Chinese tourism officials have agreed to end “zero-baht” tours and focus on bringing higher-spending visitors to Pattaya.
Pinit Jarusombat, President of the Thai-Chinese Cultural Council, and Pattaya Mayor Anan Charoenchasri inked an agreement with Zhang Xinghong, Director of Tourism of the People’s Democratic Republic of China in Thailand, and Fan Zhishi, manager of the China Travel Service, April 16.
CTS organized a junket for 1,200 Chinese public officials and tourism-industry executives to Thailand to explore popular tourism destinations in anticipating of arranging higher-end tours for the coming season.
During their visit, they signed an agreement to stop the so-called “zero-baht” tours which allowed low-income tourists to travel to Thailand for little or no money down. The visitors often were then exploited by local tour companies, giving Thailand a bad reputation and earning little money for local businesses.
The Thai government basically outlawed such tours last year.
Anan told the Chinese officials that Pattaya has taken big steps in improving its infrastructure and safety to draw higher-class tourists.
Pinit said CTS earlier had approached the Cultural Council with interest in reaching a broad tourism-promotion agreement. He said the company has a strong track record with big-spending tourists and a large customer base.