Thailand's tourism pins hope on Chinese, Japanese visitors hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Bangkokpost)

Bangkok (VNA)Chinese President Xi Jinping's attendance at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Bangkok in November could help Thailand welcome 12 million international tourists this year, surpassing the government's goal of 10 million, Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakan has said.

Along with the easing of restrictions on COVID-19 prevention and control, especially since the pandemic was no longer considered a dangerous infectious disease from October 1, 1.5 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Thailand each month between October and December, which could push the total for the year to more than 10 million, reported The Bangkok Post.

However, Phiphat said he believed 1.5 million Chinese travelers will visit Thailand in December if the Chinese President allows outbound tourism to resume that month. The inbound market could reach 12 million if extra Chinese tourists are included, he noted.

Flights between Thailand and southern China have more than doubled to 15 per week, up from seven flights per week, with most passengers being students and businessmen.

Meanwhile, Japan's full reopening on October 11 is expected to benefit both Thailand and Japan, as tourist exchanges between the two countries were very strong prior to the pandemic.

According to the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the country welcomed 1.78 million Japanese travelers in 2019, while the Japan National Tourism Organisation reported 1.31 million Thai tourists in the same year.

For the domestic market, the Thai minister said the number of local trips should reach 160 million as targeted, thanks to the "We Travel Together" subsidy campaign and the co-payment scheme./.