Fewer Chinese tourists are heading to Thailand due to safety concerns, a new survey has found.
Anusak Raowiras | Nurfoto | Getty Images
Japan and Thailand are two of Asia’s most popular tourist destinations.
But both are losing favor with Chinese people amid growing safety concerns among young travelers.
China Trading Desk, a marketing firm that measures Chinese travel sentiment on a quarterly basis, said the two countries were the top choices for Chinese travelers earlier this year, but they fell in the rankings in the third quarter. , Thailand ranked 6th, and Japan ranked 8th.
The release of treated radioactive wastewater from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean in August has had a major impact on the way Chinese people think about travel, said China Trading, the marketing agency behind the study. said Subramanian Bhatt, CEO of Desk.
According to a survey conducted by China Trade Desk among more than 10,000 Chinese citizens (94% of whom are under 40 years old), eating delicious food (23%) is the top motivation for international travelers, while local history and culture (22%), nature (22%), shopping (10%).
The World Health Organization and other safety organizations say: Japanese seafood can be eaten with peace of mindBut anxiety among Chinese travelers has turned “one of the most popular destinations into one of the least popular,” Butt said.
“” with a twistset jetting“Movies and TV shows tend to attract tourists to their filming locations” Several blockbuster movies released this summer are discouraging Chinese tourists from visiting Thailand.
Recent Chinese movieslost in the stars” and “No more bets“Although both are works of fiction and not set in Thailand, some say the plot lines closely reflect real-life events that have made headlines in recent years, including the Chinese case.” woman thrown off a cliff She was murdered by her husband in Thailand in 2019. (She broke 17 bones — but survived. )
This is especially true for “No More Bets.” The film follows a young couple who are lured to Southeast Asia for a new job, but end up trapped in an online fraud facility. The United Nations estimates that hundreds of thousands of people in the region have been affected.
According to the United Nations, many of the facilities are located outside Thailand in border areas such as Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, many of which are in special economic zones with “little or no rule of law.” According to the report, the victims are not only from Southeast Asia and South Asia, but also from mainland China, Taiwan, and even Latin America.
Pia Oberoi, senior adviser on migration and human rights for Asia and the Pacific at the United Nations High Commissioner’s Office, said the problem has grown as casino operators have seen fewer customers since the coronavirus pandemic. Stated. Related border closures.
“Many buildings… have been converted by transnational criminal groups into places where people are forced to commit certain kinds of fraud against others. So we can say there are two sets of victims here. …In many cases, these are people who have been defrauded.”Not only are there huge sums of money, but there are also people who are made to participate in these fraudulent activities in the heart of the Southeast Asian region.” ” said.
Beyond the scam, the area is said to be operating as “.lawless playground,“Drug, wildlife and human trafficking is rampant there.
“This is an incredibly lucrative business. Billions of dollars are being generated,” Oberoi said.
Rumors of danger to travelers have spread across Chinese social media, but Oberoi has seen no evidence of tourists being “snatched off the streets and dragged into these centres.” said.
“In fact, the recruiting methods are actually much more sophisticated,” she said. recruitment platform This is to give the impression that the job seeker is heading towards a real job.
A man walks near a casino along the Myanmar-China border, a known hotbed for drugs, wildlife and human trafficking.
Ye Aung Tu | AFP | Getty Images
He said the government was taking steps to intervene, but more efforts were needed to break down deep-rooted problems in the region related to corruption and enforcement of the rule of law.
“We’ve seen a roadmap for law enforcement response between ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China, but what we really want to focus on is, of course, the people involved,” she told CNBC. told. “We are seeing appalling levels of violence and abuse among those forced to commit these crimes.”
Approximately 11 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand in 2019, making China the country’s largest inbound market. Reuters.
As of September, less than 2.5 million Chinese people visit Thailand, That is far fewer than the 5 million people Thai authorities expect to arrive this year, according to Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
Regarding whether tourism can, above all, put economic pressure on Southeast Asian governments to do more, Oberoi said, “I hope that addressing human rights will pave the way for us to move forward.” “You will understand that the reputation of this country really depends on it.” It’s a comprehensive response. ”
Cambodia banned No More Bets from being shown in theaters, but that didn’t stop it from being shown. Recorded box office revenue of nearly $500 million in ChinaAs of early September.
“Some viewers of ‘No More Bets’ have even expressed concerns that traveling to the region could put their lives at risk,” China Trading Desk’s Butt said. said. “Over time, Southeast Asia has become increasingly associated with danger, and what was once a popular destination for international travel has now taken on negative connotations.”