After a busy New Year, Prachuap Khiri Khan is ready to welcome Chinese tourists

Hua Hin, file photo

After a bumper New Year, Prachuap Khiri Khan’s tourism industry is hoping the arrival of Chinese tourists to Thailand will be a further cause for optimism.

Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Prachuap Khiri Khan Office Mr. Achawan Kongkanan has said the New Year holidays was a busy period for the local tourism industry.

Throughout the province’s eight districts, the average hotel occupancy rate was around 80 percent, Mr. Achawan said.

In Hua Hin, the busiest district in the province, hotel occupancy rates peaked to between 90 and 100 percent, which is a positive indicator of the tourism industry’s resurgence, Mr. Achawan added.

Speaking ahead of the arrival of the first group of tourists to arrive in Thailand from China on Monday (Jan 9), Dr. Rungroj Suengsawat, academic vice president of the Tourism Industry Council of Thailand and managing director of the Hua Hin Grand Hotel Hotel and Plaza said that Thailand was well prepared to welcome Chinese tourists.

Dr. Rungroj echoed the comments of Mr. Achawan, stating that the overall tourism situation in Hua Hin was much improved this New Year.

While the majority of tourists visiting Hua Hin were Thai nationals, there were also an influx of Indian and Korean tourists visiting the district.

Meanwhile, Mr. Udomsuk Nimsian, president of the Tourism Business Association in Prachuap Khiri Khan, welcomed Beijing’s decision to relax its rules regarding travel.

Mr. Udomsuk said Prachuap Khiri Khan is a province with comprehensive tourism resources.

There is a lot to see and do in terms of nature, culture and historic attractions or points of interest, as well as great street food and fresh seafood, all of which is very affordable, Mr. Udomsuk added.

The variety of accommodation available across all eight districts of the province, from budget to six star hotels, will also help to attract Chinese tourists to the area, Mr. Udomsuk said.

The news comes after Thailand on Monday welcomed the arrival of thousands of Chinese tourists in its capital of Bangkok, after almost three years.

On Sunday, China relaxed its travel restrictions and scrapped the requirement for inbound travellers to quarantine, making overseas travel much easier.

At the Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and other senior officials welcomed 269 tourists from the Chinese city of Xiamen, who were greeted with flowers and gift bags.

The increase in the number of tourists entering Thailand from China and other countries is a good sign for Thailand’s tourism sector, generating income and creating jobs for the people which contributes to the country’s economic recovery, Anutin said.

A total of 15 flights from China accommodating about 3,465 passengers were expected to arrive in Bangkok on Monday, he said.

The Thai government estimates around 300,000 Chinese tourists to visit Thailand in the first three months of this year.