Thailand no longer main draw for China tourists

THE country has lost its spot as the most popular cross-border destination for tourists from mainland China, according to a survey by HSBC Holdings Plc, as neighbouring Japan and South Korea moved up the list.

“Barring Hong Kong and Macau, Japan and Korea emerged as the top two preferred cross-border destinations, ” analyst Parash Jain wrote in a report.

“This reinforces our view that short-haul travel will recover earlier than long-haul international travel.”

The survey, conducted from Oct 28 to Nov 2, found that flight bookings were being made further in advance than they were pre-pandemic, which may reflect more demand for leisure travel than business.

Most survey respondents said they would need at least six months after quarantine restrictions were relaxed to become comfortable with international travel, and an effective vaccine was key to boosting confidence, Jain said.

The survey also showed that people were more confident about domestic travel due to China’s success in containing the virus. — Bloomberg

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