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More direct flights from China en route

PHUKET: More direct flights from China to Phuket have been confirmed as Chinese travellers take to the skies again following the reopening of their borders on Jan 8.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 19 January 2023, 03:10PM

China Eastern Airlines are just one of many carriers that have resumed direct flights from mainland China to Phuket. Photo: AFP

China Eastern Airlines are just one of many carriers that have resumed direct flights from mainland China to Phuket. Photo: AFP

Yesterday (Jan 18) saw the first direct flights from the Chinese mainland touch down in Phuket in almost three years as Spring Airlines Flight 9C8667 and Juneyao Air Flight HO1321, both direct from Shanghai, landed at Phuket International Airport.

Three China Airlines’ flights via Bangkok are scheduled to arrive today, with flights from China Eastern Airlines and Sichuan Airlines scheduled to land tomorrow. No official figures were made available at time of press in relation to how many passengers would be aboard the flights.

The resumption of direct flights from mainland China marks the return of the largest source market by volume before the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019 there were 17,695,489 arrivals from China entering Thailand, 3,118,901 of which came to Phuket.

Yuthasak Supasorn, the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, has stated he predicts that there will be about 300,000 Chinese tourists arriving in Thailand during the first quarter of 2023, with around 17% heading to Phuket.

“Phuket is one of the most popular destinations for Chinese people to travel to, and we are ready in terms of the number of rooms, variety of tourism products and services, department stores and spas, which all meet the needs of Chinese tourists,” Tourism Authority of Thailand Phuket office (TAT Phuket) Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri said yesterday.

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“In addition, Chinese people have a desire to travel abroad due to travel restrictions during the COVID epidemic over the past two years [sic],” she said.

“During that time, the five TAT offices in China ‒ in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Kunming and Hong Kong ‒ have continued their marketing efforts to make Thailand a ‘Top of Mind’ destination for Chinese tourists.

“This first group of tourists who have arrived have different travel behavior than before. They mostly arriving on self-managed travel, and is a group of middle- to upper-level income brackets,” Ms Nanthasiri concluded.

Airports of Thailand Co., Ltd. (AOTGA), which provides ground services at Phuket International Airport, has confirmed it is fully prepared to provide comprehensive services to cope with the additional flights, more of which are expected to be scheduled in due course as China slowly but surely begins to travel again.

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harald | 22 January 2023 - 17:33:43

Kurt everyone who knows a little about tourism knows that the chinese too also pay for hotels, food and drink, etc. in phuket, even if they have booked all inclusive in china. therefore, zero tourism is totally wrong because zero means all is for free 

Pooliekev | 20 January 2023 - 21:20:54

@Kurt. You dont want to believe it, is all. IFT's (independent free travellers) made up 65% of Chinese visitors in 2019, so what has changed? Nothing, that''s what. 

Kurt | 20 January 2023 - 08:09:34

We read that most China tourists arriving on 'self-managed travel'. Is that a way to say they not travel package 'zero dollar tours'? (everything paid already in China)  Do we believe that present wave arriving China's tourists made their own/private bookings with Thai hotels/toursagents prior departure China? I don't believe it.

Prab | 20 January 2023 - 08:02:01

they will inflate the market and hotel will double up their rooms and too much demand so hotel operator are in for a good raise...


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