Really Really Cool (RRC), in partnership with Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS), is offering exclusive medical tourism packages specifically tailored for Chinese travellers to help fuel the next wave of increased inbound arrivals from China.
Really Really Cool CEO Patee Sarasin, said Chinese travellers are spoiled for choice now that every country in Asia tries to woo a larger market share of outbound travellers from China.
“Innovation is key if Thailand wants to remain the preferred top-of-mind destination with Chinese travellers. Thailand is losing travel business from China to other destinations around Asia.
“As an example Japan is currently experiencing 14% growth of Chinese tourists traveling to Japan versus only 1% growth of those coming to Thailand. Chinese are also spending 18% more in Japan than in Thailand.”
Several critical issues are affecting inbound travel from China to Thailand, first and foremost is the ongoing strength of the Thai baht. Another is the visa issue. Currently, Chinese tourists coming to Thailand can apply for a visa upon arrival at the airport, but the queue is unbearable. On the other hand, Japan provides a five-year multiple entry visas for Chinese tourists looking to visit Japan.
“What I would like to propose for Thailand’s policymakers is that we offer three-year multiple entry visas for FIT Chinese travellers. This segment doesn’t have an issue with visa fees, but they are looking for convenience. If we can fix the visa issue, it will certainly help capture more Chinese tourists who come to Thailand for medical purposes,” Patee, said.
RRC estimates that Thailand receives between 50,000 to 60,000 Chinese medical tourists per year. Patee also suggested that current flight arrival time slots available to many airlines between Bangkok and key Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai aren’t convenient. Passengers depart China late at night and arrive in Thailand too early in the morning and vice versa. He encouraged the responsible authorities to continue discussions with operators on how to find more suitable departure and arrival times.
According to the Chinese Medical Travel Journal 2018, Thailand ranked third globally in terms of medical tourism revenue. A growing number of Chinese patients are seeking both practical and preventive programs such as anti- aging, IVF, plus elective health screening and treatment.