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Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul (right) hands garlands to Chinese tourists on their arrival at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Samut Prakarn province, Thailand on January 9, 2023.   --Photo VCG

Chinese travel agencies ready for outbound group travel rebound

(Global Times) -- Chinese travel agencies have been making full preparations for the resumption of outbound group travel services starting from Monday. Industry insiders predict an increase in outbound tour number and clients starting from March.
“We are organising three group tours traveling to Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, as well as Vientiane, Laos on Monday,” China Spring Tour told the Global Times on Saturday.
The company said it has sold nearly 1,000 outbound travel products as of Friday, including group tours, self-guided trips, visa services as well as ticket and hotel bookings.
“Our first outbound tour travel service in 2023 will be a group tour that departs from Shanghai to Phuket, which involves six days and five nights at the island. The product has been sold out the day it was released, thanks to advantages such as comparatively low cost, convenient visa services as well as travel time,” the company said.
In addition, the company also plans group tours starting from Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong Province and Kunming, Southwest China’s Yunnan Province from Monday.
South China’s Hainan-based CAISSA Tourism Group said on the company’s official WeChat account on Thursday that its outbound travel business has now fully restarted, with dozens of outbound travel products to be released while the first tour group traveling to Europe in 2023 will depart on Tuesday.
Chinese online travel platform Trip.com told the Global Times on Saturday that the company has launched nearly 700 outbound group tours, covering 15 destination countries and regions. The first group tour will set out to Thailand on Tuesday, with clients flying from Nanning in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Huidong in Guangdong Province and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to gather in Bangkok.
“We predict there will be an increase in the number of outbound group tours as well clients starting from March, and it requires time for the recovery of the market as many Chinese restaurants overseas shut down due to the pandemic and many guides changed jobs,” Zhang Yan, outbound tour services director of Trip.com, told the Global Times.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced on January 20 that China will roll out a pilot programme to revive the country’s outbound group travel services starting from Monday.
Travel agencies and online tourism service providers in China will be permitted to provide group tours of 20 countries, including Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Russia and Cuba. Relevant airline ticket and hotel booking services will also resume, the circular noted.

(Latest Update Februay 6, 2023)

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