BANGKOK, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Thailand is aiming to revitalize its tourism industry by attracting more Chinese visitors during and after Songkran, the country's traditional new year celebration.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the country saw a significant increase in Chinese tourist arrivals, with 269,745 in March alone, a 70 percent increase from February. In April, during the first four days of the month, the country welcomed no less than 8,000 Chinese tourists per day.
Due to the continuous rise in Chinese tourists, TAT is now targeting 9 million inbound Chinese visitors this year, up from the previous target of 5 million, according to TAT Deputy Governor Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya in an interview with Xinhua.
The tourism authority is leveraging the upcoming Songkran festival, which runs from Thursday to Saturday, as an opportunity to boost tourism. The festival is expected to generate a total revenue of 18.5 billion baht (about 540.8 million U.S. dollars), with over 300,000 international tourists arriving during the holiday week, Chattan said.
According to him, a caravan project organized by TAT's Kunming office during Songkran this year is tailored for Chinese tourists. The group, consisting of 400 cars and 1,200 Chinese tourists, will enter Thailand through borders in Chiang Rai, Loei, Nong Khai, and Nan provinces and meet up in Chiang Mai to stay for the festival.
Chattan noted that TAT is focused on delivering high-value products and services to attract quality tourists from China this year. It is collaborating with government and private agencies, and airlines to increase the number of flights between the two countries to pre-pandemic levels.
To better help foreign visitors access necessary information and resources, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports recently published a guidebook in Thai, English, and Chinese, which was distributed at popular tourist hotspots like Chiang Mai and Koh Samui.