First Group Of Chinese Tourists Welcomed By Top Thai Officials
On the heels of China opening up on January 8th, 269 Chinese tourists were welcomed by three of Thailand’s most senior officials, including the Public Health Minister, Transport Minister, and Tourism & Sports Minister at Suvarnabhumi airport this past week. The lucky visitors were given orchid garlands, souvenirs, and tourist information booklets in Chinese. The warm welcome also included a banner which read “Chinese-Thais come from the same family. Amazing Thailand will always warmly welcome Chinese people”. During the first quarter of 2023, TAT expects around 300,000 Chinese tourists to arrive, with around 60,000 in January, 90,000 in February and 150,000 in March. Tourism officials are forecasting around 5 million Chinese visitors over the course of 2023.
The extra warm reception from Thailand is no surprise here. Everyone knows just how crucial Chinese visitors are to the Thai economy, so why not roll out the red carpet for that first group back and make ‘em feel special. Fair play. On a bit of a different note, Bangkok is about to get packed during the Chinese New Year. I was talking with a cab driver the other day and he was joking that he needs to brush up on his Mandarin! On a less friendly, but similar note, I had some friends try and rent a couple of 125cc scooters in Chiang Mai, but the owner wanted to charge them 600 baht per day (which is really pricey here in Thailand). My pals responded with it being all good and that they’ll just rent somewhere else. The shop owner responded with “good, Chinese tourists are coming back next week and will rent at that price anyways”. I don’t blame the shop or anything, but it just illustrates the fact that with people from ALL countries now back in Thailand, things are pricey again…