As China reopens its borders, Thailand’s tourism official expects at least five million Chinese visitors this year—roughly half the number recorded before the coronavirus pandemic.
On January 8, China will drop its management of Covid-19, at which point it will reopen borders and end quarantine. This move marks the final stage of the country’s transition from a three-year “zero-Covid” period to a “live with the virus” stance.
In 2019, before the Covid outbreak, Thailand saw 39.9 million international tourists, with over 11 million visitors from China, nearly a third of the total.
According to tourism officials, the return of Chinese tourists would be a further boost to Thailand’s economy and vital tourism sector.
Thai Tourism Authority governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters that the office anticipates 300,000 visitors from China in the first quarter of this year. Those numbers are in comparison to 220,000 through the first 11 months of 2022.
The government has also set a goal of 25 million international visitors in 2023, up from the previous projection of 20 million.