Chinese embassy applauds visa-free ‘tour-de-force’ to revive Thai tourism

Photo by Frida Aguilar Estrada on Unsplash.

The Chinese embassy expressed gratitude towards the Thai government’s visa-free policy, anticipating it would encourage an influx of tourists from China and rejuvenate Thailand’s tourism industry. The embassy, in a Facebook post, conveyed the Chinese government’s support for the initiative but simultaneously emphasised the necessity for the Thai government to safeguard Chinese tourists during their stay.

The visa-free scheme, unveiled on Wednesday, September 13, is designed for travellers from China and Kazakhstan. The scheme, running from September 25 until February 29 of next year, aims to reinvigorate the tourism sector. The Thai government is predicting international arrivals to reach 28 million this year, including five million Chinese tourists.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs assured yesterday that security measures are in place to enhance the safety of Chinese tourists. This response is in light of concerns raised by Chinese tourists about their safety due to circulating stories of tourists being cheated and abducted in Thailand, as shared by Kanchana Patarachoke, the ministry’s spokesperson.

“There is a significant amount of negative news about Thailand’s safety on social media, particularly concerning Chinese tourists following reports of abductions of Chinese nationals.

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“I would like to assure tourists from all nations that there is no need to worry as we are tightening safety measures. We are committed to providing safety and comfort for all tourists from all nations.”

Kanchana cited data from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, stating that in the first eight months of this year, approximately two million Chinese and around 100,000 Kazakhstani tourists visited the country.

In related news, tourism operators in Thailand are facing significant challenges due to the sluggish economies of China and Japan and an uneven recovery in Thai tourism that benefits larger operators.

A recent survey by the Thai Hotels Association and the Bank of Thailand revealed that 29% of three-star or lower-rated hotels have been severely impacted by interest rate hikes and may require debt restructuring. Read here for more information.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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