Elite Easy Access Members, upgrade your membership HERE.
Thailand Drops in Popularity Among Chinese Tourists
Published: August 16, 2023 at 7:52 pm
Thailand has seen its ranking drop among Chinese property purchasers, now in fifth place. Influences include the COVID-19 pandemic, escalating flight prices, and logistical issues. Nevertheless, there’s optimism for Thailand’s tourism and real estate due to China’s growing high-income households and considerable investment capital.
Pandemic’s Impact on Chinese Tourism: China, once the world’s largest source of outbound travelers, experienced a drastic halt in 2020 due to the pandemic. However, the industry is hopeful for a historic rebound in 2023.
Thailand’s Changing Property Market: According to Kashif Ansari, Co-founder and Group Chief Executive of Juwai IQI Group:
Previously, Chinese consumers with smaller budgets were Thailand’s main market.
Thailand expects 5 million Chinese tourists in 2023, down from 13 million pre-COVID.
International travel plays a pivotal role in Chinese overseas property sales, which plummeted over 50% during the pandemic.
Thongchai Busrapan of Noble Development noted that condo sales to Chinese consumers declined to 30% in 2023 from over 50% in 2019. Taiwanese buyers now surpass Chinese consumers, particularly in areas like Thong Lor, Nana, and Rama IX.
Before the pandemic, Chinese travelers made 155 million trips with a total expenditure of US$255 billion. They accounted for 30% of inbound tourists to Japan, 28% to Thailand, and 16% to Germany (non-EU).
Future Outlook: Mr. Ansari points to a positive future, citing China’s growing economy and unstable property markets, pushing buyers abroad. The number of affluent Chinese households is expected to rise by 71 million by 2025. Chinese savings saw an increase of 26.3 trillion yuan in just nine months of 2022. An anticipated 712,000 Chinese expatriates will live in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. by 2025.
While Chinese outbound travel is rebounding, it faces challenges such as a lack of flights, maintaining only 37% of pre-pandemic capacity. Notably, the National Immigration Administration highlights that cross-border travel has resumed to 65% of 2019.
Travel costs are decreasing, with Ctrip indicating a 6% drop in one-way air tickets in June compared to May. Popular destinations include Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo, Bangkok, and Singapore.
While Thailand has experienced a dip in interest from Chinese consumers, evolving global dynamics and China’s burgeoning economy could spark a revival in the near future. Addressing these logistical challenges is crucial for Thailand to reclaim its top spot among Chinese travelers.