Thai PM’s diplomatic tour to boost ties, revive tourism hit by mall shooting

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin embarks on a five-day tour to Hong Kong and three ASEAN nations, beginning Sunday. The journey commences from the Royal Thai Air Force’s (RTAF) terminal at Don Mueang Airport, with the Airbus 320 aircraft setting course for Hong Kong.

Post the Hong Kong visit, the premier’s itinerary includes Singapore, Brunei, and Malaysia, with his return scheduled for Thursday. On the subject of his ASEAN tour, PM Srettha expressed the intention of fostering diplomatic ties with these nations and amplifying cooperation in diverse domains.

Future overseas trips are slated for the coming months, with destinations including the United States for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, in addition to Japan and China. The 61 year old PM’s venture to China is planned for mid-this month, as per Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Jakkapong Sangmanee.

The Beijing-based agenda encompasses discussions to revive faith in Thai tourism, which suffered a blow following the October 3 shooting at Siam Paragon shopping mall, resulting in two fatalities, inclusive of a Chinese tourist, reported Bangkok Post.

Related news

Foreign Affairs Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara revealed the prime minister’s intentions to address the dispute over a German submarine engine with the Chinese government. Germany has been resistant to permitting its MTU396 diesel engine to be incorporated into a Chinese submarine commissioned by Thailand.

In parallel, Phuket International Airport is bracing itself for an influx of flights from China during the impending high tourist season, according to its director-general, Monchai Tanode. Numerous airlines have reserved their slots for travel to Phuket, starting next month. This is projected to bring traffic to around 80%-90% of pre-pandemic levels.

Chinese tourists

Last month, the majority of air travellers to Phuket were from China, followed by Russia, Australia, India, and Malaysia. Despite the ongoing low tourist season, visitor numbers from most nations are showing signs of recovery.

On average, visitors from countries that traditionally contributed significant numbers to Phuket tourism are back to 70% of pre-pandemic levels, according to Tanode. This figure is anticipated to surge to 87% during the peak tourism season.

In preparation for the expected high airport traffic, Phuket Airport will operate 24/7 during the peak season. The airport has also allocated 6 billion baht for renovations of its international terminal, to accommodate 18 million visitors annually.

Follow more of The Thaiger’s latest stories on our new Facebook page HERE.

Thailand NewsTourism News

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.

Related Articles