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China to lead Thailand tourism revival, say experts

China to lead Thailand tourism revival, say experts

BANGKOK: A comprehensive new survey of consumers in China’s first-tier cities has concluded that 53% of respondents would like to travel overseas within 2020. More so, the most popular months for trips abroad for the remainder of the year are August, October and December, report C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications.

By The Phuket News

Monday 20 April 2020, 02:36PM

The newly released China Thailand Travel Sentiment Survey 2020, conducted in mid-April by C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications, focused on key demand factors in the country’s reopening of the tourism economy. A strong positive message from the research is that 71% of Chinese consumers said they would like to visit Thailand, the report says.

Thailand is one of the most impacted travel markets by COVID-19 in Asia. The country hosted 39.8 million international visitors last year with China accounting for nearly 11mn arrivals. The expanded Thai tourism, hotel and travel sector contributes between 12-15% of GDP to Southeast Asia’s second largest economy, the report notes.

Using the China survey as a forecasting tool for the hotel industry, an interesting shift in a segment traditionally leveraged in the mass market is that 83% of potential visitors would choose independent travel versus a group tour. This led the survey organisers to ask, “What are the preferred booking channels for Chinese travellers to Thailand?” The top five in order were Ctrip (61%), Fliggy (16%), hotel websites (9%), (5%) and WeChat (5%).

“Moving inside the data, another key insight of the report is breaking down destination preferences within Thailand. Respondents’ most popular holiday locations in order of popularity are Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Pattaya. Over 75% of demand was pinpointed in the top three destinations, said a release today announcing the report.

Commenting on the road to tourism recovery C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett said, “We expect Thailand’s reopening trajectory to initially be dominated by the domestic storyline but move quickly into inter-regional travel punctuated by the outbound China sector who are ready and willing to visit the country as demonstrated by the survey results.”

Looking forward for the remainder of the year, Mr Barnett noted that airlift is a critical enabler of the travel sector “as you can’t stay there if you can’t get there”.

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“A quick indicator of airline activity on Flightradar24 clearly reflects how China’s considerable regional and low-cost airline (LCC) sector has gotten back into the air,” he said.

“While undoubtedly there will be a lingering global fear factor for travellers in the wake of the virus outbreak, Thailand’s favourable door-to-door flying time and vast network of approved routes to the Mainland supports lead indicator.

“Another is the appreciation of the Chinese Yuan (RMB) against the Thai Baht. After reaching lows in Q3 and Q4 of last year, driven done by an economic slowdown and trade war, the currency has continued on an upward rise in 2020, which equates to greater value for Chinese tourists to Thailand,” he added.

Rounding out the survey results Delivering Asia Communications CEO David Johnson, pointed out that the demographics of travellers from China were changing.

“The new China traveller is younger, more independent and more digitally influenced than ever. COVID-19 has had a profound impact on travel consumer mindsets and this generation has a burning desire to experience the world and new digital strategies are needed to reach them,” he said.

To download the China Thailand Travel Sentiment Survey, click here.

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Capt B | 02 May 2020 - 22:07:13

Make sure you eat plenty of shark fin soup before you arrive in order to boost your immune system.

Pu Li | 22 April 2020 - 12:53:41

Good afternoon from China. See you soon!!

Kurt | 21 April 2020 - 20:28:13

@ Fasc.There is no link between alcohol sales ban and trying stop locals to socialise with each other. Read the PN Article about the hundreds of Phuket thai who are arrested during curfew time. The alcohol sales ban is a  idiot thinking in the brain of thai officials in relation to contain the Covid-19 virus. It is just a ..'I have the power'.. thing. A sort of self satisfaction.

DeKaaskopp | 21 April 2020 - 18:01:40

@goldwhinger   Wow,spending your time in a sports bar and at home.Sounds like an exciting life.

Sir Burr | 21 April 2020 - 13:26:07

Just the usual stuff from C9 and it's owners. Telling hotels what they want to hear. His conclusion has no basis in fact, just supposition.

goldwing | 21 April 2020 - 13:08:53

@ desicatedkopf, I don't eat in 7 11s  and my shopping delivered, Used to go to a sports bar where Chinese did not go, so should be not too difficult to avoid these virus carriers. but up to you if you want to rub shoulders with them after what they have done to the world

Paddy | 21 April 2020 - 12:53:22

Why would the so called EXPERTS even think the Chinese will ever be welcome here again ?

Fascinated | 21 April 2020 - 12:24:35

You really don't get the reason behind the alcohol ban do you Kurt? Anyone with an ounce of sense would have seen the ban coming and stocked up if necessary. It's hardly a huge sacrifice. Its not about you, its about trying to stop locals socialising in close proximity to each other and spreading the virus. WHat stores are closed? I have no problem getting food. Delusional as usual.

LALALA | 21 April 2020 - 12:21:19

One good thing about Chinese travelers to return to Thailand that in this event boarders will be open and international flights resume, Hence I finally can leave Thailand for good.

Kurt | 21 April 2020 - 12:18:05

Mr Bill Barnett and mr David Johnson speak before their time. As long my pool cleaner can not visit me, I can't have a haircut, can't buy alcohol, can not leave my Tambon or visit a restaurant, that long we keep airports closed for chines tourism. Sorry for the wallets of above mentioned 'travel massage persons'.

DeKaaskopp | 21 April 2020 - 11:59:27

@Goldwhinger     So you have to stay in your apartment  for the rest of your life in order to avoid Chinese people.

Kurt | 21 April 2020 - 11:50:01

As long we have over-locked down measures on Phuket, even with a complete idiot alcohol ban, stores closed, it is no time to talk about chinese tourism to Thailand. Complete off the road. What is more important, health of inhabitants or that unrealistic chinese tourism pushing?

maverick | 21 April 2020 - 10:05:11

Free movement of the folks living hear remains a problem - bit premature to be talking about letting tourists in when we are unable to lead normal lives 

goldwing | 21 April 2020 - 07:16:09

I for one will not go anywhere where there are Chinese. Survived this pandemic may not survive the next one

Papa paul | 21 April 2020 - 07:15:55

I think it is a bit soon for the Chinese to return to Phuket as before. I the survey states that they would return independantly, no as before in tour groups. I don't  believe that. They are a race of group.travellers.  people will return gradually when the fear of the Corona virus abates.  We all know that you rely on tourism but slowly slowly. 
We cannot .put local residents lives at risk.


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