6 June 2024

The Chinese Embassy in Bangkok has vowed to protect Chinese nationals in Thailand, amid social media reports of alleged security risks to visiting Chinese tourists, according to a Chinese media report.

The China Media Group (CMG) quoted the Chinese Embassy as reaffirming that Thailand is a friendly neighbour.

CMG said it is the first time that Chinese authorities have commented on these social media reports originating in China.

“The embassy in Thailand maintains close communication and contact with the Thai tourism security authorities and will, as always, spare no effort to protect the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in Thailand,” the embassy said, according to CMG.

On Saturday, the embassy said that it is aware of videos on social media platforms showing the “serious safety risks” of traveling to Thailand, as well as the clarifications from the Thai government and responsible authorities.

CMG said some recent media reports and social media posts have raised security concerns, citing cases of missing persons, telecom fraud and smuggling in Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand.

On Thursday, the Thai Embassy in China said that Thailand attaches great importance to the safety of Chinese tourists and will take appropriate measures to ensure the security of those visiting the nation.

A representative of a Chinese travel agency told the Global Times on Saturday that the current orders and bookings for traveling to Thailand have not changed so far.

With more Chinese tourists travelling abroad, safety remains a top priority, rather than their budget, Zhang Yi, CEO of iiMedia Research Institute, told the Global Times on Saturday.

Thailand and other destinations in Southeast Asian countries remain top choices for Chinese travelers if safety is guaranteed, because of the affordable cost and relatively short distance, Zhang noted, adding that these destinations are still major and popular options for the upcoming travel peak during the May Day holidays.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects around 400,000 Chinese travelers to have visited the country during the first quarter of 2023.