Mayor: Pattaya gives privilege to Chinese tourists
By Alvaro Lago Sanchez and Du Mingming (People’s Daily Online) 09:38, September 14, 2014
Pattaya, Sept. 11 2014 (People’s Daily Online)
“It’s safe to travel to Pattaya.
Please let more Chinese tourists know that we have special measures to ease the effect of the Martial Law”, said Mr. Itthiphol Kunplome, the Mayor of Pattaya.
During People’s Daily Online’s visit to Pattaya, an important city along the Maritime Silk Road, the team of reporters interviewed the Mayor in the Pattaya City Hall.
Mr. Kunplome mentioned the importance of rebuilding the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in order to boost the cultural and economic ties between China and Thailand.
As he explained, Pattaya´s main revenue comes from tourism, about 90 percent, and out of all nationalities, Chinese tourists account up to 20 percent. Based on these figures, it is reasonable that the government of Pattaya takes security and specific services for Chinese nationals as a priority.
The government of Pattaya has taken a large variety of measures to boost the tourism related to Chinese nationals.
Among those: promoting the city through its tourism offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and also offering specific services like the visa on-arrival for Chinese nationals, the agreement with insurance companies to insure tourist under the current Martial Law, an emergency hotline with service in Chinese to be opened in October.
It has also raised the insurance fund per tourist up to 5,000 yuan covered by Thai travel agencies, and established last year the first Tourism Court in order to gain efficiency and save time in court cases involving tourists.
For groups of Chinese tourists with 100 people or more, travel agencies will contact Pattaya government to send a police team to escort them, and for groups with over 500 people, the city government will organize a welcome dinner.
Pattaya City is also promoting tourism through the exchanges of information and workshops with its sister city, Guilin in southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It has also signed MOUs with several cities in China, the latest one Qingdao.
Thanks to these exchanges and promotions, Pattaya welcomed more than 1.3 million Chinese tourists in 2013.
According to the Mayor, cultural and people to people exchanges are important to promote the tourism. An example of this interaction is the filming of the movie “Go Lala Go” in Pattaya and “Lost in Thailand” in Chiang Mai, or the broadcast of some Chinese TV series in Thailand.
At the end of the interview, Mr. Kunplome handed over the City Key to People’s Daily Online team, a great gesture since it is the first time a media receives such an important honor.