(Yicai Global) Jan. 12 -- There has been a big jump in hotel bookings in Thailand by Chinese tourists over the week-long Spring Festival break at month end as travel restrictions ease and as Chinese holidaymakers regain their confidence in overseas trips, The Paper reported today, citing data from the country’s biggest online travel agent Trip.com.
Hotel bookings in Thailand have surged almost 12 times during the week Jan. 21 to Jan. 27 from the same period last year, according to Shanghai-based Trip.com, also known as Ctrip. And so far this month, Thai hotel bookings on Ctrip have soared nearly six-fold year on year, a third of which were made by people on the mainland.
In fact, hotel bookings by mainland travelers to Thailand have jumped nearly 21-fold since the beginning of the month from a year ago and have doubled in the last month, the report said.
Thailand is a popular holiday destination for Chinese tourists, not just because of the sunny climes and beautiful vistas, but also because the country has greatly relaxed its entry requirements, allowing visitors from China to apply for visas on arrival and extending the period of stay.
"Thailand is eagerly awaiting Chinese tourists," said the director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Shanghai office. "We hope to leverage digital tourism platforms to attract more young tourists, prepare for an influx of Chinese vacationers and boost confidence in both the consumption and supply sides of the industry."
Ctrip’s 'Thailand Joyful Vacation' special promotion event, which it launched on Jan. 11, has been a huge success, said Cui Yan, general manager of Ctrip's accommodation business in Thailand. Hotel packages in popular destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui and Phuket are being snapped up.
Not to be outdone, online travel agency Fliggy, operated by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, is linking arms with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to run the "Rediscover Thailand" marketing campaign.
International air ticket bookings have more than tripled in the last week from a year ago, according to Hangzhou-based Fliggy. More than half of these were for Asian destinations, and the number of flights to Thailand surged almost 20-fold year on year. In fact, purchases of Thai tourism products jumped 10 times to a three-year peak.
Editor: Kim Taylor