Thailand’s Prime Minister, Mr. Srettha Thavisin, presided over a pivotal signing ceremony during his inaugural visit to China.
The event marked the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) between the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and eight of China’s foremost tourism entities. This collaboration aims to enhance the confidence of Chinese tourists and promote quality tourism in Thailand.
Prime Minister Srettha emphasized the Thai government’s commitment to fortifying the comprehensive strategic partnership between Thailand and China. “Our focus extends beyond trade and investment to encompass education, art, culture, and notably, tourism. The visa exemption scheme for Chinese travelers, effective until 29 February 2024, coupled with this LOI, sets the stage for a robust strategic alliance. Our goal is to foster quality tourism and ensure tourists maintain their confidence in Thailand as a prime destination,” remarked Mr. Srettha.
The momentous ceremony took place at the Kerry Hotel in Beijing, China. Representing TAT was its Governor, Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, who signed the agreement alongside the senior executives of the eight partnering Chinese companies. These included giants like Huawei Technologies, Trip.com Group, Meituan.com, and Alipay, among others.
Governor Thapanee expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “This LOI signifies an unparalleled cooperation agreement, encompassing the broadest spectrum of travel alliance businesses in the Chinese market. From sourcing travel information on platforms like iQIYI and Sina News to planning and booking trips through Trip.com Group and Alipay, we aim to harness this collaboration to amplify Thailand’s image as a premier tourist destination. Our objective is to boost the confidence of Chinese tourists and launch promotions to encourage increased travel to Thailand.”
This partnership, which brings together China’s leading tech companies, online tourism platforms, airlines, and online banking, is poised to fortify the Thai tourism industry’s technological and promotional endeavors. The overarching goal is to attract between 4 million to 4.4 million Chinese tourists in 2023, translating to a revenue of over 200 billion Baht. This would elevate the total tourist arrivals for the year to a staggering 25-30 million.
Recent data underscores the significance of the Chinese market for Thailand. Between 1 January and 15 October 2023, Thailand welcomed over 2.6 million Chinese tourists, making China the second-largest tourist market for the nation.