BANGKOK, 25 October 2019: Thailand was the most popular destination among outbound Chinese tourists over the recent Chinese National Day holiday according to Ctrip chief marketing officer, Sun Bo.
Speaking at a meeting last week with the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, he acknowledged Thailand was already the most popular destination for package tourists during the Golden Week holiday and the second most popular for Chinese flexible, independent travellers (FIT).
Thailand has set its sights on premium inbound tourism to drive the next wave of growth, according to the leading Chinese OTA.
Sun Bo told the TAT governor Ctrip is now working closely with the local travel industry to develop and promote experience-oriented travel products.
The Ctrip CMO visited the TAT governor to discuss a partnership that would open up possibilities joint destination marketing.
In the proposed partnership with Ctrip, Thailand would see the promotion of more premium and specialised tourism options, in a bid to tap the higher-end Chinese outbound tourism market.
In 2018, Thailand welcomed more than 10.6 million arrivals from China, the largest source of inbound tourists for the country.
In 2020, TAT expects trips to surpass 11 million and contribute more than THB 500 billion(approximately USD16.5 billion) to the economy. Tourism is a key industry for the Thai economy, accounting for approximately 12% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018.
With over 300 million users, Ctrip is in s strong position to deliver destination marketing.
Yuthasak said: “China is the top source market for visitors to Thailand, and we welcome Ctrip’s partnership that will make our country more accessible and enjoyable for our visitors.”
Ctrip has identified Southeast Asia as a primary focus going forward and is keen to work closely with Thailand to deliver premium travellers (high spend).
It also talks about expanding the emerging markets of adventure and sports-oriented travel, weddings and honeymoons, wellness and eco-tourism.
Ctrip hopes to work with the local travel industry in Thailand to improve the traveller experiences through what it calls a “ Global SOS system” that will make tourism a sustainable and safe experience.