Thailand to investigate attack on Chinese tourist

By Hoang Phong    February 7, 2023 | 10:51 pm PT
Thailand to investigate attack on Chinese tourist
People pose for a photo in front of lantern decorations on Lunar New Year's Eve at China Town in Bangkok, Thailand January 21, 2023. Photo by Reuters
Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sports is investigating an attack on a Chinese tourist by a staff member of a tour agency in Phuket.

The attack happened on February 1 as Thailand is preparing for the return of Chinese tourists after nearly three years, The Bangkok Post reported.

A TikTok video that went viral showed a woman of a Thai travel firm Phuket kicking a Chinese tourist and inflict a cut on his arm with a small knife following an argument.

According to the police, Fang Liqiao, 36, and his three family members, had bought a 9,000-baht ($268) tour package to Similan Islands in Phang Nga Province through Blue Ocean Travel on January 29.

Fang had reportedly paid 5,000 baht to the travel firm in advance. The travel agency promised to pick up the family at the Pamookkoo Resort, where they were staying on January 31.

However, the travel firm did not pick up the family on February 1, the day that was booked for the trip, due to a miscommunication about the meeting point.

When the Chinese tourist went to the travel agency to claim his 5,000-baht refund, he and the female travel agent got into an argument. The woman allegedly kicked the man before slashing him on his arm with a knife.

The man later filed a complaint to the local police station. He was sent to a local hospital for treatment.

The Chinese tourists returned home on February 2.

Thai tourism officials said the woman was charged with physical assault and illegal possession of a knife in public and said she could face a prison term of up to three months or a fine of 60,000 baht.

The travel firm was suspended for six months and is under criminal investigation for tarnishing the nation's reputation and damaging its tourism image. It could face a fine of up to 500,000 baht.

Beginning Monday, China allows tour groups to visit 20 countries, including Thailand.

Thailand welcomed 11 million foreign visitors last year thanks to its open visa policy, making its tourism industry among the fastest to recover in the region following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Thai government is targeting 30 million foreign arrivals this year.

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