Chinese arrivals predicted to top 300,000 in April
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Chinese arrivals predicted to top 300,000 in April

Han: Met Phuket governor on Saturday
Han: Met Phuket governor on Saturday

The Chinese government expects the number of Chinese tourist arrivals will rise to more than 300,000 in April, according to the Chinese ambassador to Thailand.

Han Zhiqiang, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Kingdom of Thailand, on Saturday paid a courtesy call to Phuket governor Narong Woonciew at the Provincial Hall.

After welcoming the ambassador, Mr Narong gave an update on moves to set up sister cities with China, the Sino-Thai tourism outlook, and Thailand's plans to chair the Specialised Expo 2028.

Phuket has established links with Yantai, Hainan, Ningxia Hui, Guilin, Yanjiang, Xiamen and the Macau special administrative region, with Xi'an next on the list, he said.

The ambassador said Chinese President Xi Jinping last year paid a courtesy call to His Majesty the King along with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

They reached a consensus on building a community and shared future between the two countries as well as the need to set targets and maintain a positive direction in bilateral relations.

The number of Chinese tourists has been increasing rapidly this year. The ambassador was bullish over continuing growth prospects in the future.

Mr Han also enlivened hopes that China might back the Thai bid to host one of the prestigious world expos under the name Phuket Expo 2028. He also told the provincial governor that the Chinese government is considering backing Phuket as chair of the event.

Meanwhile, Thanet Tantipiriyakit, president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said the visit of the Chinese ambassador will benefit the tourism sector on the island. As of now, an average of 20,000 Chinese tourists visit a day, on 20 flights.

Plans are afoot for the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation to support the private sector in launching a roadshow in Shanghai, Chengdu and Nanning, he said.

In Surat Thani, the Mein Schiff 5 cruise ship with about 2,450 passengers and crew docked at Koh Samui is expected to net the country more that 10 million baht in revenue. The visitors, mostly European tourists, went to various sites on the island, such as Wat Phra Yai, Hin Ta and Hin Yai, Mu Koh Ang Thong national park, Na Muang waterfall and an Otop community.

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