BANGKOK, Aug 21 — Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry will encourage Thai people to travel in groups in the country instead of expecting foreign tourists late this year, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
In a discussion on Thai-Chinese economic outlook organised by the Thai-Chinese Journalists Association, the ministry’s Tourism Department Director-General Anant Wongbenjarat said the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic heavily hit tourism as the number of Chinese visitors dropped from over 10 million annually to 1.2 million this year. The arrivals in 2020 had happened before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Thailand was unable to welcome foreign tourists because of the ongoing pandemic, he said.
Therefore, tourism authorities planned to encourage Thai people to travel in groups in the country and destinations to be promoted could be Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri and Phuket. Details of the plan would be concluded for implementation late this year, Anant said.
On the same occasion, Chinese charge d’affaires to Thailand Yang Xin said the COVID-19 pandemic would continue until the invention of a vaccine and China would successfully develop one for the protection of the world population in the near future.
He said that despite COVID-19, the Chinese economy would grow by 5.6 per cent this year and Thai-Chinese trade would be expanding as well. Durian from Thailand formed 73 per cent of all durian China imported and China should be the biggest durian market of Thailand, he cited.
Both countries had good ties and China planned to invest about US$2.25 billion (71 billion baht) in Thailand, said Yang. (US$1 = 31.48 baht)