Thai tour operators anxiously awaiting Visa exemption between Thailand and China

Local inbound tour operators are pinning their hope on the Thai-China visa exemption agreement to help shore up the current slumping market.

Since the implementation of China's new tourism law, the number of inbound Chinese tours has dropped by 70-80%, said Adith Chairatananont, the managing director of Golden Discovery Express.

Meanwhile, Wichit Prakobsokol, the president of the CCT group, said the cost of Thai package tours for Chinese tourists had gone up because tour agents could no longer force tourists to go shopping.

According to the new law, Chinese travel agencies are not allowed anymore to sell low-cost trips or force visitors to go shopping in order to earn sales commissions.

The visa exemption deal should bring more Chinese tourists to Thailand again. Wichit said he expected to see the deal struck between the two countries in the next two to three months.

He believed that the recent official visit of China Prime Minister Li Keqiang was a good sign for the industry.

News from NNT