Thailand expects Chinese visitors during Lunar New Year festival hinh anh 1People visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, in June 2020, as it reopened for visitors amid the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. (Photo: AFP)

Bangkok (VNA)Thailand’s tour operators are expecting outbound tourism from China will restart in late January 2023 during the Lunar New Year festival when China gradually lifts its COVID-19 restrictions.

The move will support the recovery of tourism-relating stocks and Thailand’s tourism.

Speaking at a recent event held by the Federation of Thailand Capital Market Organisation (Fetco), Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Yuthasak Supasorn said that the agency has a plan to boost outbound tourism from China to Thailand next month or within the first quarter of next year at the latest.

It is expected that China authorities will allow its citizens to travel overseas from the lunar new year holidays, he said, adding that Thailand hopes it is on the list of countries that China allows its citizens to travel to.

If excluding Chinese visitors, Thailand expects to receive 11 million foreign visitors this year and a rise to 20 million in 2023.

The country welcomed the 10 millionth foreign tourist arrival on December 10.

Yuthasak also expects the country’s tourism revenue in 2023 to reach 2.38 trillion baht (over 68 billion USD), equivalent to 80% of its revenue of 3 trillion baht before the pandemic in 2019.

However, he pointed to major challenges for the country’s tourism industry, including the global economic slowdown, currency fluctuations, and energy price crisis, especially when its low season begins in March.

Meanwhile, Fetco President Kobsak Pootrakool said tourism and related industries will benefit from the industry's rapid recovery. Currently, many stocks in this industry are still at low prices, and so are the stocks in the airline, food, and hotel sectors./.