Chinese Tourism Delegation Visits Thailand
From June 13 to 17, CNTA vice chairman Wang Xiaofeng led a delegation to Thailand. During his stay, he paid a courtesy visit to Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Tanasak Patimapragorn, attended the second meeting of the Sino-Thai Cooperation and Coordination Group in Tourism Market Regulation, and held work meetings with heads of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Tourist Police, reaching extensive consensus on deepening cooperation in regulating the tourism market.
Gen. Tanasak Patimapragorn received the Chinese guests in Chiang Mai, and the two sides shared ideas on topics of common interest such as cooperation in tourism market regulation. “China and Thailand enjoy long-standing friendship and Chinese tourists are a tremendous drive for the Thai economy and an embodiment of our friendship. We would like to work with China in safeguarding healthy, stable tourism development and creating a safe, comfortable and enjoyable environment for Chinese tourists,” said Mr. Patimapragorn. Wang thanked His Excellency for the meeting and remembered CNTA chairman Li Jinzao to him. Wang added, “China-Thailand tourism exchange has been gathering momentum in recent years: the tourist number has been growing, the regulatory mechanism improving, our mutual trust in tourism cooperation cemented, and tourism has grown into a bridge connecting Chinese and Thai people.” Later Wang held talks with Thai tourism minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul. Both expressed the intent to further regulate their respective tourism market on top of existing cooperation mechanism, ensure tourist safety, improve tourism facilities and tourist services and propel healthy and sustainable tourism exchange.
The second meeting of the Sino-Thai Cooperation and Coordination Group in Tourism Market Regulation was convened in Chiang Mai on June 16, an effort to honor the MoU on Strengthening Cooperation in Travel Market Regulation signed last year. The Chinese delegation was headed by Wang Xiaofeng and the Thai delegation, permanent secretary of Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports Pongpanu Svetarundra. Both sides began by introducing the latest development of and regulatory efforts in their tourism market. Since the MoU was inked, both countries have been stepping up efforts in regulating the tourism market. China has launched the Spring Action and Thailand has formed a high-profile tourism market regulatory group responsible for cracking down on the practice of zero and negative tour expense. Both sides agreed that the tourism industry was spearheading the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, tourism development potentials were huge and both governments should work together to safeguard the tourism market order. The Chinese delegation stressed their concern about the safety of Chinese tourists in coastal areas and hoped that Thai authorities would properly handle safety incidents involving Chinese tourists and establish a sustained mechanism to ensure their safety in coastal areas. The Thai delegation promised to step up efforts in raising tourists’ awareness of safety, tightening control over tourist attractions in coastal areas, and ensuring the safety of Chinese tourists. Consensus was reached on joint market regulation, the opening of a transaction-level hotline concerning tourism regulation, the hosting of work meetings for transaction-level consultation for tourism regulation and the third meeting of the Group, and the mutual visits and exchange between Chinese and Thai tourist police.
For the Chinese delegation, one highlight of this trip was the meeting and exchange with Thai tourist police. They held a work meeting with Thai Tourist Police in Pattaya, were briefed on the history, capacity building and law enforcement of the latter, visited Pattaya and Chiang Mai and watched how local tourist police perform their duty. Both sides expected more exchange in the future. Representatives of Chinese tourist police from Sanya and Lijiang discussed with local tourist police in the two cities about how to better protect the rights and interests of tourists.