(Bloomberg) -- Chinese tourist arrivals in Thailand have exceeded 1 million since the start of the year, bolstered by a surge in flights following Beijing’s move to reopen its borders.
Flights from China to Thailand rose 98% from a year earlier to 12,805 between October and April, Thai government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said in a statement Sunday, citing data from Aeronautical Radio of Thailand Ltd. Inbound flights from China are expected at about 46,175 in the 2023 fiscal year, which runs from October 2022 to September 2023, according to Aerothai.
The 1 million milestone reached on May 18 comes as Thai hotel resort operators and other firms linked to the tourism industry benefit from pent-up travel demand that’s seen a recovery in Chinese holidaying abroad. The Tourism Authority of Thailand is maintaining its official forecast of Chinese visitors at 5 million during 2023, generating some 446 billion baht ($12.8 billion) of tourism revenue.
Still, arrivals from China could jump to as high as 7 million, depending on the number of flights during the high season between October and March, the authority said. Thailand welcomed 9.47 million foreign tourists since the start of the year to May 15, generating about 391 billion baht of revenue, according to the government.
Overall tourist arrivals to Thailand have topped 2 million every month between December and April, according to official data. Thailand’s Finance Ministry sees international arrivals at 29.5 million this year, more than twice last year’s tally of 11.2 million.
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