Prayut hails tourism revival
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Prayut hails tourism revival

First tour groups arrive from China

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, fourth from left, welcomes Chinese tourists at Don Mueang airport on Monday. (Photo: TAT)
Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, fourth from left, welcomes Chinese tourists at Don Mueang airport on Monday. (Photo: TAT)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is pleased about the recovery of tourism and thanked agencies concerned for their efforts to organise campaigns to attract foreign visitors, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said.

"The prime minister is delighted that the tourism sector is making a recovery with several positive signs. He also thanked relevant agencies and the private sector for their efforts to organise campaigns to promote tourism while maintaining health precautions," Mr Anucha said on Monday.

"The PM instructed related agencies to be good hosts from now on while health precautions must still be taken into account."

He said Gen Prayut was glad that Thailand remains a popular destination among international travellers.

In particular, Chinese tourists see Thailand as their dream destination after China's government relaxed travel restrictions on its citizens, Mr Anucha said.

China's reopening now allows tour companies and travel agencies to organise Chinese group tours to 20 countries, including Thailand, as of Monday, he said.

Mr Anucha said the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) had pressed ahead with its "China is Back" strategy to attract Chinese tourists by working with the private sector to organise the "Two Lands, One Heart" campaign.

Digital tools, worldwide platforms and celebrity marketing have been employed to attract tourists as part of the campaign while efforts have been made to resume and increase flights in response to Chinese travel demands, he said.

The TAT has also worked with its partners to sell tour packages for trips on the R3A route that connects Kunming in China via Luang Namtha and Bo Kaeo in Laos to Chiang Rai province in Thailand, the China-Laos high-speed rail trips and cruises on the Mekong River, Mr Anucha said.

A tourism promotion event will also be held this month to allow the Thai and Chinese private sectors to discuss tourism promotion campaigns, he said.

The spokesman added that Bangkok would also host the 16th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention Bangkok in June.

More than 3,000 Chinese business leaders are expected to attend the event, giving an added boost to the economy and the tourism sector, Mr Anucha said.

According to the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the meeting will be held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre from June 24–26.

Meanwhile, the first tour group from China arrived on a flight to Don Mueang airport on Monday, said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

Spring Airlines Flight 9C7419 landed at Don Mueang airport at 8.05am from Guangzhou with a group of 40 tourists.

The flight also brought 90 independent Chinese travellers.

Mr Yuthasak said the group is on a six-day tour of Bangkok, Pattaya and Rayong.

They will visit tourist spots, including Koh Samet, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in Pattaya, the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Yaowarat's Chinatown.

He said a further 13 flights were scheduled to arrive on Monday at Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and Phuket airports from Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xiamen, Nanjing and Nanning, with more group tours.

From Jan 1 to Feb 2, a total of 99,429 Chinese tourists arrived in Thailand, sending a positive signal of an economic upturn, Mr Yuthasak said.

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