It seems that there currently is a great slowdown in relation to the number of the arrivals of tourists from China, which could result in the triggering of the slowdown of the entire tourism for Phuket unfortunately. The harsh reality is that a large number of resorts tend to focus on the China arrivals and will thus sense the major slowdown in their numbers. It is to be noted that the passing of the King does not seem to be the present major contributing fact to these drastic slowdowns in tourism.
In fact, the Thai government has recently proceeded to place a clamp down on tours that had previously been considered zero-fee. This has therefore directly impacted the lower number of Chinese arrivals to Thailand regarding visitors on tour packages. The plummeting of the low numbers was even more deeply felt in the month of October, since the clamp down which was originally implemented back in the month of August.
There had been a decrease down to 47 per cent in relation to the number of Chinese tourist arrivals that tour agents served, the number being for the month of October 108,080 visitors. This information was presented by the Association of Thai Travel Agents.
There had been the experience of a suspension of business by the many tour operators that target China due to the fact that there had been a plummeting to 60 percent in the month of October concerning the number of Chinese visitors to the nation of Thailand. This statement was made by the leader of the Thai Chinese Tourism Alliance.
Ronnarong went on to say that he did not know if it was possible for the business to see any recovery take place, which is mainly contributed to the tight suppression put in place by the government of Thailand. He suggested that if the government did not lift the crackdown in the year of 2017, likely many tour agents would no longer be in business. Ronnaron had joined the members of the TCTA for a road show in China last month which had been put on under the direction of Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Because of the high surge in the cost of tour packages to Thailand, this has resulted in the cessation of some Chinese tour operators selling these packages. Instead, these Chinese tour operators have shifted their focus in promoting the nations of the Philippines, Japan and South Korea, which will allow them to have larger profit margins. Also, a large number of Chinese agents saw themselves selling their air tickets to Thailand for only cost prices in order to prevent losses on tour packages that had not been sold.
Latest response of Thai government is to reduce the Visa fees on arrival with 50%, but after the 100% increase this might be too late to recover.