The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has revealed that the trend of Chinese tourist arrivals to the country is experiencing consistent growth following a reduction in the visa application process.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn stated that presently, the number of Chinese tourists entering Thailand has increased to 400,000 per month, up from the previous figure of around 300,000 per month. This growth is projected to soon reach up to 500,000 per month, signifying organic expansion in accordance with the tourism high season.
The surge in figures follows a revision by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to streamline the visa application process for Chinese tourists. The new process requires only six documents, such as a passport, photograph, and flight ticket, thus shortening the processing time to only 7 days from a maximum of 14 days.
“Our target for the year 2023 is set at 25 million international visitors, with the possibility of reaching 28-30 million depending on the growth rate of the Chinese market,” Yuthasak stated. “We are also confident in achieving the target of 4 million Chinese visitors in 2023. Reaching the goal of 5 million remains subject to the outcome of the high season, particularly during the upcoming October that coincides with China’s long holiday.”
Yuthasak further emphasized that the long processing time for visa approvals directly affects the airline industry.
As a result, TAT is developing a Visa Pre-Screening System (VPSS) to expedite visa processing for Chinese tour groups. The VPSS will aim to reduce the visa processing time even further to only 3-5 days, he said.