The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s participation at the China International Travel Mart (CITM) 2023, which took place from 17-19 November in Kunming, underlined overland travel via caravan and the Kunming-Vientiane bullet trains for Chinese tourists to come and explore the huge and culturally diverse Northeastern or ‘Isan’ region of Thailand.
Ms. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said “Being held in November, the CITM 2023 presents the perfect timing for us to remind Chinese tourists that they can visit Thailand without a visa until the end of next February. And, as China’s largest travel trade show, the event offers a great opportunity for Thai sellers to strengthen business with their Chinese partners.”
The Minister officially opened the Thailand Stand together with Ms. Bhavivarn Noraphallop, Consul-General of Thailand to Kunming, Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Governor, and Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and the South Pacific. Also present at the event were representatives from Kunming-based tour operators promoting overland travel to Thailand via caravan and the Kunming-Vientiane bullet trains.
Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Governor, said “We have noticed a major change in Chinese tourists’ behaviour and travel trends post-COVID-19 from mass tourism to experienced tourism. This is especially so among the Millennials and Young Generation, who are in search for quality tourism products and services that cater to their different lifestyles. As such, our participation at the CITM 2023 presents the Kunming-Vientiane bullet trains as new travel options for Chinese tourists to come and discover their own amazing ‘Isan’ stories.”
Via the Kunming-Vientiane bullet trains, Chinese tourists can enter Thailand at Nong Khai, a border town on the bank of the Mekong River in Thailand’s Isan region.
Hence, the Thailand Stand at the CITM 2023 illustrated the uniquely fun and colourful character of Isan. As well as colourful Isan decorations and displays, visitors were treated to DIY workshops on colourful ‘tung’ (flag) making techniques and bag decorations as well as Thai massage and portrait painting.
Joining TAT at the Thailand Stand were 20 Thai tourism businesses comprising tour operators, hotels and resorts, tourist attractions, hospitals and medical tourism, and airlines.
TAT is promoting Thailand in the Chinese market under the long-standing Amazing Thailand branding with the existing ‘You Taiguo Yue Wan Yue Kaixin’ tagline in Chinese language, which literally means ‘The more one travels to Thailand, the more fun they enjoy.’
Ms. Thapanee added “For 2024, we will continue with the ‘4 Mores’ strategy; namely, More Alliances, More Areas, More Nationwide, and More Agile, by focusing on affluent travellers in segments like digital nomads, environmentally conscious tourists, and young business entrepreneurs.”
Statistics from 1 January to 9 November 2023, showed that Thailand recorded 2,866,212 Chinese visitor arrivals. (TAT)