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Three ministries to meet Thursday to prepare for return of Chinese tourists

Written by Thailand News

Travelers walk through the arrivals terminal at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok on July 1, 2022. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

Senior officials of Thailand’s Public Health, Tourism and Sports and Transport ministries are scheduled to meet this Thursday to prepare for the arrival of Chinese tourists, expected to begin in the middle of this month.

The Chinese government has eased travel restrictions, effective January 8th, allowing Chinese citizens to travel out of the country again and allowing tourists to visit China.

Thai tourism-related officials said that, during the initial stage, not many Chinese tourists will visit Thailand, due to the limited number of flights between China and Thailand, and many Chinese citizens may have to renew passports which expired during the COVID-19 pandemic, when travel restrictions were strictly enforced under China’s Zero Infection Policy.

About 50,000 arrivals from China are estimated in the first month and many are expected to travel overland and through the border crossing in Chiang Saen district of Thailand’snorthern province of Chiang Rai, or via the Lao-Chinese high speed train service to the north-eastern province of Nong Khai.

Then, with increased flights, the number of arrivals isexpected to rise to about 100,000 a month and, this year, total arrivals are forecast to be about 5 million, compared to 11 million a year pre-pandemic.

No special measures are to be imposed on Chinese tourists, as they will be treated like other foreign tourists, according to the recommendation of a technical sub-committee of the National Communicable Disease Committee.

Chinese tourists will, however, be required to present their COVID-19 vaccination certification, will be advised to wear face masks while travelling around Thailand and should take out health insurance coverage before leaving for Thailand.

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