THAILAND

Macron issue raises tourism hopes

Macron factor raises tourism hopes

First European chief invited to Apec summit took time to see the sights

French President Emmanuel Macron tours the streets of Yaowarat, the city's famous Chinatown. (HUA SENG HONG Facebook Page)
French President Emmanuel Macron excursions the streets of Yaowarat, town’s well-known Chinatown. (HUA SENG HONG Fb Web page)

The sight of French President Emmanuel Macron popping up at points of interest in Bangkok final week has kindled hope his presence may add shine to the nation’s fast-recovering tourism trade.

Mr Macron jetted in for the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation (Apec) summit in Bangkok from Nov 18-19, the place he was a visitor of the chair and held discussions with among the leaders of the 21 Apec members.

His go to was unprecedented in that it marked the primary time because the creation of Apec in 1989 {that a} European head of state or authorities had been invited to the Apec summit.

Regardless of his busy schedule, the French chief made time to go to vacationer points of interest within the capital earlier than heading residence.

Taking to his Twitter, Mr Macron encapsulated his go to to the Jim Thompson Home Museum, which he mentioned reminded him of the shut bond between France and Thailand and the partnerships that France implements within the Indo-Pacific area.

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Mr Macron is pictured mingling with workers at Hua Seng Hong restaurant. (HUA SENG HONG Fb Web page)

Photographs had been additionally circulated on social media of Mr Macron paying a solemn go to to Wat Phra Chetuphon (Wat Pho) earlier than observing the fierce motion first-hand on the Ratchadamnoen Boxing Stadium.

He was additionally seen taking a night stroll throughout a personal tour in Yaowarat, or Chinatown, the place he tasted Bangkok’s avenue meals. It’s right here that many dishes are popularised worldwide on social media by on-line influencers.

Nevertheless, his go to didn’t go unnoticed on account of his seen safety element.

Mr Macron turned heads as he sat all the way down to a meal on the Hua Seng Hong Chinese language restaurant in Yaowarat.

Many social media customers greeted the picture of the French chief on the restaurant with delight, hoping will probably be a public relations car that may assist speed up tourism restoration after the sector, very important for the nation getting again on its ft, suffered badly for 2 years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, others doubted the authenticity of the photographs of Mr Macron out and about on Bangkok’s bustling streets.

Nuenghathai Atthawathee, 44, a Hua Seng Hong worker, informed the Bangkok Submit that at the beginning, she and different workers had been taken unexpectedly when he stepped into the restaurant. They might solely assume at first it was somebody essential, judging by the folks surrounding him.

It didn’t take them lengthy to determine he was the French president.

“He is good-natured. He got here in similar to anybody else and did not order something fancy. We had nothing ready upfront [for him],” Ms Nuenghathai mentioned.

The workers requested to have a photograph taken with the president and the image later went viral on the web, she added.

Since information about Mr Macron’s go to unfold on social media, the restaurant, which is often busy, has welcomed extra international clients, Ms Nuenghathai mentioned.

She denied the photographs of Mr Macron eating on the restaurant had been doctored.

“Extra folks got here to Yaowarat after the Apec summit. It has executed a lot to stimulate tourism,” she added.

Supol Lertpanyaroj, proprietor of a Limjinghieng store promoting processed meats usually purchased as souvenirs in Yaowarat, mentioned the French president’s go to to the realm may solely give solely a short enhance to tourism.

“We now have to attend and see what occurs in the long term,” he mentioned.

Wareerat Trairong, 58, proprietor of Ha Kee Lim Jing Heang promoting ready-to-eat meals merchandise, mentioned her store’s merchandise may not be fashionable with some international guests, however typically, although, vacationer numbers have begun to select up.

Jamrun Matoh, 50, a vendor of Chinese language ornamental gadgets on the previous China City Cinema, mentioned most individuals got here to Yaowarat in quest of meals. Few of them shopped for souvenirs.

He couldn’t inform if the French president has made a distinction to tourism numbers now that the hustle and bustle related to Yaowarat has returned.

Pakkaseet Sawangwong, 59, a durian vendor, mentioned Yaowarat is well-known to a number of international leaders and essential figures who’ve visited the realm.

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