Hong Kong superstars granted 5-year visas for promoting Thai tourism


Thailand on Sunday rewarded three Hong Kong celebrities with five-year visas in exchange for promoting its tourism industry in China.

Michelle Yim, Simon Yam and Roger Wu were handed the visas at an event hosted by the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) in Bangkok.

Yim, better known as Mai Suet, and Yam are veteran actors with huge followings in China while Roger Wu has a popular YouTube channel that focuses on Thai food and culture.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said all three were granted Thailand Privilege Cards with five-year visa validity for their unwavering support and contributions to Thai tourism, Yuthasak said.

Privilege Card holders also benefit from fast-track immigration, lounge access at airports, private limousine transfers, wellness and spa treatments, and discounts from partner restaurants and hotels.

“The rewards we have given to our friends are from the bottom of our hearts as a way of saying thank you for all they have done for Thailand,” Yuthasak added.

Yim and Yam, both 67, are avid travellers who love to visit Thailand, while 50-year-old Wu has lived in Thailand for many years and also works as a travel programme host and travel columnist for publications in Hong Kong.

Receiving her Privilege Card, Yim said: “I am glad to see advances in Thai tourism and truly honoured to receive these awards. Thailand is a shopping paradise. Thai people are kind and polite. Also, Thai food is good. I hope everyone loves Thailand as much as I do.”

Michelle Yim or Mai Suet (Left) and Yuthasak Supasorn (Right)

Yam said he appreciated the reward and extended an invitation to foreigners to visit Thailand.

Simon Yam

Wu, speaking with tears in his eyes, said: “I am really thankful for this award. After living here for years, I want to convey a positive message about the country to other nations. Thailand is not worrisome for travellers, so I want to invite everyone to the Land of Smiles.”

Roger Wu

Wu’s "roger wu" YouTube channel boasts more than 195,000 followers.

Thailand received only 40,382 arrivals from Hong Kong in November, according to Tourism Ministry data, but that figure is expected to rise after China lifted travel restrictions on January 8.

China was Thailand’s largest overseas tourism market in 2019, accounting for 11.5 million of the total 40 million international arrivals.

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