Thailand 3rd choice of red carpet for Chinese ‘friends’

Friendly countries fill Chinese hearts with warmth and happiness

China and Indonesia are best of friends again, and it’s all thanks to Beijing’s optimised Covid-19 response policy. Thousands of Chinese people are now welcome to flood into Bali on a daily basis.

Likewise, in Tanzania, unlimited thousands of happy Chinese shoppers are now welcome to flood up and down Kilimanjaro.

Third of the tourism triumvirate – friendly countries with hospitable hosts [who] fill Chinese tourists’ hearts with warmth and happiness – comes Thailand, which, like the other two, will “naturally” become a favoured destination. Thousands of Chinese language students are now welcome to flood Pattaya’s nightclubs.

China Daily speaks effusively of those good neighbours, rolling out the red carpet for their most-favoured friends.

Nations rolling the out red carpet for Chinese tourists

Indonesian Ambassador Djauhari Oratmangun said on Friday that his country welcomes Chinese people to visit after Beijing optimised its COVID-19 response policy.

He said that Chinese people who wish to enter Indonesia for purposes such as tourism, government duties, business meetings, purchasing goods and transit are eligible to apply for a visa on arrival, which enables a maximum stay of 60 days.

“Indonesia is wonderful and beautiful, please do come,” he said, noting that a company based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, has planned to organise a conference for 200 to 300 people on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Earlier this week, Indonesian Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno said at a news briefing in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, that the Southeast Asian country expects at least 253,000 tourists from China this year. Indonesia is among the many countries that have introduced measures to welcome Chinese tourists since China started to implement new measures on cross-border travel on January 8.

Mbelwa Kairuki, Tanzania’s ambassador in Beijing, told China Daily that after three years of waiting, he was glad to welcome Chinese tourists to his homeland, where people can visit Serengeti National Park to see the world’s second-largest mammal migration or climb Mount Kilimanjaro, which is also known as the “rooftop of Africa.”

On Monday, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health Anutin Charnvirakul and other Thai government officials greeted passengers from China at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and presented them with gifts and garlands.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech earlier this month that the presence of Chinese tourists is vital to the country’s tourism and economic growth, adding that Cambodia will not follow some other nations in imposing Covid-19-related restrictions on people arriving from China.

The Foreign Ministry of the Maldives said in a statement published on its website on December 28 that the country welcomes China’s refinement of its exit and entry measures and “is eagerly awaiting to welcome back Chinese tourists to the Maldives.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a news briefing earlier that friendly countries with hospitable hosts fill Chinese tourists’ hearts with warmth and happiness and will naturally become favoured destinations. He also said efforts will be made to make it easier for Chinese tourists to travel to those places, including by increasing the number of direct flights.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career, Jon is now semi-retired, living in a quiet village in Krabi province, Thailand. He continues to write and is an avid traveler and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.