At 12:00 PM, on November 25th, 2023, Mr. Srettha Thavisin, the Thai Prime Minister, revealed to Thai national media the current tourism situation in the past week after a visa exemption policy was launched.
Particularly, Chinese tourists reportedly visited Thailand at an average of ten thousand individuals a day which was surprisingly low despite the current free visa policy.
Thai reporters asked the PM if some foreigners might be exploiting the visa exemption to illegally work in Thailand and if there are possible security issues with possible foreign criminals coming to Thailand. Srettha reportedly answered that if Thai authorities found them guilty, immigration officers and relevant officials would take legal action against them. It does not matter if they have a free visa or not, said Srettha.
Furthermore, Thai reporters asked if fake news that circulated on social media, such as Chinese tourists allegedly being abducted and forced to work in call centres, was a major issue in why some Chinese tourists fear visiting Thailand. Srettha reportedly revealed that fake news was one of many factors that might affect several Chinese tourists.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government has stimulated tourism domestically and there are other economic crises that caused a decreasing number of Chinese tourists such as transportation fares.
However, the Thai government seeks for those tourists to stay in Thailand longer due to the free visa policy, not only to visit popular destinations such as Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, or Chiang Mai but also in secondary cities as well, said the Thai Prime Minister.