilateral relations, the minister said, noting that the signing of a letter of intent with CTG Travel Services will play an important role in promoting the development of China-Thailand tourism.
China has begun orderly reopening of outbound group business and Lei Haisu, chairman of CTG Travel Service Co, said that his company will work together with the Thai tourism authorities to promote China-Thailand tourism, so that more Chinese tourists can fully enjoy the natural scenery and travel experience of Thailand.
Thailand has long been one of the most popular destinations among Chinese tourists, making China the top source of international tourists and an economic pillar for the Southeast Asian country.
In 2019, the income from foreign tourists accounted for 12 percent of Thailand’s GDP.