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Thai hoteliers see China as a positive growth market

November 2, 2013 OTA News No Comments Email Email

The second annual Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) released by Hotels.com, the world’s leading hotel booking website, reveals significant insights into the huge growth of Chinese travelers in Thailand, the changing behaviors of these travellers, and how the Thai hotel industry is adapting to this trend.

The CITM report surveyed more than 3,000 Chinese international travelers and more than 1,300 hoteliers around the world, including 109 hotel partners in Thailand. The Hotels.com CITM report found that 80 percent of Thai hoteliers have experienced an increase in Chinese guests over the last year with 64 percent also seeing a growth of more than 10%. Thai hoteliers see China as a positive growth market over the next three years with 30 percent expecting to see an increase of more than 50 per cent in Chinese guests in the next 3 years.

According to the Hotels.com report, the majority of Chinese travelers in Thailand travel independently rather than as part of a group, this new trend is a clear shift from past travel patterns. This development has been confirmed by the Thai hoteliers surveyed, who say 69 per cent of Chinese guests now travel independently, compared with a much more even split in 2012. Other changes in behavior observed by Thai hoteliers also included increased spending and more confidence.

China has become the biggest source market for travelers to Thailand, with Chinese visitors increasing to 18% of the total number of visitors to Thailand, an increase of 95% during January to May in 2013 compared to the same period last year*.

Mr. Pongsathorn Kessamili, Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and South Pacific) for the Tourism Authority of Thailand says: “Over the past 3-4 years, the number of Chinese travelers to Thailand has grown exponentially. This market has potential to grow even more in the next few years. We are seeing a new generation of Chinese travelers who now travel independently rather than in tours and also rely on the internet for everything from researching destinations to online booking for accommodation and flights.” 

Zoe Chan, Senior PR Manager of Hotels.com Asia Pacific, said, “The 2013 Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) shows the move to independent travel identified in the CITM last year is now preferred by the majority of Chinese travellers. While in-roads have been made in this area, governments such as Thailand have to take this into account when organizing their visa application infrastructure and for example, the recent development of visa policy relaxation will definitely help to further increase the number of mainland Chinese .”

In addition, the CITM highlights areas for continued improvement for accommodation providers in Thailand. According to the Thai hoteliers, the top 5 most common requests from Chinese travelers are Free Wi-Fi (77 per cent), Smoking Room (49 per cent), in-house Mandarin speaking staff (45 per cent), Chinese TV programs (43 per cent), and Chinese breakfast (35 per cent). In response, the top 5 services Thai hotels plan to offer Chinese travelers are in-house Mandarin speaking staff, Chinese language hotel website, translated welcome materials, Chinese breakfast, and Chinese newspapers and magazines. Thai accommodation providers have also adapted to the increase in Chinese travelers with 47 per cent developing dedicated marketing programs targeting Chinese guests over the past 12 months.

“These insights highlight the need for hoteliers to adapt their marketing strategies to attract Chinese travelers. The CITM shows hoteliers are making positive steps towards catering to an increasingly mobile and savvy Chinese travel market, and will help this market continue to grow.”

“In addition, programmes being implemented by the Thai governments and tourism authorities such as relaxation of visa requirements and promotions such as the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale are a positive step in the right direction.” Zoe Chan concluded.

Remarks: Source info from Tourism Authority of Thailand

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