China to lead Thailand tourism revival, say experts

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A comprehensive new survey of consumers in China’s first-tier cities has concluded that 53% of respondents would like to travel overseas within 2020. More so, the most popular months for trips abroad for the remainder of the year are August, October and December, report C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications.

COVID-19

The newly released China Thailand Travel Sentiment Survey 2020, conducted in mid-April by C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications, focused on key demand factors in the country’s reopening of the tourism economy. A strong positive message from the research is that 71% of Chinese consumers said they would like to visit Thailand, the report says.

Thailand is one of the most impacted travel markets by COVID-19 in Asia. The country hosted 39.8 million international visitors last year with China accounting for nearly 11mn arrivals. The expanded Thai tourism, hotel and travel sector contributes between 12-15% of GDP to Southeast Asia’s second largest economy, the report notes.

Using the China survey as a forecasting tool for the hotel industry, an interesting shift in a segment traditionally leveraged in the mass market is that 83% of potential visitors would choose independent travel versus a group tour. This led the survey organisers to ask, “What are the preferred booking channels for Chinese travellers to Thailand?” The top five in order were Ctrip (61%), Fliggy (16%), hotel websites (9%), Booking.com (5%) and WeChat (5%).