Following its three-month-long free visa policy, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is taking new measures to attract Chinese tourists.
According to Shan Shi, a representative from TAT East Asia, TAT will spend THB15 million to stimulate Chinese tourism source market. Of this which THB7 million will be used as promotion expenditure with the aim of increasing tourist charter flights between China and Thailand from the current 40 to 50 to about 70, and the rest will be used for advertisement targeting Chinese market. In addition, TAT will organize a group of tourism operators to promote travel routes and products in major Chinese cities in the first half of 2009.
Shan says that as China is least affected by the global financial crisis it has become a common source for countries from around the world to attract tourists. Shan says that TAT also attaches great importance to China's tourism market, and Shan estimates that China will soon become the largest tourist source country for Thailand.
Statistics from TAT show that because of its political instability, Thailand received just 820,000 Chinese tourists in 2008, down 10.28% from the previous year. TTAT hopes to attract about one million Chinese this year.