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1 Feb 2011


Chinese New Year 2011: Travel Thriving…Chinese Tourists Flocking to Thailand (Business Brief No.3038)

Chinese New Year is one of the three most important festivities in China. This long holiday is considered a ;golden week” for travel business in China and elsewhere as many Chinese take this opportunity to travel at home and abroad. The 2011 Chinese New Year, which officially begins on February 3, 2011, is an annual public holiday in China, but will extend altogether from February 2 to February 8. It is expected that a great number of Chinese tourists will visit Thailand this time around.
This should provide a good opportunity for Thai travel business to attract more Chinese tourists to the Kingdom, given many favorable factors. Among them include Chinese tourists' renewed confidence toward security in Thailand and a large number of charter flights being booked to bring Chinese tourists from many cities to Thailand. However, it is of note that Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom (Rose Garden) and Samut Prakan (Crocodile Farm) are becoming the less preferred choices among Chinese tourists, as they now seem intent upon making the most of their holidays at our southern seaside resorts, e.g., Phuket, Krabi and Samui, or Chiang Mai and Pattaya, where international airports can handle those charter flights. In addition, many activities being organized at major tourism destinations here should make their holiday all the more enjoyable.
Given those factors, KResearch expects that the number of Chinese tourist arrivals to Thailand in 2011 will probably increase at least 23 percent YoY to 1.4 million, yielding some THB38 billion in tourism revenues, up 15 percent YoY. However, that figure can be achieved only if related Thai private and public sector agencies have aggressive marketing plans in place to attract Chinese tourists throughout 2011, not just during long holidays.

Meanwhile, Thai travel operators should study the structural changes occurring in international tourist markets because trends show that Russia and Asian markets, especially China, India and the Middle East will increasingly become important due to their strong economic growth and other positive factors. Because holiday seasons vary from one nation to another, Thai travel and tour operators may need to adjust their marketing plans and tour packages to suit specific markets during relevant travel seasons and thus be able to attract customers throughout the year.