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Chinese tourists set to return to Phuket

A team of Chinese tourist officials and travel agents is currently in Thailand`s southern resort province of Phuket…

A team of Chinese tourist officials and travel agents is currently in Thailand`s southern resort province of Phuket.

They are part of the Chinese government promise to help attract tourists back to the island resort following the last December tsunami disaster.

The official Chinese delegation inspected various tourist sites on the island province.

The team includes representatives from China’s largest tourist agencies, a senior tourism official told TNA on Monday.

Large numbers of Chinese tourists are likely to return to Thailand once the delegation reports back, she said.

The Chinese government plans to help Thailand revive its tourist industry, the official said.

Tourist arrivals are currently down by 90 per cent in Thailand`s tsunami-hit provinces, including Phuket, Phang-nga, Krabi, Trang, Ranong and Satun, according to local Thai tourist officials.

Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi attracted nearly nine million tourists before the disaster in December, the chief tourist officer in the region, Suwalai Pinpradab said.

More than a 100,000 Chinese tourists visited Phuket in 2003, she said.

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