On the inaugural day of temporary visa exemptions for Chinese visitors, a Chinese man enthusiastically captures a selfie at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi airport. Commencing on September 25, this initiative is scheduled to persist until February 25. (Photo Credits: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Impactful events often send ripples across various spheres of life, and the aftermath of the Siam Paragon shooting has been felt in the domain of travel and tourism. In the wake of this unfortunate incident that led to three fatalities, including a Chinese national, and four injuries, there’s been a significant dip in Chinese tourist arrivals in Thailand. Government spokesperson, Chai Wacharonke, informed us that about 60,000 Chinese voyagers had retracted their plans to tour the exquisite Southeast nation.
In terms of raw numbers, Airports of Thailand reported 590,000 Chinese tourist arrivals post the incident on October 3rd, indicating a drop of 9.2% from the projected figure of 650,000 tourists. Albeit this decline, the spokesperson pointed out that this discrepancy falls comfortably within the anticipated scale of fluctuation. Drawing upon historical trends, he reminded us that the volume of actual ticket purchases invariably lags behind the quantity of initial bookings. As such, a deviation of up to 15% could be considered standard, and the 9.2% fall well within the expected limit.
Interpreting these tourism statistics, the spokesperson said, “These figures indicate that the trust and faith of Chinese tourists in Thai tourism have endured steadfast. We perceive this not as a setback, but rather as evidence of their resilience and confidence in Thailand as a preferred travel destination.”
In a remarkably noble gesture, Mr. Chai also expressed his gratitude towards the Chinese tourists who had ventured to Thailand amidst these circumstances. He said, “We would like to convey our deepest thanks to Chinese tourists for their clear-headed understanding of Thailand and for sustaining their trust in our government, despite the adversity.”
He added, “Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has issued explicit instructions to relevant government agencies to uphold and comply with the highest standards in ensuring safety and security for tourists, as well as the Thai people.” Undoubtedly, these measures paint an encouraging picture for potential tourists and reaffirm the commitment of Thailand to remain a favourite destination for global travellers.