TAT’s marketing representative in Cambodia and Laos, Oranooch Pakapan-Rutten, stated that Chinese, Korean, and Japanese investors living in Cambodia frequently cross the border into Thailand to purchase high-quality products and services.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has set its sights on welcoming Asian expatriates, especially East Asian citizens residing in Cambodia.
Oranooch added that this group of people are familiar with Thai culture and services and feels that Thai tourism offers high quality at affordable prices.
With the introduction of the China-Laos high-speed rail service as a new transportation option, Oranooch stressed the need for Thailand to be also prepared to welcome more foreign visitors who travel to northeastern Thailand via Vientiane in Laos.
In addition to Chinese citizens, the representative also emphasized the potential of Cambodia and Laos in promoting the high-spending segment to visit Thailand, particularly people who are employed in industries that have experienced an influx of foreign investment.
According to TAT, 50% of Cambodian and Lao visitors travel to Thailand for leisure purposes, while medical and health check-ups are also popular reasons for their visits. Around 20% of Lao visitors and 4.5% of Cambodian tourists engage in medical tourism. The number of Cambodian tourists reached 229,000 from January to May 2023.
The Association of Thai Travel Agents also advised the government to consider implementing a visa waiver scheme for Chinese tourists entering Thailand through specific land borders, such as Udon Thani from Laos and Cambodia.
If the scheme is implemented, the association believes that the number of tourists will increase, encouraging tourism operators to improve their products and services to attract more visitors to the country. (NNT)