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Thailand Supports the Designation of 2017 as the ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation

8 September 2016 (Readers 1019)

At the 19th ASEAN-China Summit to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations, Thailand has expressed its support for the designation of 2017 as the ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and other ASEAN leaders attended the ASEAN-China Summit with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Vientiane, Lao PDR, on 7 September 2016. ASEAN leaders welcomed the designation of the year of ASEAN-China tourism cooperation. They also looked forward to enhancing cooperation and activities between ASEAN and China with a view to boosting two-way tourist visits.
Deputy Government Spokesman Major General Weerachon Sukonthapatipak quoted the Prime Minister as saying that ASEAN and China should cooperate more in promoting tourism safety and preserving tourist destinations. Thailand believed that China would support ASEANs efforts to build a strong community.
According to Major General Weerachon, the Prime Minister proposed that ASEAN and China promote inclusive and sustainable economic development. Thailand supports Chinas initiatives on "One Belt One Road and "Silk Road of the 21st Century. Thailand also urged China to participate in the development of special economic zones along border areas, under the concept of "One Plus One, which aims to link the supply chain of Thailand with that of its neighboring countries. The development will help generate employment, reduce poverty, and improve the peoples quality of life.
Moreover, he said, ASEAN and China should cooperate more in developing potential for industrial production, research in science and technology relating to production innovation, and agro-industry to promote food security and alternative energy.
During his recent meeting with Mr. Xi Jin Ping, President of the Peoples Republic of China, at the 2016 G20 Hangzhou Summit in China, Prime Minister General Prayut said that he was grateful to tourists from China for choosing Thailand as a holiday destination and for making up the largest numbers of visitors to Thailand over the past few years. The two leaders also discussed communication and transportation links between Thailand and China.
Concerning this issue, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Yuthasak Supasorn said that the Chinese market has totally transformed tourism in Thailand. Tourists from China made up the largest group of visitors to Thailand for travel and leisure in 2015, when Thailand attracted 7.9 million Chinese visitors, generating over 376 billion baht in revenue.
From January to July 2016, Chinese visitors to Thailand came to 5.76 million, or a year-on-year increase of 20.5 percent. TAT is projecting that it will welcome about 10.5 million Chinese visitors, with a projected expenditure of 509 billion baht for the entire 2016.
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