BANGKOK — Thailand is expected to receive a large influx of visitors for Chinese New Year, raising hope among officials that a rebound in mainland arrivals is underway.
Up to 325,000 Chinese travelers are projected to visit the kingdom to celebrate the Year of the Pig, according to a forecast published by Kasikorn Bank, while an aviation official said at least 13,330 flights will arrive at Bangkok’s two international airports.
Aeronautical Radio director Somnuk Rongthong said air traffic controllers have been put on full alert to monitor the airspace and clear up any delays during the holiday, which lasts Feb. 4 to 10.
Total flights arriving in Thailand will increase by 6.4 percent from the same period of time last year, Somnuk said.
The Airport Authority of Thailand said at least 10,000 Chinese tourists have been arriving daily via Suvarnabhumi Airport since late December. The agency expects an average of 200,000 arrivals per day from all nations during the Chinese New Year – known as the Golden Week in China.
Chinese arrivals took a major hit after a ferry sank in July 2018, killing more than 40 Chinese passengers. Numbers of Chinese visitors to Thailand did not recover until December, when arrivals rose by 2 percent over the year prior.
In a report published today, Kasikorn Bank’s research department said Thailand will welcome about 10.9 million Chinese tourists this year, though it added that the slowing Chinese economy and competition from other countries remain threats to the industry.
“It will be a challenge to maintain and sustain the growth rate,” the report said.