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Phuket boat disaster takes toll as Chinese tourist arrivals flatline

BANGKOK: The crippling effect of the Phoenix boat tragedy off Phuket last month, which killed 47 Chinese tourists, has begun to ripple through Thailand’s tourism industry, with growth in arrivals from China virtually flat for the month.

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By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 1 August 2018, 12:04PM


TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn. Photo: TAT

TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn. Photo: TAT

The tragedy has devastated the number of bookings from Mainland China, with the number of Chinese arrivals in July up only 0.04% year-on-year after a 20% rise in June, said Yuthasak Supakorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

While the TAT is maintaining its arrivals projection from China at 10 million this year, Mr Yuthasak said he would fly to Beijing in mid-August to discuss improving safety and security measures, particularly in marine tourism, with top officials from the China National Tourism Administration and the Culture Ministry.

China has become the largest source market for Thailand’s tourism industry and is projected to contribute B200 billion in revenue this year.

During the first five months, Chinese tourists already generated B100bn thanks to the rise in independent travellers, who spend more, on average, than those coming in groups.

The TAT also plans to ask tourism authorities and operators in China to help strengthen and restore two-way travel between Thailand and China, as well as take part in joint marketing campaigns.

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Mr Yuthasak expressed hope that Chinese tourist numbers would return to normal during the Golden Week holidays (Oct 1-7).

He said he would push for the establishment of a national tourism safety centre to oversee and manage crises more efficiently.

The establishment of that body is pending approval from the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

Read original story here.


See also ‘Bursting the tourism bubble’, click here.

 

 

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CaptainJack69 | 01 August 2018 - 17:34:07

"independent travellers, who spend more, on average, than those coming in groups"  The groups who were going out on the Phoenix weren't paying anything, they were 'zero baht tours' paid in advance in China. How many of the  predicted 10 million visitors would fall into that category?  Far too many.

Foot | 01 August 2018 - 17:05:48

It's unlikely the July 5th tragedy had much affect on July tourism. Most won't cancel their holiday so close to it's date. It will probably affect August, and beyond, tourism. The July tourism numbers reflect previous problems.
It will be interesting to see what the numbers are for August + September.

Kurt | 01 August 2018 - 14:08:12

We read here about chinese tourist numbers only. ( of course the tourist is seen as a number, literally). But the road, beach, and boat disasters are virtual going all over the world.
Which foreign family of 4 (with 2 kids) like to holiday on Phuket, telling their kids the whole day not to go into the water at the beach? It are more nationalities, not only chinese.

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