(ECNS) -- Chinese tourists flocked to policy-friendly destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia after the country eased restrictions on overseas travel.
Data from online travelling platform Ctrip shows since December 27, Thai hotel orders with a reservation time of over 20 day have accounted for 44 percent of the total hotel orders from mainland passengers. Some travelers have even placed an overseas hotel on New Year's Holiday in 2024.
According to a survey from the ITB China published in December, 76 percent of Chinese travel agencies listed Southeast Asia as the preferred destination after the restoration of outbound tourism.
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand announced that inbound travelers from China wouldn’t need pre-departure COVID tests.
"Now, we are deciding not to discriminate against any country, " said Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on Jan. 4.
Anwar pointed out that 53,000 travelers from China visited Malaysia last December, adding that “We didn’t see any spike in infections in any country.”
Thai Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that "This is an opportunity to restore our economy and recover from losses we suffered for nearly three years,”
"There will not be any discrimination against a particular country because COVID-19 is spreading in all countries and the strains are similar. So, it should not be an issue of discriminating against any country,” he added.
According to the National Immigration Administration, it resumed accepting and approval of Chinese citizens' applications for ordinary passports for the purposes of tourism and visiting friends abroad starting from Jan. 8.