(Yicai Global) Sept. 6 -- The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said Monday that it had opened its Visit Thailand public WeChat account to attract Chinese tourists, promote the development of the online travel market and improve information exchange services, China News Service reported.
China is Thailand's largest source of tourists. Based on the long-term development trend, the number of Thailand-bound Chinese travelers will increase, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said. About 8.8 million Chinese went to Thailand last year, bringing in USD13 billion (THB430 billion) for the country.
An estimated 9 million will visit Thailand this year, generating THB480 billion in tourism revenue, more than 26 percent of the country's total.
TAT believes that Chinese tourists habits' have gradually changed and that the notion of being a Free Independent Traveler (FIT) has gained popularity. FITs like to search the internet for travel information and chat using mobile devices.
TAT can use WeChat to quickly and accurately provide Chinese with information and consulting services and promote the development of the Thai tourism industry, Supasorn said.
Before TAT introduced its WeChat account, it operated a hotline and service centers for Chinese travels. Its WeChat account will act as an online consulting and conversation platform for Chinese tourists.