Thailand’s Betong to welcome more foreign tourists as new airport set to operate

Photo taken on June 29, 2019 shows sea of clouds during sunrise on I-Yerweng, or Aiyoe Weng Hill, in Thailand’s southern city of Betong. The southern Thai city of Betong would attract more foreign tourists as a new airport is set to operate in 2022, said an official from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). In a phone interview on Thursday, Pattra Limnirundon, deputy director of TAT’s Narathiwat office, told Xinhua that they plan to promote Betong as “health city” and “city of natural beauty.” Pattra also mentioned that Chinese tourists may enjoy themselves more in Betong since many of its residents are Chinese descendants who can still speak mandarin today and Chinese characters are almost everywhere in the city. (Xinhua/Yang Zhou)

BANGKOK, July 5 (Xinhua) — The southern Thai city of Betong would attract more foreign tourists as a new airport is set to operate in 2022, said an official from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

In a phone interview on Thursday, Pattra Limnirundon, deputy director of TAT’s Narathiwat office, told Xinhua that they plan to promote Betong as “health city” and “city of natural beauty.”

“Betong is famous for its lingzhi mushroom and other Chinese herbal medicines, thus we conclude one of the selling point is ‘health,'” she said.

The other selling point being “natural beauty” is because Betong, a district of Yala Province, is full of natural attractions such as Sea of Clouds on I-Yerweng or Aiyoe Weng Hill, Betong Hot Spring, among others, she added.

Pattra also mentioned that Chinese tourists may enjoy themselves more in Betong since many of its residents are Chinese descendants who can still speak mandarin today and Chinese characters are almost everywhere in the city.

Currently Betong’s main source of tourists are Malaysians, and the deputy director believed that Betong would attract more tourists since the construction of its airport is set to be completed next year and the airport would be operational by 2022.

Tourists now need to take a 1.5-hour flight from Bangkok to Hat Yat in Southern Thailand and take a car ride of four to five hours to get to the southmost city. But the airport there will dramatically cut the traveling time with several air operators already saying they would launch Bangkok-Betong flight mid 2022.

The TAT has arranged media trip to Betong for several times recently to expose the small city to more people around the world before the operation of its airport.

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