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Thailand is on course in ensuring quality travel experiences for Chinese tourists

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Thailand is on course in ensuring quality travel experiences for Chinese tourists following a raft of initiatives introduced in recent months. Thailand’s commitment is strengthened by the on-going comprehensive cooperation of the related public and private organisations chaired by Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn, with the aim of making Thailand the preferred destination for Chinese tourists.

Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn said “Thailand has been now focussing on upgrading quality tourism to all visitors’ worldwide, especially Chinese travellers with the strong intention to maximise Chinese tourists’ satisfaction and impressive experiences in the long run. The initiatives kicked off with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) in late September, this year. This led to two follow-up meetings within two weeks by heads of Thailand’s public and private tourism organisations, which resulted in new regulations for the minimum price for group tours marketed to Chinese nationals; a standardised level of quality for attractions, products and tour services, and a programme to improve the training for tour guides and raising standards.”

To further demonstrate Thailand’s commitment to ensure quality travel experiences for Chinese tourists, Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn led a high-profile delegation, comprising executives from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and Thai tourism-related companies, to Beijing in mid-October. The delegation met with about 100 tourism companies in Beijing and the vicinity, as well as 40 members of the media.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “The trip successfully reiterated Thailand’s strong commitment to ensure quality travel experiences for Chinese tourists, focusing on promoting the kingdom as a shopping paradise for a wide variety of high-quality products. We’ve also taken the opportunity to promote the abundance of Thailand’s natural and cultural treasures, and encourage new options to explore Thailand through local experiences under the nationwide plan to promote sustainable tourism.”

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H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports at the CITM opening ceremony

Following the high-profile trip to China in mid-October, TAT in cooperation with partner airlines organised a fam trip for 105 tour operators and product managers from China to explore the diverse range of high-quality tourist attractions and services in Thailand from 29 October–4 November. The trip covered Bangkok, Rayong, Pattaya and Samui, as well as two business networking sessions with Thai tourism operators in Pattaya and Bangkok.

TAT also participated in the China International Travel Mart 2016 (CITM), from 11-13 November, 2016, in Shanghai. The Thailand Pavilion comprising 50 tourism-related companies from Thailand showcased the best of the country’s natural and cultural wonders aimed at offering quality travel experiences for Chinese tourists.

To further boost its online presence, TAT signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the giant Chinese Online Travel Agent, Alitrip on 12 November, 2016. The MOU is designed to raise the quality of Chinese tourism to Thailand and enable TAT to promote the FIT Market focussing on luxury travel, health and wellness, sports, and so on. Both sides will cooperate to specifically target these groups of travellers and undertake joint marketing campaigns to promote the packages.

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Mr. Li Shao Hua, Chief Executive Officer of Alitrip,(left) and Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, (right) sign the historic MOU

On 14 November, 2016, TAT organised post-CITM Table Top Sales in Shanghai. The event brought some 51 tourism-related companies from Thailand to discuss prospective business with about 62 tour companies from Shanghai and nearby provinces. Moreover, TAT is organising the Quality Tourism Road Show to be led by Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn on 29 November, 2016, at Chengdu, and on 1 December, 2016, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul will lead the delegation, which will bring around 100 tourism operators from Thailand to meet with buyers in Chongqing and propose a variety of quality tourism packages.

The Thai tourism industry, led by the TAT, has continuously promoted quality tourism products and services to both FIT and group travellers with the strong intention to create awareness among both the Chinese travel agents, and tourists that quality tourism in Thailand will definitely lead to final satisfaction with memorable experiences for Chinese tourists.

Thailand welcomed 7.9 million Chinese tourists in 2015, and from 1 January to 13 November, 2016, we have received 7.8 million Chinese tourists. TAT expects that the on-going initiatives to ensure quality travel experiences for Chinese tourists will enable Thailand to attract 9.10 million visitors from China, up 14 per cent year-on-year, and generate about 459.67 million Baht (13.14 billion US$), an increase of 18.26 per cent.