Immigration Joins Weibo to Regain Chinese Tourists

Photo: Surachet Hakpal / Facebook

BANGKOK — Immigration police took another step Wednesday to reach out to the country’s largest tourist group.

The immigration police launched an official account on Sina Weibo, the top Chinese social media channel, hoping to regain tourists from the mainland, which dropped for the first time ever this year.

The move is described as part of the junta’s “Thailand 4.0” tech innovation initiative and aims to improve communication with Chinese tourists, according to Maj. Gen. Surachet Hakpal, the newly appointed Immigration Bureau chief.

Via Sina Weibo, Chinese tourists can exchange information and give direct feedback to immigration police.

As of Thursday afternoon, the page had already gained more than 23,000 subscribers.

Ten million Chinese tourists visited Thailand in 2017.

But after nearly 50 Chinese tourists died in July’s Phuket ferry tragedy, more than 660,000 tourists from the mainland canceled trips to the kingdom, amounting to an estimated loss of 37 billion baht.

Tourism officials have vowed to reassure travelers of their safety and regain their No. 1 source of tourism revenue.

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