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Thailand to enhance tourism cooperation with China's Kung fu hometown

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-26 16:03

BANGKOK - Thailand and Henan province of China agreed to start the process of setting up an oversea office of Tourism Authority of Thailand in Henan's provincial capital, Zhengzhou, to boost tourism together.

Thanasak Patimaprakorn, Thai deputy prime minister, met with the visiting deputy governor of Henan province, Zhang Guangzhi at the Government House on Friday, during which they talked about the potential of tourism cooperation.

With its renowned Shaolin Temple, Henan is famous for its Kung fu tradition. It is also home to several ancient capitals of China, including Kaifeng, Luoyang, Anyang, and has many natural tourist attractions, said Zhang, adding that the province attracted some 500 million tourists and netted some 500 billion yuan ($80 billion) tourism revenue in 2015.

Zhang said he came to Thailand to learn the kingdom's experience in boosting tourism.

Thanasak emphasized that Thai government's crackdown on cheap tour packages, known as "zero-dollar" tour is to benefit Chinese tourists and provide them with better service, as Thailand sees them as "quality tourists".

Tourism accounts for about 10 percent of Thailand's gross domestic product while Chinese tourists, accounting for about 30 percent of total foreign tourists, contributed mainly to to increase of tourist arrivals and revenue of the tourism industry.

Thanasak also mentioned his efforts in encourage cooperation between tourism industry of both countries.

Zhang said Henan's advantages in developing tourism, such as home to a some 100 million people and a major national railway hub and thus he asked the Tourism Authority of Thailand(TAT) to establish another overseas office in Zhengzhou, or the sixth one in Chinese mainland, following Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Kunming.

Thanasak and Yuthasak Supasorn, governer of TAT who also attended the meeting, agreed and asked Zhang to work together to turn his idea into reality in the near future.

Although the province is not that famous in Thailand, Bao Zheng, the cultural symbol of justice and Wu Zetian, the only empress regnant of China, both mentioned in the talk, are very popular here due to TV series. They respectively can be related to Kaifeng and Luoyang of the province.

The Henan delegation also held a event to introduce the province's tourist attractions to Thais on Friday night.

Began with a Shaolin martial art show, the event told Thais about the history of Henan, the birthplace of Chinese civilization and its modern shopping malls.

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