ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Chinese tourists at Asiatique, a popular night market in Bangkok, on New Year's eve 2016. (Photo by Marwaan Macan-Markar)

Thailand cracks down on 'zero-dollar' tour groups

Industry eyes independent, high-spending Chinese tourists

MARWAAN MACAN-MARKAR, Asia regional correspondent | China

BANGKOK -- Four Chinese tourists in their 20s tuck into an early lunch of "pad Thai," a stir-fried noodle dish cooked with egg and shrimp, at a restaurant on Khaosan Road, a popular backpackers' hub in the Thai capital. Two of the women, sporting wide-brimmed sun hats, search for travel information on their mobile phones. They are planning a trip to Pattaya, a seaside resort south of Bangkok.

"This is our third day in Thailand; so far it is good," one of their male companions, using a Chinese-English translation app on his smartphone to speak to the Nikkei Asian Review, said of their six-day stay. He did not want to be named, but said they were all from Beijing on their first trip to Thailand. The trip was planned through online searches, mobile phone bookings and visits to,  a popular Chinese online travel service provider.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more