Volume of Chinese tourists to Thailand likely to reach pre-COVID level or more when direct flights resume: ambassador
Published: Jan 10, 2023 08:46 PM

Ambassador of Thailand to China Arthayudh Srisamoot Photo: Courtesy of Thai Embassy in China

Ambassador of Thailand to China Arthayudh Srisamoot Photo: Courtesy of Thai Embassy in China

Thailand looks forward to the return of Chinese tourists, and the consular section of the Royal Thai Embassy and Thai consulates in China are also preparing for the resumption of tourist visas submitted via tour companies, Ambassador of Thailand to China Arthayudh Srisamoot told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.

He said that Chinese passport holders can get 30-day visas on arrival in Thailand from now until the end of March 2023.

Chinese tourists accounted for almost one-third of Thailand’s nearly 40 million foreign visitors in 2019, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

As the Chinese government scrapped quarantine for inbound travelers from January 8, the news has revived the global tourism sector, with countries including Thailand expressing welcome for Chinese tourists. 

Thailand on Monday welcomed the arrival of thousands of Chinese tourists in its capital of Bangkok, reported the Xinhua News Agency.

At the Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and other senior officials welcomed 269 tourists from the Chinese city of Xiamen, who were greeted with flowers and gift bags, read the report. 

Ambassador Srisamoot said that he believes China’s new policy will provide opportunities for increased trade and investment, tourism and resumption of frequent high-level visits between both sides, including the return of students to China. 

“The policy certainly signals the progress of ‘back to normal’ and as the policy is gradually being implemented, both sides should focus on ensuring safe travel. Thailand is now open for international tourists with certain entry rules in order to ensure smooth and safe travel for all visitors. The easing of international travel and quarantine measures will facilitate greater interaction and enhance the cooperation between all sectors that have been delayed by COVID-19 for the past three years,” he said. 

Srisamoot told the Global Times that he does not expect an immediate surge of tourists after January 8, but relevant sectors and authorities are now prepared for the incoming tourists. 

They expect that tourists will gradually return to Thailand once direct flights between Chinese and Thai cities are resumed and the volume will likely reach the pre-COVID level or more. 

Srisamoot noted that Thailand bases its COVID-19 policy on a scientific and non-discriminatory basis. Its new measures include testing on arrival for any passengers that have symptoms of COVID-19.