The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is eager to attract more Chinese visitors to the country by joining hands with Thai Airways International (THAI) to co-host a three-day fam trip of Phuket for travel agents and the media from China, as the airline inaugurates its first Beijing-Phuket flight this week.
THAI is operating four-times weekly Beijing-Phuket service using a 264-seat Dreamliner B787. The route is dubbed a "Phuket Express" service to highlight that visitors from China can now fly direct to the holiday island.
Bangornrat Chinaprayoon, director of TAT Beijing office, said: “This new THAI route is vital as Phuket becomes ever more popular with tourists and travellers from China who can now conveniently come here on weekends... This new air access will allow tourists from our largest market to fly here directly with no hassles and start enjoying the beach and local culture as soon as they touch down.”
Incoming flights from Beijing arrive in Phuket on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, while outgoing flights depart on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, allow travellers from Beijing to fly to Phuket for long weekend visits. The flight time is about five hours and 35 minutes for both legs.
In 2017, TAT expects Thailand to attract at least nine million visitors from China and generate some 570 billion baht (US$16.5 billion) for the Thai tourism industry.