Thailand’s Prime Minister, Mr. Srettha Thavisin, conducted his first official visit to China this week. During this visit, he presided over the signing ceremony of a letter of intent (LOI) between the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and eight prominent players in China’s tourism industry. These players include Huawei Technologies, Trip.com Group, Meituan.com, Spring Airlines, Sina News, Alipay, iQIYI, and Jego Trip. The purpose of this LOI is to enhance the confidence of Chinese tourists and promote high-quality tourism in Thailand.
Mr. Srettha stated, “The Thai government places great importance on strengthening the comprehensive Thailand-China strategic partnership. We aim to enhance cooperation in various areas such as trade, investment, education, art and culture, and tourism. To facilitate travel for Chinese visitors, Thailand has implemented a visa exemption scheme until February 29, 2024. By signing this LOI, we establish a framework for long-term strategic cooperation in promoting high-quality tourism and maintaining tourists’ confidence in Thailand.”
The LOI signing ceremony took place at the Kerry Hotel in Beijing, China. The agreement was signed by Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Governor, and top executives from the eight strategic tourism partners, including Mr. Walter Ji from Huawei Technologies, Mr. Sun Bo from Trip.com Group, Ms. Lu Menxi from Meituan, Mr. Wang Yu from Spring Airlines, Mr. Cong Song from Sina News, Mr. Zhou Yi from Alipay, Mr. Yang Xianghua from iQIYI, and Dr. Yong Ji from Jego Trip.
Ms. Thapanee expressed, “This LOI represents the largest cooperation agreement and encompasses a wide range of travel alliance businesses in the Chinese market. It covers every step of the customer journey, from accessing Thailand’s travel information through iQIYI and Sina News, planning and booking trips via Trip.com Group, Meituan.com, Alipay, and Jego Trip, to traveling to Thailand with Spring Airlines. The TAT aims to leverage this partnership to enhance Thailand’s positive image as a tourist destination, instill confidence in Chinese tourists, and implement tourism promotions to stimulate more travel to Thailand.”
This collaboration with China’s leading tourism players, including top tech companies, online tourism platforms, airlines, and online banking, is expected to strengthen cooperation in tourism-related technology for the Thai tourism industry. Moreover, it aims to promote high-quality tourism in Thailand. Ultimately, this partnership aims to achieve the target of attracting 4 million to 4.4 million Chinese tourists by 2023, generating over 200 billion Baht in revenue, and increasing the overall number of tourist arrivals to 25-30 million this year. As of October 15, 2023, Thailand had already welcomed 2,645,885 Chinese tourists, making China the second largest tourist market for Thailand.
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