The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) along with representatives from the tourism-related public and private sectors hosted a special welcoming ceremony to the 10 millionth visitor from China, Ms. He WeiXin, who arrived in the kingdom on board Thai Airways International (THAI) flight TG613 from Kunming, which touched down at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 17.00 Hrs.
Presiding over the high-profile airport welcome ceremony, H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said: “This marks a historic milestone between our two Asian neighbours, and we are confident that she will enjoy her local Thai experiences and will feel inspired to become a good ambassador of the kingdom.
“We hope that she will help spread the word about her memorable experience during the trip in Thailand to family, friends and everyone in China that ‘Amazing Thailand’ remains the preferred holiday destination. This will help strengthen the positive image of Thai tourism.”
The 10 millionth Chinese arrival milestone shows that TAT’s projection of 10 million visitors from China, generating about 509 billion Baht in revenue, for 2018 have reached the expectation. The number also sets a new record for Thailand’s No 1 source market, where the TAT operates five offices on the mainland in Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Chengdu and Guangzhou.
Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and the South Pacific, said: “China is Thailand’s largest market with Chinese arrivals constituting one-third of the overall number of visitors to Thailand. The welcoming of the 10 millionth Chinese tourist for 2018, for the first time ever for Thailand, reiterates the Thai tourism industry’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the awareness of Thailand as a top destination.”
To mark the historic occasion, Ms. He WeiXin received special gifts from TAT, THAI, King Power International, ICON Siam, Central Group, Siam Wellness group and SF Corporation. The Airports of Thailand also provided a limousine transfer to her accommodation in Bangkok. Also presenting at the event were representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Bangkok, Tourist Police Bureau of Thailand and the Thai Immigration Bureau Division.
In 2017, a total of 9,805,753 Chinese visited Thailand with average expenditure estimated at 52,882 Baht per person per trip, or a total revenue of 520 billion Baht. From January to October 2018, the number of Chinese arrivals to Thailand totalled 9 million generating revenue of 495 billion Baht.
For 2019, TAT will place emphasis on promoting tourism linkages from major to secondary cities in line with the Amazing Thailand Go Local policy to better balance the distribution of tourists and tourism revenue between urban and rural areas and even out monthly travel seasonality.