Vichit Prakobkosol, the President of the Association of Thai Travel Agents is calling for the Thai government to waive visa fees in a bid to lure back the Chinese tourists.
The association is reporting that many Chinese tourists have already cancelled plans to visit Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga and Koh Samui following the July 6 sinking of ‘Phoenix’ where 47 Chinese passengers drowned.
He says that the cancellations are already substantial for the period July to September and has already impacted the tourism business in the Andaman region which could result in long-term damage to the reputation.
Visit says that the visa fee exemption should buffered as soon as possible adding that there were plenty of other alternatives for Chinese tourists who will choose to visit other locations instead.
Currently a visa to visit Thailand costs around 1,000 baht per tourist for a Chinese citizen.
The Thai Tourism and Sports ministry reports that almost 10 million Chinese visited Thailand in 2017 – 3 million to Phuket, alone.
Vichit recommends using the visa-free lure for at least six months as the island’s tourism business works to re-establish confidence with the lucrative Chinese tourism market.
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