A group from the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NXFAO), China, recently made an official visit to Phuket to observe the work of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO) in tourism, economics, and cultural development.
Mr. Paiboon Upattising, President of the PPAO, today welcomed Mr. Li Nianping, Director-General and Deputy Party Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Office of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and the group from the NXFAO, at the PPAO conference room.
The PPAO President said to the visiting group that Chinese tourists are one of the biggest tourist groups coming to Phuket. The PPAO has projects to facilitate the arrival of tourists from China. For instance, schools under the PPAO now provide Chinese language courses to accommodate both the ASEAN Community and the growing number of Chinese tourists in Phuket.
The PPAO is now working with related agencies to put up helpful signs in Chinese around Phuket to facilitate the visits of Chinese tourists. Phuket and Ningxia have at least one thing in common, and that is that 20-30 percent of the residents are Muslims, said the PPAO President.
The NXFAO Director-General said that Ningxia is a small region in China, which is not well known by foreigners. Ningxia is an autonomous region with a population of 6 million people, 2 million of whom are Muslim. Ningxia has seen many developments in the last twelve years and now has about 10 percent annual economic growth.
Ningxia has developed relations with many Muslim countries in the Middle-East. The visit to Phuket at this time is to discuss cooperation in tourism, economics, culture, and Halal food development. Moreover, the NXFAO will provide five scholarships for students in schools under the PPAO to visit Ningxia for one week, which will strengthen and affirm the relationship between Phuket and Ningxia, said the Director-General of NXFAO.