Russia and New Zealand also on list of 20 approved countries
BEIJING: China will allow overseas group tours to resume to 20 countries including Thailand, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said on Friday.
The approval, effective from Feb 6, covers trips organised by tour agencies and online travel companies for Chinese citizens, it said.
Authorities will allow group tours and “flight+hotel” services to 20 countries including Thailand, Russia and New Zealand, it said.
China is by far the biggest source of tourists to Thailand, but the recent relaxation of travel restrictions by Beijing applied to individual travellers only.
Chinese tourist arrivals are forecast to start picking up in the second quarter and could reach 7-8 million for the whole year, which could raise the total number of foreign arrivals to 26-27 million, according to a recent survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).
In 2019, the country welcomed 11.5 million Chinese visitors out of a total of 40 million international arrivals.