Top Tourist Hotspots Prepare for an Influx of Chinese Tourists

Prominent tourist destinations are anticipating an increase in Chinese visitors as the visa-free initiative for this category of international arrivals begins on Monday.

The initiative, published in the Royal Gazette last week following cabinet approval on September 13, enables nationals from China and Kazakhstan to apply for up to a 30-day visa-free stay in the kingdom until February 29 of the next year.

The strategy to attract significant international tourist segments is focused on generating “quick win” tourism growth by relaxing entry regulations to increase tourist influx and energize the economy.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is set to organize a ceremony to greet the inaugural group of visa-free tourists on Monday at four primary international airports throughout the nation: Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

The welcoming event will feature a greeting billboard and traditional performances. Visitors will also receive jasmine garlands and elephant-themed pants, a sought-after memento.

In Chiang Mai, Suladda Sarutilawan, the head of TAT’s Chiang Mai Office, projected that the province would see 164 Chinese passengers on the first pair of visa-free flights.

The TAT Office anticipates that the count of Chinese tourists to Chiang Mai will escalate from 130,000 over the past eight months to 280,000 annually.

Achieving this goal would signify a 20% recovery or 1.2 million Chinese visitors to Chiang Mai, compared to pre-pandemic figures, as stated by Ms. Suladda.

Pol Lt Gen Piya Tawichai, the Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5, stated that officers will be vigilant for individuals attempting to exploit the scheme to gain unlawful entry.

Up to this point in the year, Chiang Mai Airport has received 143,225 Chinese tourists, contributing 1.387 billion baht in revenue to the province.