Thailand continues to strengthen tourism ties with China following the high-profile meeting between H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, and H.E. Mr. Hu Heping, Minister of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, taking place in Beijing on 21 February, 2023.
Also present at the meeting were H.E. Mr. Atthayut Srisamut, Thailand Ambassador to China, Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing, and Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, said “On behalf of the Thai government and the Thai people, I would like to express our sincere thanks to the Chinese government for its continued confidence in Thailand as a preferred holiday destination, and for including the kingdom among the 20 pilot destinations for the resumption of group travel from China.”
During the meeting, Minister Phiphat extended an invitation to Minister Hu Heping to visit to Thailand. He also provided an update on Thailand’s preparation to welcome Chinese tourists, and reiterated the Thai tourism industry’s ongoing efforts to strengthen two-way tourism cooperation with China. Last but not least, he underlined Thailand’s readiness to promote human resource mobilisation and revitalise cultural exchanges between the two nations.
Minister Hu Heping, meanwhile, highlighted that the recent visit to Thailand by Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok as being significant for strengthening the long-standing Chinese-Thai relations. He noted that the Chinese government recognised the importance of tourism and cultural exchanges between the two nations, hence Thailand was included among the 20 pilot countries for the resumption of outbound group travel from China.
Minister Hu Heping added that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism would continue to cooperate with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in organising the annual Chinese New Year celebrations in Thailand.
This year marks the 48 years of diplomatic relations between Thailand and China. It also marks 17 years of cooperation between the TAT and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Chinese Embassy in Thailand in organising the Chinese New Year celebrations in Thailand – one of five countries around the world that celebrate the biggest Chinese New Year festivities outside of China.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said “During the meeting, there is also a discussion on an opportunity to collaborate on organising the Moon Festival in Thailand. This would help to further strengthen relationships among the public and private sectors as well as the people of China and Thailand.”
This year, Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival falls on 29 September.
Meanwhile, on 22 February, 2023, Minister Phiphat witnessed the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) between the TAT and China Tourism Group Travel Services Corporation Limited.
At the event, TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak together with TAT Deputy Governor for Domestic Market, Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaiboon, discussed with Mr. Lei Haisu, Chairman of China Tourism Group Travel Services on the promotion of quality tourism experiences and two-way tourism cooperation.
This year, from 1 January to 15 February, Thailand welcomed 161,540 Chinese tourists. The number is expected to reach 300,000 in the first three months, and 5 million for the entire year. (TAT)