TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said even though average airfares have decreased from last year, prices for March and April for every Chinese city are still higher than before the pandemic, reports the Bangkok Post.
He said flights bound for key cities in the mainland are 1.5 times higher, such as B17,000-24,500 for Shanghai, B20,000-24,000 for Chengdu and B14,000-15,000 for Guangzhou.
Ticket prices for March and April have doubled for secondary cities without direct flights as the reopening only began this year, said Mr Yuthasak, with the flow of passengers still weak in the first two months.
In February, the number of seats from eastern China, such as Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Hebei, tallied 17,308 per week, with more than 10 airlines operating flights to Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai.
Of that number, Shanghai secured the largest capacity at 10,000 seats.
The average spending per Chinese traveller increased as the more expensive travel costs prompted them to consider longer stays of five to 10 days, according to Dragon Trail research.
Mr Yuthasak at a roadshow hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand in China last week.
They prefer to travel with a small group of family members or friends and seek new experiences, rather than use tour groups.
The average spending per person soared to B60,000-150,000 per trip, increasing from an average of B50,000-54,000 prior to the pandemic, according to Dragon Trail research.
Mr Yuthasak said it will be difficult for tour operators to offer low-cost tours because of the operating costs.
As Chinese tourists’ preferences have shifted from mass tours to individual trips or tailor-made tours, low-cost tours might prove unpopular, he said.
Mr Yuthasak said the structure of post-pandemic Chinese travel will see individual trips dominate the market, outpacing mass tour groups, which have yet to resume.
The TAT last week held a roadshow in three cities: Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou.
The agency expects to generate at least B900 million from business matching between 61 tourism operators from Thailand and 302 travel agents in China.
SuperJ | 02 March 2023 - 10:37:46