Relishing in the rich history of almost half a century of diplomacy with Thailand, Mongolia marked a landmark occasion. Nestled in the heart of Phuket, on the bustling Soi Bangla in the Patong district, Mongolia raised the curtains of its honorary consulate. Placed strategically at the Gig Hotel, the new office’s inauguration was timed perfectly to coincide with the 49th anniversary of solid bilateral ties between Mongolia and Thailand.
This event of international significance was graced by the presence of luminaries such as Tumur Amarsanaa, ambassador of Mongolia to Thailand, Nutthaphong Phathakiatpaisan, the Honorary Consul of Mongolia, and Phuket’s governor, Sophon Suwannarat. The consulate, manned by expert staff, is all geared up to extend services to Mongolian tourists in Phuket and its neighbouring provinces, announced the ambassador.
Nutthaphong, who officially took over the reins as Mongolia’s Honorary Consul for Phuket on August 28th, highlighted the shared goal that strengthens the bond of the two nations. He reaffirmed their mutual commitment to bolstering bilateral relations through the exchange of wisdom and cultural experiences, solidifying ties that have lasted for 49 glorious years.
As the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, gears up to begin weekly flights to Phuket starting next month, the island is brimming with excitement. Phuket anticipates an influx of approximately 15,000 Mongolian tourists in the upcoming year. At present, there are tri-weekly direct flights connecting Bangkok and Ulaanbaatar.
Expressing optimism on the potential implications of inaugurating the consulate, Nutthaphong hinted at the possibility of a surge in Thai tourism to Mongolia. In the era before the pandemic took hold of the world, Mongolia enjoyed visits from nearly 6,000 Thai tourists in 2019, while Thailand welcomed around 16,000 Mongolian visitors. With travel restrictions slowly but surely relaxing, last year witnessed just over a thousand Thai tourists in Mongolia, while Thailand played host to about 5,245 Mongolians, as per the reports by Bangkok Post.
In a bid to revive its tourism sector in the post-COVID world, the Mongolian government rolled out an ambitious campaign named “Years to Visit Mongolia”. This initiative seeks to attract one million international tourists, anticipating a financial boost of approximately US$1 billion (36.9 billion baht), equaling almost 15% of the country’s GDP. What’s more, Thai citizens enjoy the additional advantage of visa-free travel to Mongolia.
The neighbouring nations of Thailand and Cambodia echoed similar sentiments of unity, laying out a joint objective of elevating bilateral trade to a whopping US$15 billion (551 billion baht) by the year 2025. More about this resolution can be found HERE. Stay updated with more of The Thaiger’s breaking news stories on our redesigned Facebook page HERE.