The number of Chinese tourists coming to Thailand each year is expected to grow by 16 percent annualy over the next five years, even though there’s a slowdown in the Chinese economy, according to brokerage CLSA.
The growth in Chinese tourism is attributed to rising incomes and more desire to travel, as visa restrictions are eased, according to Aaron Fischer, CLSA regional head of consumer and gaming research.
“Chinese people are getting richer and aspirations are rising for more adventurous and exotic locations, driven by social media influence”, he said, adding “The first step is to go to destinations in Asia”.
Chinese tourists have helped drive growth in the Thai tourism sector for several years. Last year, Thailand received more than 8.3 million tourists from China, around 36 percent of all arrivals. This year the forecast is for 8 million, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
CLSA surveyed hundreds of Chinese travellers, who said that Thailand was the third most popular travel destination after Japan and South Korea.
Bangkok is the main attraction in Thailand, followed by Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Krabi.
Fischer said that Chinese travel would drive tourism around the world in the next five years.
“We still maintain our forecast that Chinese outbound tourism will reach 200 million trips by 2020, representing 14 percent of global outbound”, he said.