The Tourism Board of Thailand (TAT) has revised its prediction of Chinese arrivals to 3.4 to 3.5 million, lower than the expected 4 million. This is due to middle-class Chinese tourists now traveling on a lower budget. However, tourists with high purchasing power can help raise the average spending to 56,000–58,000 baht per trip, compared to 50,052 baht in 2019. This data aligns with Alipay's report, which found that Chinese travelers spent 20,000 baht per trip, apart from accommodation and airfare, an increase from 11,000 baht in 2019. The share of independent tourists has increased to 86% in the first half of 2023, up from 61% in 2019, with the average length of stay increasing from 7.5 days to 7.9 days.
Thailand appeared to be the most popular destination for Chinese tourists in the first half of 2023, with 3.3% of outbound visitors choosing to visit the country. It's important to note that this data only accounts for visitors to Thailand and does not include arrivals from mainland China to Hong Kong and Macau, which make up 78% of total arrivals.
Thailand's ten most popular destinations were Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Krabi, Phangnga, Surat Thani, Nong Khai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Satun.
The target for next year is over 8 million Chinese tourist arrivals
According to experts, the steady flow of 10,000 Chinese arrivals per day in Thailand is mainly due to the visa waiver introduced for Chinese tourists. The TAT estimates that the number of Chinese tourist arrivals will increase to 8.2 million next year, generating 452 billion baht, with the help of increased flight capacity and an improved economic situation. While the Thai government has set an ambitious target of 2.5 trillion baht in international tourism receipts for next year, experts suggest that Thailand should focus further on boosting demand by easing travel measures, targeting high-spending tourists, and extending the length of stay for visitors in all markets.