Spring Airlines Flight 9C852 arrived at about 3:15pm, bringing 172 passengers, reported the Phuket branch of Airports of Thailand (AoT Phuket).
On hand at Gate 15 of the International Terminal to welcome the arrivals were Phuket airport General Manager Monchai Tanode along with Montri Manator, Deputy Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office, and representatives from Spring Airlines.
Earlier yesterday Spring Airlines Flight 9C7419 landed at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok, marking the first group tour flight to land in Thailand since the COVID-19 pandemic.
On hand to welcome the passengers from Guangzhou were TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn and Yang Xin, Charge d’Affaires acting as Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Thailand.
Mr Yuthasak pointed out that of the 130 passengers onboard, 40 were travelling on two group tours, with the remaining 90 travelling independently as ‘FIT’ tourists.
Mr Yang Xin and Mr Yuthasak, accompanied by staff from Spring Airlines and the airport, presented the tourists with flower garlands, souvenir pants emblazoned with Thai-style images of elephants, and a model of a Spring Airlines aeroplane.
In total, 13 flights carrying group tourists from China arrived in Thailand throughout the day yesterday, Mr Yuthasak said.
The flights arrived from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xiamen, Nanking and Nanning, and landed at Don Mueang Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, and Phuket International Airport.
Tourists on group tours from China travel to Thailand according to a six-day travel programme, Mr Yuthasak said.
The tours take in Bangkok, Pattaya (Chonburi) and Rayong, with tourists visiting major attractions such as Koh Samet, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Pattaya, the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and Chinatown, he said.
“The return of near-term markets like the Chinese tourist market is considered a positive sign and has significant implications for the overall recovery of the Thai economy,” Mr Yuthasak said.
A total of 99,429 Chinese tourists travelled to Thailand from Jan 1 to Feb 2, Mr Yuthasak stated.
“With 2,000 flights from from cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Chengdu, Xiamen, Kunming, etc, altogether offering 445,655 seats on flights to Thailand, the TAT expects there will be an estimated 300,000 tourists from China entering Thailand in the first quarter of this year,” he continued.
“The Chinese tourists who initially entered Thailand consisted mainly of business people, students and the new generation of tourists who preferred to travel on their own [FIT], reflecting a good sign that more will continue to travel to Thailand throughout the year,” Mr Yuthasak said.
“This will help push the number of Chinese tourists to reach 5 million according to the target in 2023, including the opportunity to increase to 7-8 million from the factor of the trend of booking air tickets. The frequency of flights also continues to increase, and Thailand is still the most popular destination in the hearts of Chinese tourists,” he concluded.
Pooliekev | 07 February 2023 - 12:36:32