Asia Travel Re: Set – Issue #113: In Summary

Here’s a 60-second speed-read of Asia Travel Re:Set Issue #113 – All Eyes on Thailand As South East Asian Tourism Begins Vital H2 of 2023!, published on 2 July 2023.

Read Asia Travel Re:Set Issue 113 in full HERE

1 July 2023 marked 12 months since Thailand – South East Asia’s most-visited nation – removed its remaining pandemic entry restrictions. Last week, I spent 4 days reacquainting myself with the Thai capital and observing its tourism recovery. Here’s what I discovered…

Tourism Targets Depend on China

By mid-June, Thailand had welcomed 11.4 million visitors in 2023 – beating its full-year 2022 total of 11.15 million. Thailand’s tourism authority forecasts 25-30 million visitors this year. In 2024, 30-35 million visitors is the target. No other country in South East Asia will get anywhere matching those figures. Both, however, will rely heavily on an upswing in Chinese visitors.

India vs China

In 2022, India was the largest source of visitors in Asia. Thailand was the 3rd most popular destination for Indian travellers, after Dubai and the US. Singapore ranked 5th. China was, of course, closed in 2022. The volume of Indian visitors into South East Asia is rising fast, but China will reclaim its No. 1 market status in 2023. The gap between China and India could narrow over the coming years, but not by as much as is sometimes forecast.

Easy Visa Access is Vital

From spending time at the airports and on the ground in Phuket and Bangkok in recent weeks, Chinese tourists are returning in larger volumes. As a Chinese OTA executive told me, the speed of turnaround for visa approval encourages more Chinese tourists to take short trips to Thailand. It also encourages Chinese airlines to add capacity. This is a vital factor for destinations wishing to attract Chinese tourists. Make it as simple as possible.

Read Asia Travel Re:Set Issue 113 in full HERE

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