TravelNewsAsia.com
Wed, 6 Sept 2017

Tourism Authority of Thailand Launches WeChat App for Chinese Visitors

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched a WeChat ‘Visit Thailand’ application for Chinese visitors.

The app allows those in China, or Thailand, to ask for tourist information and assistance 24 hours a day by sending a simple text message to the application help desk. Users can also book accommodation and shop online.

The TAT’s information support network already includes its 1672 Call Centre and the online TAT Contact Centre, both of which are available in Mandarin Chinese.

Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT’s Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications (left) and Mr. Manatase Annanwat, Deputy Managing Director, The Emporium and the EmQuartier shopping malls (right) at the press conference to announce the launch of the official WeChat ‘Visit Thailand’ application on 5 September at the EmQuartier. Click to enlarge.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “The Chinese travel market is cut off and very different. It is vital, as the country’s whole online ecosystem is effectively the largest closed ‘intranet’ in the world. WeChat ‘Visit Thailand’ levels the playing field, giving Chinese tourists a preferred communication tool they trust in their native Mandarin dialect.”

China is Thailand’s largest tourist source market with the country welcoming 8.8 million Chinese visitors generating 430 million Baht in revenue in 2016. This number is expected to grow to nine million tourists this year and generate over 480 million Baht in revenue.

From January to July 2017 Thailand received 20.41 million visitors (+4.47%) who generated 1.03 trillion Baht (+6.07%). Of that total, 5.65 million were Chinese tourists generating 290 million Baht representing Thailand’s top inbound market for both arrivals and revenue.

WeChat is currently China’s most popular social media application with 889 million active users. The figure looks set to grow as according to the China Internet Network Information Centre there were 731 million Internet users in 2016, or 53.1% of the total population. The number of internet users on mobile devices increased from 620 million in 2015 to 695 million in 2016.

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