Thai tourism authorities go all out to lure back Chinese tourists

A W Residences villa on Thailand's Koh Samui island.

BANGKOK - Tourism authorities are promoting Samui Island as a holiday destination for Chinese tourists.

Tourism Authority of Thailand deputy governor Pongsathorn Kessasamli yesterday inaugurated the White Honey Beach Party, which attracted 40 Chinese married couples including gymnast Guo Wei Yang, an Olympic gold medallist.

Pongsathorn described the event as a success in attracting Chinese tourists from different regions including Shanghai, Kunming, Chengdu and Guangzhou as well as Chinese reporters.

Meanwhile in Chiang Rai, a group of 28 Chinese tourists yesterday arrived on a river cruiser on the Mekong River after travelling from China's southern province of Yunnan.

They are the first group of Chinese tourists to come to Thailand via this route and means of transport in the past seven years.

They were welcomed by Chiang Rai's Tourism Industry Council vice president Vachira Rusameechan and immigration officials.

A large number of Chinese media members covered the 11-day voyage.

Photographer Chang Lee said he had taken many photos for publications and praised Thai immigration for its quick response to them entering the country.

Vachira said Chinese tourists in the past did not use this route due to security concerns, but that was changing and as a result more Chinese tourists would use the route.