He stated, “We can’t do that if we want to hire 100 people today because we’re not sure.” It’s possible that the Chinese tourists Travel government will announce, “We’re closing the border again,” within the next two months.

Thailand has missed out on tens of billions of dollars in spending by Chinese tourists over the past three years because its economy is heavily dependent on tourism. The Chiang Mai office of the Tourism Authority projects that this year, 600,000 Chinese tourists will return to the city, which is heavily dependent on tourism and is known for its stunning Buddhist temples. These tourists will spend approximately $230 million, or about half of the total from 2019 on.

According to people working in the Thai travel industry, the real numbers won’t start until the second quarter.

Chinese tourists typically travel to Thailand on group tours, accounting for approximately half of all Chinese visitors to Chiang Mai. However, the Chinese government won’t allow tour operators to reopen until February 6, and then only as part of a pilot program with approximately two dozen nations, including Thailand. For the time being, only independent Chinese tourists who are able to pay for their own flights are making trips.

However, not everyone is eager to welcome group tours back. Even before Covid, tour operators in Thailand and China observed a reversal of the trend toward group tours and a shift toward more tech-savvy Chinese travelers who took trips on their own equipped with booking and experience apps.

In Phuket, the 40-mile-long island on the west coast of the Thai peninsula, group tours decreased while the overall number of Chinese tourists increased.

This was due to a crackdown on cheap tours known as “zero-dollar tours.” The tours were typically run by Chinese investors who owned buses, hotels, restaurants, spas, and gift shops to defraud locals of money spent by tourists. These tours were frequently illegal operations that avoided paying taxes. At the stores they controlled, they were known for putting guests under pressure to buy souvenirs at inflated prices.

Nantida Atiset, a Phuket hotel owner and vice president of the Phuket Tourist Association, stated, “I don’t think that we will have more of the big tour groups.” Of course, I think they will return. It only matters how large they will return.

Pricey flights to Australia and London In London, another popular destination for Chinese tourists, the first Lunar New Year parade since the coronavirus occurred last week in Chinatown, but few Chinese tourists were there.


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