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Chinese official rules out return of China-Thailand tourism anytime soon



PHOTO: The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Thailand - Coconuts

China is not yet ready to welcome international tourists, says a senior embassy official in Bangkok. Speaking to Nation Thailand, Yang Xin from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China to Thailand, says that, while domestic tourism has resumed in China, the country is not yet ready to open its borders to foreign tourists, nor is it encouraging its own citizens to travel abroad. He adds that even if Chinese tourists did want to return to Thailand, the current border closures mean they are unable to do so.

In more normal times, China accounts for around 10 million of the nearly 40 million foreign visitors to the Kingdom each year (2019 figures from TAT). However, despite numerous discussions about a safe re-opening, with various plans being put on the table and taken back off it again, Thailand is also closed to foreign tourists for the foreseeable.

A plan to use Phuket as a pilot programme, allowing limited foreign tourists to return in a strictly controlled manner, actually looked like it might happen – until the discovery of Thailand’s first locally transmitted Covid-19 case in over 3 months. That plan too is also off the table, according to the Governor of the TAT.

Like Thailand, China is re-opening for foreign business travellers and a few other small categories. In China, those approved to travel do not have to carry out a 14 day quarantine, but are limited in where they can travel within the country. Yang says that China has now managed to bring the virus under control and schools have been re-opened after months of closure. He adds that the country has not set a target for economic growth this year, instead concentrating on the labour market and job creation, as well as improving living standards. Like Thailand, various stimulus packages are in place to help small to medium-sized businesses.

Asked about Hong Kong, he says the recent introduction of the national security law has stabilised the volatile political situation, claiming that, while China remains committed to the principle of ‘one country, two systems’, other nations that interfere “are trying to create a two-country system”.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Pui love Chinese

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 10:35 am

    Finally. Welcome back out Chinese brothers and sisters
    Thailand is yours!

  2. patrick

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 11:15 am

    basic sense, if Thai government had any hopes to get back the Chinese, big and deep thinking mistakes as many others. The Chinese will do what ever they can to keep their tourists at home, obvious from any correct professional and politicals without blindness already from the beginning….You may get only democratic countries tourists only if you reopen correctly with obvious and clever security measures of course. Those ones will be few since many are already disgusted the way they have been treated here through the New Normal of Xenophobia and immigration hassles and difficulties, including changes of policies days after days, which bring insecurity for the travelers whom may think once again to be stranded here for political reasons

  3. Perceville Smithers

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 11:45 am

    I thought the hoops and hurdles to enter Thailand didn’t apply to Chinese Nationals.

  4. Mike

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Poor Thailand – I think they were hoping for a different answer.

    On Hong Kong – I live here, the situation as not stabalised. Protests have stopped because of COVID. Small protests are happening all over the city, the Police are brutalising citizens daily.

  5. Tobias Krantz

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    I have recently seen a huge influx of Chinese tourists into the province where I live visiting tourist attractions. Where are they coming from? I am sure they don’t have to go through the hoops that westerners have to go through.

    • Max

      Monday, September 7, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      There are many Chinese nationals living and working in ThaiIand.You do know that the borders are closed for tourists?

  6. Thomas

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Good news. The Chinese probably worked out that if Thailand continues as of now they can buy the whole place for a fraction of what was budgeted. Why spend more if you can get a heavy discount by the beginning of next year.

  7. Mark

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    China going through change right now you can’t withdraw your money from banks the government has set limits there is political unrest Hong Kong is finished even the banks are leaving unexpectedly is at a level that is unbearable food prices especially pork are crazy people are finding it hard to live day to day

  8. Gary

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    So the plan should be to get the retirees stuck abroad back as soon as possible.

  9. EdwardV

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    The idea the Chinese Tourist would return anytime soon was folly. China announced over two months ago they were instituting a so called “internal circulation “ model for the economy. Basically they were suggesting (read demanding) Chinese citizens spend their money in China. Contrary to media fed reports the Chinese economy is not doing well. Add in the demonstrations in Thailand and HK, and its understandable why China isn’t going to allow its tourist to visit Thailand anytime soon.

  10. Rinky Stingpiece

    Monday, September 7, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    It’s one big game of musical chairs all over the world, what it might look like when the music stops is anyone’s guess, but it may not look like it did before. With HK experiencing indelible changes, Asia may see a new place replace it as a banking and stockmarket centre. Finance likes freedom, and stability, so Tokyo might be the sensible choice to replace Hong Kong.

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