Surat Thani Province, Thailand – In a strategic move to attract high season tourists in the second half of the year, Surat Thani Governor Mr. Wichawut Jinto has rallied tourism operators from Koh Samui to embark on a mission to visit China. This endeavor, led by the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association and a freelance international company, aims to promote tourism and generate significant revenue for Surat Thani Province.
The SAMUI ROADSHOW IN WESTERN CHINA 2023 activity kicked off in Chongqing and Chengdu, People’s Republic of China on June 27, 2023. Governor Wichawut Jinto, together with the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association, continued their marketing and public relations efforts to boost tourism in Chongqing.
With direct charter flights already operating between Chengdu and Koh Samui, there is a growing demand for additional flights. This presents a valuable opportunity for tourism businesses. The visit to China includes negotiations for business matching and extensive promotion of the region’s tourist attractions. Chinese tourists have long regarded Koh Samui, along with other islands and the mainland area of Surat Thani Province, as popular destinations. The positive feedback received on the first day of the roadshow has sparked interest among travel agency operators, who see the potential to bring tourists to Surat Thani Province, particularly during the high season in the second half of the year.
Overall, Thailand has experienced significant growth in tourism numbers during the first five months of 2023 (January – May). The country welcomed approximately 10.6 million tourists, a substantial increase compared to the same period in 2022. Notably, Chinese tourists rank second after Malaysians, accounting for about 10% of all tourists, or approximately 1,131,000 individuals. This figure exceeds the number of Chinese tourists during the same period in 2022 when travel restrictions were in place, resulting in fewer than 40,000 arrivals.
Surat Thani Province has witnessed a similar upward trend in tourism. The number of foreign visitors to the province in early 2023 has surged from approximately 200,000 in 2022 to 1 million people, marking a five-fold increase in just five months. Consequently, tourism income has reached around 20,000 million baht. With hopes of a more favorable opening of the tourism market in China and increased flight connectivity, both the business sector and the Tourism Authority of Thailand anticipate a significant influx of at least 100,000 Chinese tourists to Koh Samui and Surat Thani provinces during the upcoming high season. This is expected to generate a minimum revenue of 2,000 million baht.