Private sector confirms rising number of incoming tourists from China in the year 2010.

Vichit Prakobkosol, President of the Association of Thai-China Travel said 2010 will be a golden year for Chinese tourists arrivals. Number of tourists from China has shown an increase after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s visit to China earlier this year.

Private sector forecasted 1.2 million chinese visitors and expected it hit a record high next year. Also, private sector is now working closely with Tourism Authority of Thailand to solve the zero-dollar tour problem and to create a variety of quality tour programs, “ China has a strong increase of purchasing power, therefore more variety of programs is required to fit their changing lifestyle.”

Mr Vichit said he would like the government add more flights from and to China as well as to expand flying route to 4 big cities in 4 provinces of China i.e. Nanjing of Jiangsu Province, Jinan of Shandong Province, Changsha of Hunan Province and Wuhan of Hubei Province.

While TAT is going to open its new office in Kunming by April and another in Guangzhou by June next year. THB 60 million baht budget from Thai Khem Kaeng project will be used to promote Thailand destination in every province all over China.

AOT, together with government agencies and tour operators brings almost 40 tour agencies in 9 destinations to start operate tour program to Thailand. Tour operators from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming, Xiamen, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Macao and Zhuhai where we already operate flights, will attend the seminar and have an inspection tour in Thailand.

According to the report, 80 percent of Chinese visitors traveled to Thailand with tour operator while the rest 20 percent traveled by themselves. The proportion is expected to be 70:30 next year. Phuket-Krabi-Surat Thani(Samui) are the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists.

Chinese entrepreneurs asked Thailand to make application visa on arrival less complicated and less time consuming, as well as to provide convenience with more information such as signage, brochure etc. in Chinese. TAT already acknowledged the problem and promised to work it out for better.