Chinese Hit Thai Beaches for First Time in 3 Years
BANGKOK (NNT) - Hitting the white sand beaches and eating mango sticky rice and seafood, Chinese tourists are returning to Thailand for their first trips abroad since China ended its strict pandemic curbs and reopened its borders.
With China celebrating the Lunar New Year, Asia’s tourist hotspots have been bracing for the return of Chinese tourists, who spent US$255 billion a year globally before the pandemic. Countries from Thailand to Japan had depended on China as their largest source of foreign visitors.
Beijing in December abruptly dropped its stringent pandemic restrictions, which had battered the world’s second-biggest economy.
32-year-old business owner Yoyo Chen from Yiwu in central China said returning to Thailand felt like coming home.
The Chinese return was welcomed by businesses, despite some wariness about a huge spike in COVID infections in China after Beijing ended its zero-COVID policy.
China’s reopening raises hopes for the return of Chinese visitors, who accounted for nearly a third of Thailand’s 40 million foreign tourist arrivals in pre-pandemic 2019.
The Thai government is expecting at least five million Chinese tourist arrivals this year, with some 300,000 coming in the first quarter.
Information and Source
Reporter : Paul Rujopakarn
Rewriter : Tarin Angskul
National News Bureau : http://thainews.prd.go.th