The number of Chinese tourists travelling to Thailand is expected to drop by 5-8% this month in the wake of last month’s Phuket boat accident.
Heavy trip cancellations were seen after a tour boat capsized, claiming 47 Chinese lives. As many as 670,000 Chinese tourists cancelled trips to Thailand last month, representing 37 billion baht in revenue lost, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
In July, the China market plunged by 26% when compared with the same month last year. Pongpanu Svetarundra, the permanent secretary of the ministry, said visitors from mainland China will continue to decrease 900,000-930,000 this month, representing a 5-8% year-on-year drop.
If the prediction is right, tourism receipts from the China market will fall to 53-55 billion baht this month, marking a 1-4% year-on-year decline.
“The boat tragedy in Phuket on July 5 caused the plunge,” Mr Pongpanu said.
“However, we hope Chinese tourists return in September and the remaining months of the year.”
The ministry remains confident that it will meet this year’s target of 38 million foreign visitors and tourism income of 2 trillion baht.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said after meeting Thursday with tourism authorities and business operators that the government will continue to focus on China as the largest source of arrivals for tourism. – Bangkok Post