Thailand worried by plunge in Chinese tourist arrivals

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As the number of Chinese tourist arrivals in Thailand keeps tumbling, dragging down overall visitor growth in the country, Thailand is dimming the outlook for an economy that relies to a large extent on tourism proceeds.

Traveler numbers from China slid 12 per cent in August, the biggest drop in more than a year, keeping the overall pace of visitor growth near a 16-month low. Thai officials are rattled as Chinese visitors are the top source of foreign receipts in an industry that makes up about a fifth of the economy, Bloomberg News reported.

The trigger for the drop was a tour boat accident off Phuket in July that killed dozens of Chinese holidaymakers, sparking safety concerns. Thailand’s image among potential Chinese visitors has also been hurt by a dengue outbreak, the strength of the baht and, most recently, a viral video of an airport guard apparently punching a Chinese tourist.

“The negative growth in Chinese arrivals is a downside risk in the second half of 2018,” said Kampon Adireksombat, the chief economist at Kasikorn Securities in Bangkok. The tourism slowdown and the impact of global trade disputes will cut Thai economic growth to 4.2 per cent next year from an estimated 4.5 per cent in 2018, he said.

The Tourism Council of Thailand predicts Chinese arrivals will plunge around a quarter to 1.9 million in October through December from a year earlier.

“There used to be seven to 12 charter flights per day from China to Krabi,” said the council’s President Ittirith Kinglake. “Now it’s down to three flights per day with some having two to three people on board,” he added.

Tourism trade bodies are urging the government to take steps such as temporarily providing double-entry visas or visa-free travel to Chinese visitors. Investors are fretting too, given the Stock Exchange of Thailand Tourism & Leisure Index is down 14 per cent this year, compared with a 0.3 per cent decline in the overall stock market.

While the tourism sector in Thailand has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, the recovery may take longer this time around because so many Chinese died in the boat accident and word about lax security standards and other shortcomings in tourism services in Thailand has made the round in China, experts say.

 

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As the number of Chinese tourist arrivals in Thailand keeps tumbling, dragging down overall visitor growth in the country, Thailand is dimming the outlook for an economy that relies to a large extent on tourism proceeds.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As the number of Chinese tourist arrivals in Thailand keeps tumbling, dragging down overall visitor growth in the country, Thailand is dimming the outlook for an economy that relies to a large extent on tourism proceeds.

Traveler numbers from China slid 12 per cent in August, the biggest drop in more than a year, keeping the overall pace of visitor growth near a 16-month low. Thai officials are rattled as Chinese visitors are the top source of foreign receipts in an industry that makes up about a fifth of the economy, Bloomberg News reported.

The trigger for the drop was a tour boat accident off Phuket in July that killed dozens of Chinese holidaymakers, sparking safety concerns. Thailand’s image among potential Chinese visitors has also been hurt by a dengue outbreak, the strength of the baht and, most recently, a viral video of an airport guard apparently punching a Chinese tourist.

“The negative growth in Chinese arrivals is a downside risk in the second half of 2018,” said Kampon Adireksombat, the chief economist at Kasikorn Securities in Bangkok. The tourism slowdown and the impact of global trade disputes will cut Thai economic growth to 4.2 per cent next year from an estimated 4.5 per cent in 2018, he said.

The Tourism Council of Thailand predicts Chinese arrivals will plunge around a quarter to 1.9 million in October through December from a year earlier.

“There used to be seven to 12 charter flights per day from China to Krabi,” said the council’s President Ittirith Kinglake. “Now it’s down to three flights per day with some having two to three people on board,” he added.

Tourism trade bodies are urging the government to take steps such as temporarily providing double-entry visas or visa-free travel to Chinese visitors. Investors are fretting too, given the Stock Exchange of Thailand Tourism & Leisure Index is down 14 per cent this year, compared with a 0.3 per cent decline in the overall stock market.

While the tourism sector in Thailand has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, the recovery may take longer this time around because so many Chinese died in the boat accident and word about lax security standards and other shortcomings in tourism services in Thailand has made the round in China, experts say.

 

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid