THE private sector urged the government to introduce double entry visa to pull back Chinese tourists after the total started dropping since July due to various events, Thai News Agency reported today (Oct. 3, 2018).
The also urged the authorities to set and reach a target of 10 million Chinese tourists a year.
International tourist arrivals to Thailand rose 8.8 percent in 2017 to a record 35.38 million, equivalent to half of Thailand’s population, Chinese Xinhua news agency quoted Thailand’s tourism body as saying early this year.
Chinese tourists remain the biggest contributor to Thai tourism, with more than 9.8 million visitors generating about 524.4 billion baht (16.3 billion US dollars) to the country, said government tourism and sports official Pongpanu Svetarundra.
Thailand saw the tourism revenue of more than 1.8 trillion baht (56 billion US dollars) in 2017, a rise of nearly 12 percent from that of 2016, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports said.
Currently visa on arrival costs 2,000 baht, while the charge for single entry visa is 1,000 baht. The association suggested that the double entry visa also be priced at 1,000 baht.
The association mentioned the string of events that affected Chinese tourist arrivals among which are the tourist boat Phoenix capsizing off Phuket last July killing 42 Chinese tourists, the US-China trade war leading to Chinese workers losing their jobs, weakening of the Chinese yuan currency, occurrence of dengue fever cases here and just a few days ago a Don Mueang Airport guard slapped a Chinese tourist.
The association added that in the first half of this year the number of Chinese tourists grew steadily, but after these event, the total started dropping from July onwards with more Chinese now opting to go to Japan.
Top: Tourists at a Phuket beach enjoying the unspoiled scenery. Photo provided to China Daily and published at chinadaily.com.cn