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Thailand big winner in Chinese tourism as Singapore and Malaysia drop

THAILAND remains a popular destination among Chinese visitors, while visitors have dropped sharply in Malaysia and Singapore after a Shanghai tourist was kidnapped and the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with many Chinese tourists aboard, officials said today.

Last year, Thailand received 128,437 Chinese visitors for meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition (MICE) events, with total expenditures of 2.2 billion yuan (US$353 million), said Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, president of Thailand’s Convention and Exhibition Bureau.

The number was nearly double than that of 2012.

Apart from tourists, most of the visitors went to Thailand for conference meetings of Chinese companies, international conferences and exhibitions, according to the bureau.

The blockbuster Chinese movie “Lost in Thailand” helped boost the number of Chinese travelers to the southeast Asian country starting last year.

Part of the comedy was filmed on location in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.

According to a local tourism official, Chinese tourists spend an average of 3,750 baht (US$125) each in Chiang Mai per day.


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