Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports believes community-based attractions and local products will attract more Chinese tourists.
Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said the ministry has monitored Chinese tourist arrivals and spend, and has identified popular souvenir shops, canal-side or floating markets as well as local markets as the key attractions.
“That trend helps to encourage and drive community based tourism, employment, OTOP products and services…we are tracking Chinese tourists to judge where they go and what they buy so we can craft tours that meet their needs.”
he added: “There must be more itineraries serving the market besides Wat Phra Kaew which is the most popular heritage site for Chinese visitors… the ministry’s Phuket office has discussed with tour operators to widen the scope of local tours to include Ban Bang Rong, Ban Paklok, Phuket Mining Museum and Phuket Thai-Hua Museum.”
For Chiang Mai, the ministry suggested authorities create opportunities to buy local products at the Bo Sang Handicrafts Centre, Night Market and visits to Pang Chang (Elephant Training Centre) and engage in rafting adventures.
Chinese tourist arrivals are driving Thailand’s tourism boom at present. For the first four months of the year, 3.4 million Chinese tourists visited the country up 27.35% from 2.7 million visits during the same period last year.
In 2015, 7.9 million visits were recorded a 71.14% from 4.6 million in 2014.