Southeast Asia

Chinese Tourists Back in Thailand After Three-Year Break


Chinese tourists are returning to Thailand for their first trips abroad since Beijing dropped its strict Covid-19 curbs and reopened its international borders.

With China celebrating the Lunar New Year, Asia’s tourist hotspots have been bracing for the return of Chinese tourists, who spent $255 billion a year globally before the pandemic. 

Countries from Thailand to Japan had depended on China as their largest source of foreign visitors.


Also on AF: Luxury Brands Bet on China’s Big Spenders’ Post-Covid Return


Beijing in December abruptly dropped some of the toughest Covid-19 restrictions on Earth, which had battered the world’s second-biggest economy.

The Chinese return has been welcomed by businesses, despite some wariness about a huge spike in Covid infections in China after Beijing ended its zero-Covid-19 policy.

Chinese visitors accounted for nearly a third of Thailand’s 40 million foreign tourist arrivals in pre-pandemic 2019.

The Thai government is expecting at least five million Chinese tourist arrivals this year, with some 300,000 coming in the first quarter.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more:

Thailand Drops New Covid Vaccination Rule For Visitors

Thailand Bounces Back as New Year Spend Set For 3-Year-High



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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