Thailand Tourism To Take Massive Hit On China Virus
Making news today is a travel ban coming into effect in Mainland China for tour groups.
Over the past few days hoteliers in Phuket, Bangkok and throughout the country are reporting significant cancellations not only of groups, but also independent travelers.
Last year Mainland Chinese travelers to Thailand nearly eclipsed 11 million, and represent over a quarter of international visitors to the Kingdom.
What has the industry reeling is the negative travel sentiment not-only within Asia but also long-haul destinations, that has spurred a growing number of non-tourists to defer travel.
For Phuket, which has considerable direct airlift to Mainland China, lower numbers in a peak period are likely to create more rate pressure once a tourism reboot takes place.
Another key segment that is likely to have an impact is the island’s MICE business, as many large conferences and meetings occur in the low-season and reports have some event organizers putting plans on the shelf until there is greater certainty over the current crises.
As to the question of ‘crisis what crisis’, there is little doubt that the disruption which Thailand will face over the tour ban is one that will also impact every tourism destination in Southeast Asia.
Mainland China has become such a significant global travel and economic machine, that when it blinks, so does the rest of the world.