A series of articles published this morning by various media have caused confusion to many and The Pattaya News wanted to take a moment to clarify this confusion.
The reports stated that outbound Chinese group tours are still banned by the Chinese government, specifically the Ministry of Culture, due to concerns around the Covid-19 Coronavirus worldwide.
This statement has confused many who seem to think that this means Thailand’s special tourist visa program or other travel opportunities for Chinese Nationals are now banned. Dozens of comments and questions asked why some Chinese got an exception. There was no exception as there is no ban on Chinese leaving their country as individuals.
Only Chinese run and owned tour groups, which was the majority of tourism previously, are banned from travel. Individual tourists or individual “groups” of tourists organized from other countries such as those in the Special Tourist Visa program are allowed to leave China. There is no general ban on departure like Australia (which also allows for some exceptions).
Therefore, Thailand’s plans to bring in more Chinese tourists will continue as these are considered individuals and not organized Chinese tour groups. The special tourist visa plan was never centered around large tour groups regardless, according to Thai officials, and will not be affected.