Despite the temperature cooling and the ringing of holiday bells, there are few foreign tourists at Jim Thompson Farm, the popular getaway tourism destination three hours from Bangkok.
The farm, which is only open for six weeks a year, draws tourists with its gorgeous flower fields and authentic local experiences. Even though the country has been completely accessible to foreign visitors since last July, the farm continues to be a secret treasure for tourists from abroad.
“This year’s visitors are down from previous years. Hearing that Chinese tourists will be returning soon is encouraging! Just bring your friends here to take a farm tour,” advised Nui, a coffee vendor at the farm who was overjoyed to hear someone speak Chinese after almost three years without any Chinese visitors.
Nearly a third of Thailand’s nearly 40 million international visitors in 2019 were Chinese tourists. The Chinese government’s declaration that it will eliminate passenger quarantine beginning on January 8 was warmly welcomed by the nation’s tourism industry.
The announcement of the return of Chinese tourists has sparked a joyful mood in the nation that depends heavily on tourism. The majority of the nation’s tourist destinations have Chinese signs installed.
At every turn, there are signs with QR codes for audio introductions and printed in English and Chinese at a historical park about 270 kilometres northeast of Bangkok.
Some of Thailand’s most well-preserved Khmer temples can be seen in Phimai Historical Park. We think there may be a small group of people who may be pleased in the rich culture and want for less commercialised experiences here, despite the fact that it’s a less popular location for Chinese tourists. All we need to do is be ready for their arrival back, Phon, a park guide, told Xinhua.
After China reopens its border, Thailand’s tourism board anticipates receiving approximately 300,000 Chinese visitors in the first quarter of the year.
“Mid-January is presumably when the first group of Chinese tourists will come. We will need to determine how to address the labour deficit for drivers, hotel employees, and tour guides who speak Chinese. In addition, Chinese tourists returning to China must still have a negative PCR test result within 48 hours of departure. Therefore, we must assist in setting up testing locations and making it easier for hospitals to work on this,” said Yuthasak Supaporn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in a phone interview with Xinhua.
According to him, the initial visitors are mainly those who have built their own schedules using travel apps and booked their own flights and hotels online.