The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced the results of a detailed market research study that will help it better fine tune its marketing and promotional strategies at its top tourism source market. The results were announced at a press conference by TAT Deputy Governor for Policy and Planning, Mr. Santi Chudintra and TAT East Asia Executive Director, Mrs. Srisuda Wanapinyosak.
China has now become the world’s top outbound travel market; with more than 70 million annual travelers is also Thailand’s top source of visitor arrivals. Chinese visitors totaled 4,623,806 in 2014, a slight drop from 2013 (-0.29%). In 2015, TAT is expecting 5.6 million Chinese tourists generating revenue of 230 billion baht, up from 190 billion baht in 2014.
The research was conducted in eight of China’s most populous cities; Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Xi’an and Shenyang, with a sample base of 2,400 respondents. These cities were chosen because they have direct flight connections to Bangkok.
The study indicated that of the total Chinese outbound travelers, an estimated 10 million people are high-value tourists.
The study showed that the high-value tourist market group in China is aged over 18 years with a good educational background, well-being, stable job, high-income, with average expenditure per trip that is thrice as normal tourists. It can be classified into the following three main groups based on demographics and lifestyles:
Reformer Group: This group includes people of good financial standing. They like to explore new experiences while searching for the meaning of life. They have high regard for preservation and show respect to the host country. This group comprises of about 2 million people.
High Value MainstreaSucceeder Group: This group includes determined people, working hard to get ahead in life and achieve more than others. They are made up of about 4.3 million people.
m group: These are wealthy people who constantly want to improve their own image and that of their families. They are careful spenders and tend to focus on comfort during their travel. Approximately 3.8 million people make up this group.
The profile of Chinese tourists is changing rapidly as travelers become more mature and experienced. Hence, TAT is seeing a huge diversity of Chinese tourists – from first-time visitors to group-travelers to more women travelers and young people, many of whom also speak good English.
Many Chinese are repeat travelers to Thailand. TAT is targeting these travelers through marketing campaigns that emphasize the fun of shopping, enjoying a Thai massage or a game of golf. They are also being encouraged to visit new destinations; such as, Northeast Thailand.
Chinese visitors have an average length of stay of 8.1 days and spending per person / trip of up to 41,390 Baht. They enjoy travelling to different destinations in Thailand. They also prefer to travel independently and spend more time experiencing a variety of tourism activities in the local areas.
According to the January 2015 statistics, Chinese visitors were up 57 percent (560,399). The fact that the tourism situation has returned to normal is an important plus point, as it will allow the airlines to expand capacity.