Chinese ambassador visits Phuket as tourism surges

PHOTO: Chinese Ambassador Han Zhiqiang met with Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew about tourism. (via Nation)

Chinese tourist arrivals are expected to surge to over 300,000 in April, according to the Chinese ambassador to Thailand, Han Zhiqiang. The ambassador made a courtesy visit to Phuket governor Narong Woonciew at the Provincial Hall on Saturday, where the two worked to strengthen ties between Thailand and China and increase tourism to Phuket and beyond.

Narong and the Chinese ambassador went over several plans, including Thailand’s aim to chair the Specialised Expo 2028. They discussed the prospects for tourists travelling between China and Thailand and also worked on the goal of Phuket setting up sister cities within China.

Tourism was first on the docket as Phuket has been a hotspot since China lifted tourism travel restrictions in January. Currently, an average of 20,000 Chinese tourists visit each day on 20 flights into Phuket International Airport.

The numbers are steadily increasing and industry officials believe the ambassador’s visit will give an extra boost and encourage more Chinese travellers to head to Thailand.

The president of the Phuket Tourist Association, Thaneth Tantipiriyakij, said the visit of the Chinese ambassador will benefit the tourism sector on the island. The Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation has further plans to host a travelling roadshow in Shanghai, Chengdu, and Nanning. They will work with the private sector to organise and run these travel events.

Phuket has already established links with several cities in China, including Yantai, Hainan, Ningxia Hui, Guilin, Yanjiang, Xiamen, and the Macau special administrative region. Governor Narong now has his sights set on a partnership with Xi’an next.

The Phuket government also has its eye on the Specialised Expo and Ambassador Han hinted that China might throw support behind hosting the world expo as Phuket Expo 2028.

The meeting mirrored on a local level the visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping last year when he met with His Majesty the King and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. The meeting yielded a commitment to positive bilateral relations and a goal to build a stronger Chinese-Thai community relationship.

Phuket NewsTourism News

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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