With an ambitious strategy to uplift the tourism sector, an enticing offer has been put forth for travelers from China and Kazakhstan. Valid until the final day of February, this unique initiative aims to draw in visitors for an exciting exploration of Thailand’s treasures over a period of five riveting months.
The allure of Thailand has always been palpable with travel enthusiasts worldwide. Nevertheless, the volatile statistics documented from recent months showed fluctuating figures that were somewhat disheartening. As per the available data, 21,568 Chinese explorers graced Thailand in August, 12,556 in September, and the count dipped to 7,828 by mid-October.
President Supamitr Kijjapipat of the concerned association hypothesized that a unforeseen tragedy at a bustling mall in Bangkok might have contributed to this downturn. On the ill-fated evening of October 3, a 14-year-old teenager unleashed a horrifying frenzy of bullets in a prestigious shopping mall of Bangkok claiming three innocent lives and injuring four. A Chinese tourist was among those tragically lost.
Besides this shocking incident, Supamitr inferred that the Israel-Hamas war that surfaced on October 7 could also have spawned apprehension amongst prospective tourists. It’s not uncommon for global travelers to rethink their vacations during tumultuous times, owing to fluctuating fuel prices affecting the cost of air travel, induced by the shadow of war.
Nonetheless, the government’s decision to keep Chiang Mai Airport operational until 1am, starting from November, is seen as a promising step towards enticing global visitors. Supamitr emphasized, “Considering the ongoing situation, it’s more crucial than ever that airlines ramp up their services with more direct flights to Chiang Mai. It’s apparent that the frequency of flights to this vibrant city has taken a hit due to the onslaught of the Covid pandemic.”
Supamitr remains optimistic about the prospect of a gradual surge in Chinese tourists over the subsequent three months. Owing to an action-packed itinerary of festive celebrations and engaging activities, including the beautiful Loy Krathong festival and the exhilarating New Year countdown, we might indeed witness a positive shift in tourism dynamics.
The Association’s recent survey indicated a marginal increase in local tourism within Chiang Mai. However, the Thai patrons seem to be spending significantly less – both time and money – on local businesses. Supamitr explained, “The setback to the economy means that Thai citizens are playing it safe, often opting for concise one-day trips, and making only essential purchases.”