Only by respecting Chinese visitors can countries benefit from their tourism
Published: Jan 09, 2023 11:34 PM
Beijing airport Photo: VCG

Beijing airport Photo: VCG

According to Thai PBS World, Thailand officials including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health of Thailand Anutin Charnvirakul welcomed a group of nearly 300 tourists from China in Thailand on Monday. This "heroic welcome" comes after China officially eased restrictions on overseas travel on Sunday. 

Entering a new year, China has made continuous adjustments to its COVID-19 prevention measures, leading to the gradual recovery of its citizens traveling overseas. 

Many countries who rely on the tourist industry such as Thailand have shown a positive attitude toward their "old Chinese friends" in the hope of revitalizing their economies. 

On Wednesday, prior to arrival of the Chinese tourists, Charnvirakul issued a statement saying that Thailand would treat entrants from all countries equally, and would not implement any special pandemic control measures. 

However, some countries such as the US, Japan, Canada, France, and India have given China a cold shoulder by asking for COVID-19 tests or long waiting times before entry. 

The demand for China's outbound travel will accelerate in 2023. Under this circumstance, Thailand's enthusiasm is in stark contrast to some other countries. 

In fact, many other countries have also shown a willingness to welcome Chinese visitors. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen expects 2 million visitors to arrive from China in 2023, which will revitalize Cambodia's economy and tourism. New Zealand's Minister of Tourism Stuart Nash said that many tourist operators are looking forward to the return of Chinese tourists as they will greatly benefit the local tourist industry. Meanwhile, Egypt, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, South Africa among others have all expressed the same wishes, while Pakistan is preparing to host a special "Pakistan-China Year of Tourism Exchanges" in 2023.

According to the UN World Tourism Organization, China's simplified overseas travel policy will exert a positive influence on the development of the global tourist industry. Therefore, as long as a country respects Chinese visitors, it will potentially benefit from China's overseas visits. As Chinese tourists have  started their international travels as before, they will surely help boost the internatinal tourism.

The author is an editor of the Global Times.