The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced the results of a detailed China market research study that will help it better fine tune its marketing and promotional strategies towards a growing generation of high end Chinese travellers. The research was conducted in eight of China’s most populous cities; Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Xi’an and Shenyang, with a sample base of 2,400 respondents. These cities were chosen because they have direct flight connections to Bangkok.
The results were announced at a press conference by TAT Deputy Governor for Policy and Planning, Mr. Santi Chudintra and TAT East Asia Executive Director, Mrs. Srisuda Wanapinyosak. China has now become the world’s top outbound travel market, with more than 70 million annual travellers and continued growth projection in the years ahead. As a result, it has become a highly competitive market.
The study indicated that of the total Chinese outbound travellers, an estimated 10 million people are high-value tourists. With the mass-market Chinese visitor numbers now flowing steadily, TAT has decided to shift its focus to the highspending, long-stay market in line with the overall strategy. The study showed that the high-value tourist market group in China is aged over 18 years with a good educational background, well-being, stable job, high-income, with average expenditure per trip that is three times that of average tourists. The TAT aims to attract these customers by launching well-targeted and creative campaigns, based on the conclusions of the research. The campaigns will be coordinated and executed by all five TAT offices in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Kunming).
China is now the top source of visitor arrivals to Thailand. Chinese visitors totalled 4,623,806 in 2014, a slight drop from 2013 (-0.29%). In 2015, TAT is expecting 5.6 million Chinese tourists generating revenue of 230 billion baht, up from 190 billion baht in 2014. The profile of Chinese tourists is changing rapidly as travellers become more mature and experienced. Hence, TAT is seeing a huge diversity of Chinese tourists – from first-time visitors to group-travellers to more women travellers and young people, many of whom also speak good English. Many Chinese are repeat travellers to Thailand.
TAT is targeting these travellers through marketing campaigns that emphasise the fun of shopping, enjoying a Thai massage or a game of golf. They are also being encouraged to visit new destinations such as Northeast Thailand. Chinese visitors have an average length of stay of 8.1 days and spending per person / trip of up to 41,390 Baht.
They enjoy travelling to different destinations in Thailand. They also prefer to travel independently and spend more time experiencing a variety of tourism activities in the local areas. According to the January 2015 statistics, Chinese visitors were up 57 percent (560,399). The fact that the tourism situation has returned to normal is an important plus point, as it will allow the airlines to expand capacity.