Expensive seafood in China causes an influx of tourists in Thailand
When it comes to tourism, the tourist spots are usually first on a vacationer’s list. Governments spends fortune to make sure their tourist destinations are as enticing as possible. Recently, another game changer has started to emerge –food. Particularly, sea foods.
Recently, the number of Chinese tourists travelling to Southeast Asia had been record breaking high. The top destination was Thailand with estimated 1.2 million Chinese visited Thailand for the Chinese New Year holiday earlier this year. Thailand Tourism Ministry is projecting a total of around 10 million Chinese tourist this year.
According to Seafood Source, the sudden influx of Chinese tourists is caused by the country’s seafood. Thailand has a large and growing reputation for being the cheapest destination for China’s seafood tourists.
Higher prices of local seafood pushes these so called ‘seafood tourists’ to travel overseas. This trend is likely to continue, as Chinese consumers flee price-gouging in the domestic restaurant trade and scarce supply as China shuts down domestic fishing to conserve fishery stocks.
A report from Seafood Source stated that in March 2018, there was a 7.11 percent year-on-year rise in seafood prices, based on a survey of 58 markets conducted by China’s Agriculture Ministry. Prices for seawater species rose by 6.5 percent to an average CNY 44.34 (USD 6.91, EUR 5.97) per kilogram.
Average prices in the port city of Ningbo as of the end of April were up 10 percent year-on-year, with prices for staples like silver pomfret up by 20 percent to a record CNY 120 (USD 18.70, EUR 16.15) per kilogram, while prices for ribbonfish were up by 10 percent a year before.