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Why the Chinese are infinitely more important than Western tourists to Thailand

Jonathan Fairfield

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Every tourist likes to know their visit is important and they are as much appreciated as they appreciate the  country they are exploring.  This article would seem to suggest that the Chinese visitors are more important than Western travelers.  I think there are many more countries that would like my presence more than Thailand; so, I guess I will spend my money elsewhere.  No one likes to be thought of, or treated, as a second class tourist.

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1 hour ago, KittenKong said:

Yes, very serious. Each arrival counts as one. Be it a package tourist from China here for a weekend and staying in a tawdry Chinese hotel out in the middle of nowhere, a Russian oligarch here for a month and staying in his 100MB Phuket mansion, or a British retiree who lives in Buriram or props up Soi Buakow bar counter all the time, or even an independently wealthy person like me who lives in a nice but modest Jomtien condo. We all count as just one arrival. This is why arrival figures are completely meaningless as I pointed out. Arrival figures only tell you how busy the airports are.


The only figures that mean anything at all are the total spend figures and the ones that show what the money is spent on (these last don't even exist). I know that I spend far more here than any Chinese package tourist does, no matter how much designer tat they buy.

1 of you and 80 million Chinese.  They will stay at all of the hotels in Thailand.  Did you ever wonder why all of those new hotels were being built in Pattaya?  The hotels were built with Thai cement and with Thai labor and are staffed by Thai employees and all of the money brought in from China stays in Thailand.  It is called a positive foreign exchange and is why Thailand has more of it than the UK. 

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Honestly - this article points out everything that is wrong in today’s world where everything and everyone seems to be valued only by the size of their wallet and spending power.

Funny thing is I get the feeling that even if Thailand would receive a 100 million visitors most of the country would still be struggling around the poverty line, struggling to survive while live passes them by.

I have witnessed the changes In the last 30+ years in this country from the wooden immigration desks at Don Muang in 1986 to modern Suvarnabhumi and I must say I am not impressed at all. Somehow this country with all the money it generates seems to stand still or even goes backwards in certain aspects - certainly when it comes to environmental issues - which is one single disaster getting worse every day.

With all the wealth that is supposed to be generated - most people are struggling to make ends meet and the famous Thai smile that was once visible all over the country is long gone - replaced by serious faces haunted by the need to endlessly purchase the crap that advertisements make them believe they need.

While Thailand had some of the best infrastructure compared to other developing countries in the area 30 years ago - it also seems to stand still in this aspect and no high speed train will change that if they can not move forward in 30+ years and cannot even built a proper highway. Drive from let’s say Chiang Mai to Bangkok and you will know what I am talking about because what they call a highway is a country road elsewhere at best.

Public transport is either non existent outside Bangkok or a disaster compared to other countries and has hardly changed in the last 30 years. “Songteows” or sitting in the back of a converted pick-up truck in the sweltering heat seems to be Thailand’s solution for the 20th as well as the 21st century as public transport.

I wonder when this country with all the wealth it supposedly generates will ever join the ranks of developed nations? Decades seem to go by and not much ever happens - from my grandparents to my parents to myself we have witnessed in a relative short period of time the development of most European countries from the ashes of the Second World War to the millennium to become “fully developed nations” who contribute greatly to the international community. Wealth generated was spread - not equally - but produced a strong middle class which ultimately facilitated the development in a very short time period of approx. 30-40 years. Education became the No 1 driver while here it has hardly developed further in the last 30 years and it depends on your families wealth if you can get a good education or not.

Here it seems they have not even managed to facilitate every village with electricity and the same old trains and buses pollute the air like 30 years ago. Uncontrolled development makes the rich richer while destroying the environment.


So I wonder where does all this money generated by ever new record numbers of tourists go?


And why would anybody want to visit a country that does not care about it’s environment, pollution, poverty, is strewn with garbage wherever you go ( my mother pointed that out to me during her last visit) substandard infrastructure and only values you by the amount of money you are able to spend.

Almost every location that has become popular with tourists over the last 40 years has been destroyed by greed and so will the few destinations left untouched so far in the future.

Something has gone terribly wrong in this country, the smile is gone, the fun is gone and still they have not learned here that money alone cannot make you happy and it will still not make you happy even if a 100 million Chinese or whoever visit.

This country does not need another 40 million Chinese visitors it needs to stop and reflect why things have gone so terribly wrong and what can be done to change this.

Or they can go on juggling numbers and let greed destroy the country further - which is I am afraid - the way this country will choose to go until they count no tourists no more.




Sent from my iPhone using Thaivisa Connect



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1 hour ago, KittenKong said:

When I was on it last week I particularly noticed the large groups of Chinese jabbering away 15 to the dozen during the entire trip. Very irritating people.

