To make vacationing in a country still under martial law a little more attractive, Thailand’s military junta is offering tourists from China free visas.
Chinese are the biggest visitors to Thailand, accounting for 18 percent of all arrivals in July, but they also proved among the most nervous, with numbers slumping more than other nationalities after May’s military coup, according to Reuters.
Tourism accounts for about 10 percent of the Thai economy, and the imposition of martial law in May after the coup hit the industry hard.
Winning back the Chinese visitors is imperative — their spending jumped 80 percent to US$6 billion in 2013 from 2012.
The fall in Chinese tourist numbers was keenly felt in Chiang Mai. The northern city became a favorite with Chinese tourists in 2012 after featuring in the Chinese box-office comedy hit “Lost in Thailand”, which portrayed the travel adventures of two Chinese men.
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