In a bid to revive tourism and enhance confidence in Thailand, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has partnered with eight leading Chinese companies. This collaboration aims to bolster Thailand’s image as a tourist destination. The signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) took place at the Kerry Hotel in Beijing, China, and was attended by Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, Thapanee Kiatphaibool (TAT’s Governor), and executives from the eight prominent Chinese companies.
The “Influential Eight” companies include Huawei Technologies, Trip.com Group, Meituan.com, Spring Airlines, Sina News, Alipay, iQIYI, and Jego Trip. This alliance is geared toward accelerating the restoration of confidence and the overall development of Thailand’s tourism sector, with a specific focus on the vast potential of the Chinese tourist market.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin underscored the commitment of the Thai government to promote cooperation between Thailand and China in various aspects, such as economics, investments, education, culture, and tourism. The goal is to strengthen bilateral relations at the grassroots level. To facilitate travel for Chinese tourists, visa exemptions have been put in place until February 29 of the following year, aiming to foster increased people-to-people interactions.
Before the pandemic, China was Thailand’s largest overseas tourism market, with 11 million Chinese arrivals in 2019. Although the industry took a hit, Thailand has been making efforts to attract Chinese tourists. However, recent events, such as the tragic incident at Siam Paragon on October 3, have caused a loss of confidence among Chinese tourists. Approximately 60,000 trips to Thailand were cancelled, leading to a 9.2% decrease in Chinese arrivals from 650,000 to 590,000 visitors, according to Airports of Thailand data.
Chiang Rai: The Golden Triangle Revisited
You could take a week-long solo road trip from Chiang Saen (where the mighty Mekong approaches Thailand’s border), exploring scenic routes and local culture, before hiking to the towering Phatang Cliff to bid farewell to the “mother of rivers” as it twists its way into Laos. If you can’t take a week for the visit, break it down to three days for an adventure around the Golden Triangle.
The partnership with the eight leading Chinese companies is expected to boost technology-related cooperation in the tourism sector. The ultimate goal is to welcome four million Chinese tourists, generate over 200 billion Thai Baht in revenue, and attract 25 million international tourists to Thailand by 2023.
TAT’s friends in China
Huawei Technologies, a global leader in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions, collaborates closely with partners in both Thailand and China. Their joint endeavours focus on introducing high-quality tourism services and experiences within Thailand’s tourism sector, benefiting Chinese users and travellers.
iQIYI, an online video entertainment platform, operates as a subsidiary of Baidu, China’s premier search engine.
Sina Corporation, a worldwide online media and technology company, boasts an extensive user base of over 100 million globally. Sina Corporation is the parent company of Weibo, one of China’s most popular social media platforms.
Trip.com, recognized as the world’s top online travel booking service provider, commands a significant market share both in China and internationally.
Meituan.com, a renowned application for coupon and discount reviews in China, is celebrated for its outstanding deals and offers.
Jego Trip, a travel platform under the umbrella of China Mobile, caters to high-end customers, providing exclusive travel experiences.
Spring Airlines, a Chinese low-cost carrier, offers the most extensive flight network to Thailand.
Ant International, commonly known as Alipay, functions as an online banking and financial services company, operating as a subsidiary of Alibaba. With over 600 million users in China, Alipay substantially enhances the convenience of spending for travellers in Thailand.