Mr Ma said, “The purpose of my visit to Phuket is first to improve Chinese-Thai relations and second to discuss ideas on how to improve the safety of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand.
“I went to Krabi and Phang Nga on Monday and Tuesday and met with representatives of the two provinces for similar discussions as the region is very popular among Chinese tourists.
“I am very happy to hear that the Thai government has made the safety of Chinese tourists a priority and I will be sure to relay that information back to China,” he said.
“The Chinese government have produced a video that helps promote Thailand as a tourist destination and provides information on safety while there,” he added.
Gov Phakaphong said at the meeting, “Phuket is a world-famous island with beautiful nature. We pay close attention to the safety of tourists, particularly those who travel to the islands by sea. We are fully prepared to service tourists that visit the island.
“We have 160 international flights per day and 160 domestic flights per day,” he said.
“We have about 100,000 hotel rooms and many meeting rooms. This year Thailand chaired the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok and several ministerial meetings were held in Phuket, which we are very proud of,” the governor noted.
The Thai government and Phuket officials in particiular launched a safety and public-relations offensive to restore tourists' confidence after the Phoenix tour boat disaster in July saw the boat capsize off Phuket in a storm, killing 47 Chinese tourists. (See story here.)