Bangkok, 16 December, 2016 – Thailand recently welcomed the launch of Spring Airlines’ new direct Zunyi-Bangkok route, allowing the chance for a new target group of Chinese tourists to enjoy Thailand’s new visa waiver scheme as the tourist season gets underway.
From 2 December, 2016, Spring Airlines is operating one flight per week on the Zunyi-Bangkok route – every Friday, using a 180-seat Airbus A320. The flying time on the route takes only two hours 20 minutes. Zunyi is located in the south of China. It is the second largest city in the Chinese province of Guizhou and is a regional business centre as well as a hub for agriculture and tourism with a population of over six million.
To welcome the airline’s new direct flight from Zunyi to Bangkok, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has organised an airport reception ceremony on 16 December, 2016. All 178 leisure travellers on flight 9C 8721 were greeted by TAT and Spring Airlines executives and given souvenirs before travelling on to Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket.
Ms. Runjuan Tongrut, TAT Executive Director of the East Asia Region said, “Southern China is a source of leisure and business travellers to Thailand, and this new route will allow people to fly directly to Bangkok or transfer to other destinations in the kingdom. We’re pleased that Chinese visitors now have another convenient option when it comes to travel and that they are just a couple of hours flight away from Thailand’s attractions and hospitality.”
In 2015, Thailand attracted 7.9 million Chinese tourists, generating an estimated 376 billion Baht in revenue for the Thai economy, up respectively 71 per cent and 88 per cent over 2014. In 2016, from January to November, Thailand has already welcomed 8.01 million travellers from China, up 14 per cent year-on-year. TAT expects the number of Chinese tourists to reach 8.8 million (up 10 per cent) with an estimated expenditure of 445 billion Baht (up 15 per cent). The favourite destinations for Chinese visitors to Thailand are Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Krabi.
To promote Thai tourism during this high season, various initiatives have been put in place to encourage tourists to visit and experience Thailand as a quality leisure destination. This includes the waiver of embassy and consulate issued tourist visa fees for visitors from 19 countries including China from 1 December, 2016, to 28 February, 2017. During the same period, the price of visas issued on arrival will be halved.
Ms. Runjuan concluded, “We are pleased that this group of tourists from Zunyi in Guizhou will get to explore Thailand and enjoy Thai food as well as Thai local experiences with a privilege from the visa scheme. We hope that all tourists get benefits of the waiver and fee cuts to see the best of Thailand at this lovely cool time of year.”
Earlier this month, Thailand welcomed the 30 millionth visitors for 2016. This “Thailand’s Luckiest Visitor – The Amazing, Smashing Success” who was a tourist from Guangzhou, China arrived in Thailand on the auspicious date of 5 December, 2016.