Hotel bookings for Chinese tourists who are planning to visit Thailand for the upcoming Lunar New Year have decreased because of the new measure taken by the country to eliminate cheap tour packages. This has impacted the number of arrivals because Chinese tourists are the major source of holiday goers in the nation.
Thailand places a very important value to their tourism industry because it has helped the country amidst its slow economic growth among other countries in the Southeast Asia. From the year 2012 until 2016, the number of Chinese tourists that are coming to the country has comprised almost one third of the total tourists coming to Thailand as well as covering a third of the tourism revenue.
The government started a measure wherein they are preventing package tours known as zero-dollar. This started last year in September and it has affected the momentum of tourism in the country. There is very little sign that Thailand is recovering from the crackdown despite the fact that Lunar New Year is coming up and will be celebrated from the 28th of January until the 2nd of February.
According to a tour company, D Land Holiday Co. Ltd which specializes in Chinese tourists, they have only received 300 bookings so far for this year’s Lunar New Year compared to last year where they were able to accommodate 800 bookings. Reungdet Amorndetphakdee, the owner of the tour company, said that it is because of the crackdown.
Hotel groups such as Central Plaza Hotel Pcl also said that they have received less booking. The cruise ship company, Tristar Floating Restaurant Co. Ltd., shared that they have six cruise ships operating mainly for Chinese visitors but this year there will only be one in operation.
The tourism authority of the country is expecting a decline in the number of tourists for this year’s Lunar New Year by about 7.7 per cent while there will be an increase of 3.9 per cent in the number of tourists from other nationalities. They are also expecting the number of Chinese tourists to bounce back anytime this year. Chinese tourists who will not be in Thailand this coming holiday might be visiting the United States for South America Tours.