At least Thais dont jabber: they just bury their noses in their phones which is fairly harmless.

It is obvious that you really have a problem with Chinese people.  They will take over Pattaya and Jomtien so time to move.  60 million Thais and 80 million Chinese in a few years.  If you think a dozen are loud imagine 80 million. 

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14 hours ago, ThomasThBKK said:

yes, i did? Did you? No mention of TAT sources in there.


According to TAT and Mastercard: Russia, USA, UK, AUSTRALIA, GERMANY account for 29% of spendings in there alone, and that excludes Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, France and co


Source: https://www.tatnews.org/2018/11/thailand-leads-asia-in-international-visitors-spending-unwto-report/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Thailand


You can calculate the spending per visitor urself using these 2 sources.


Ha ha ha...too funny...giving the TAT any credibility at all...lol.


Lets just stick to the article at hand sizzle chest.

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30 minutes ago, Sydebolle said:

What kind of entertaining bull"*ç%*ç%t.

An European on a daily spending of USD 125 and the Chinese on USD 192? 

The access costs (air ticket) for an European is much more expensive than for the Chinese so this cannot be included in above figure. So, to put it in relation, the Farang spends THB 3'700 per 24 hours; the Chinese a hefty THB 6'000 - every day and as latter arrive (mostly in couples or room sharing basis) it is to be taken on half-twin; the Farang usually would go for single room.


These statistics are <deleted> - if you ask me as an outside. You're rabbit hunting and you point your flashlight on it at night. The rabbit's movements usually freeze. Now, if you miss the rabbit with two shots, once you miss to the rabbit's left, once to it's right - then - by statistic - the rabbit is shot dead! There you go with your statistics 😉 

For argument sake lets say you are correct.  How many European tourists times $1000 and how many Chinese tourists times $10.   A few thousand Europeans and 80 million Chinese.  You tell me how it works out. 

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47 minutes ago, Pedrogaz said:

I have never seen a Chinese tourist in a bar or in a girlie bar. Come to think of it I don't remember seeing them in Thai restaurants either. I have difficulty getting my head around Chinese outspending all others. Where do the data come from? How are the data analysed and what is the significance? If correct then all the bars in Pattaya will close through lack custom as the Chinese part of the pie chart grows.

The only area I see Chinese spending is buying stuff to take home in boxes on the airplane. I must admit they always have lots of boxes, so maybe they are spending in regular retail shops.

Chinese bring money from China and buy baht.  The bank of Thailand counts the Chinese money and figures out how much Chinese spend.  It is called positive foreign exchange.

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Was the above pic taken in Bangkok?.

The three women don't even look Chinese..They look Thai. Theyre certainly not the typical zero dollar tour group muppets.Masses of Chinese are making a big impact here but TAT are robbing Peter to pay Paul. Never put all your eggs in one Chinese basket. Lol. Farangs are responsible for all the development in the coastal towns and patronage of luxury hotels.

Thais don't care because they know how it works. Farang invests all the money he eventually dies and his Thai wife/family inherits the assets automatically.

Pattaya was full of old Austrians,Dutch,Germans and Swiss many years back. They're all deceased now. The rich Thai landlords today got their start from these farangs.

There are no bronze monuments anywhere in Thailand in memory of a generous farang.

This is Thailand, we built it we own it, so  who are you.?  Go home!

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Good luck as far as I'm concerned.  Both cultures are racist to  a greater extent. 


Take a close look at Thailand for what the place is really like. 


There are many places far better. 

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Reading TFV used to be a fun break in the day to keep up with news. But now mostly  it is multiple daily posters that blame their problems on others and try to portray themselves as important and superior by criticizing others.


What a waste of life, air and time.


Take a break and enjoy life a little and don’t think you are special or different or perfect or superior. You are a human with good and bad traits and nothing more than all the other billions of humans on the planet. 😃

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The western tourists had the money, so, in the past, they were welcomed with open arms in Thailand. Yes, many of them were there to enjoy the natural beauty and culture of Thailand. However, the reality is that most of them were just there for the "happy ending" action. 

With the Chinese, besides having more money now than most westerners, there are other benefits. The Chinese are there to travel and to experience the traditional culture of Thailand. The Thais like that and you can't blame them. 

Just being honest with you. The good news?  After a while, maybe a few years, the Chinese rush will get old and westerners will be more welcome again.

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16 hours ago, seajae said:

looks like this doesnt take in the zero dollar tours, all that money is spent in chinese shops/businesses


Go to one of the big shopping malls (like Central Festival in Chiang Mai) and you will see where their money goes...

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