4.3-M Chinese expected to visit Thailand this year

November 12, 2014 11:40 am 

BANGKOK, Nov. 11 — As many as 4.3 million Chinese are expected to visit Thailand throughout this year, said a leading Thai businessperson on Tuesday.

According to Sisdivachr Chewarattanaporn, President of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), an estimated 4.3 million Chinese tourists will have visited Thailand by the end of this year in spite of Thai political turmoils which ended up in a military coup last May.

The ATTA chief admitted that the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand may have increased over the last few months due to the exemption of a visa fee, which would otherwise charge 1,000 baht (about US$ 30.3) per head.

The visa fee had been exempted until last Saturday after an estimated 1.5 million Chinese had visited Thailand since August.

Sisdivachr said the influx of Chinese visitors has remained on the uptrend, which, he forecast, might probably keep rising throughout high season.

The Thai tourism is currently on high season which will last until the end of January next year.

"A large number of Chinese tourists are visiting during high season and there is a strong indication that more will be coming in December and January, judging from a reported increase in chartered flights from China," he said.

He added that the number of visitors to Thailand from other parts of the world, including those from Europe, Japan, and South Korea, has remarkably dropped following the bloodless coup in Bangkok.

Meanwhile, Thai Premier Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha was on Tuesday reported to say leaders of superpower countries and Western states had pledged to encourage their respective citizens to visit Thailand, where, he said, the political atmosphere has returned to normal.

Gen Prayuth made his comments during an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing.

He recommended to the world leaders that Thailand remains a favorite tourist destination.

Thailand is merely in the process of making national reforms which will by no means affect tourist industry, according to the Thai leader. (PNA/Xinhua)

LGI/SSC

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