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Thailand and Hoteliers want the Chinese over Western Tourist


Thailand and Hoteliers want the Chinese over Western Tourist

This blog has been provided by Dan About Thailand BLOG for Inspire.

If you live in the main tourist areas of Thailand you cannot but help notice the huge influx of Chinese tourists, mainly packaged holiday makers but some independent travelers too.

Around 10 million visited Thailand in 2017 and that figure is likely to exceed 13 million in 2018, all in all around 10% of all Chinese tourists visit Thailand; with 135 million of them having traveled abroad in 2017. And, get this, currently only 5% of Chinese have passports. The Chinese numbers will only get bigger in Thailand.

Local Expats Views are All Wrong

Up until my recent meetings with both the TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) Governor and many hoteliers in Thailand, I agreed with the popular expat view. That view was the Chinese were doing nothing more than causing terrible traffic from the coaches and bringing no money into the local economy by virtue of the tour operator controlling their every move. On top of that their rudeness and bad behaviour was off putting for hotels as it ruined it for other nationalities staying at the hotel.

Well it turns out that is not entirely true.

Thailand is ready to turn its back on Westerners and get behind China first and Indians second. Hoteliers would rather have Chinese in their hotels than Westerners too.

Hoteliers WANT Chinese over Western tourists

Don’t believe me? Here are the facts. At this years ITB Global International Travel convention in Berlin the consensus is global travel is booming and the Chinese are fueling this. It is no longer a buyers market but a sellers in the hotel industry – and that is very much the case in Thailand. Hoteliers can pick and choose who they want now. (Quick note: Hoteliers are still frustrated that room rate in Bangkok is far lower than neighbouring Asian countries and that this needs to increase).

The Thailand hoteliers all agreed they preferred the Chinese traveler. You see us Westerners like to moan about everything and this often results in a rebate on room rate. Plus with Western tourists, given the mode of payment, the hotels often don’t see the money for a month (e.g. Agoda etc). With the Chinese tour group they pay immediately and upfront, and – and this shocked me – they pay more than the Western room rate. Western tourists are driving the room rate down and the Chinese tourist is driving it up.



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