His death* comes on the eve of a visit to Phuket by the influential Chinese Ambassador to discuss tourism safety.
Details of the tourist's death have yet to emerge.
It's known that he drowned on a snorkelling day trip to Pai island, a small island between Phuket and Phi Phi.
The Director of the Chaofa Krabi Centre Marine Rescue Operation, Nitipat Mongkhonprasit, said the man's body, now at Phi Phi Hospital, was being transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City.
An increasing number of Chinese tourists have drowned on snorkelling day-trips. Chinese travellers are not as familiar with snorkels and masks as European and Australian visitors.
Many are not strong swimmers. Often, boatboys and speedboat ''captains'' do not oversee the activities of tourists at snorkelling destinations.
Chinese Ambassador Guan Mu is visiting Phuket tomorrow for lengthy talks with Phuket officials about the safety and security of Chinese tourists.
Phuketwan telephoned the office of the Chinese Consul in Had Yai, which oversees Phuket. The Deputy Consul said it was the first they had heard of today's drowning.
*The drowning victim was first reported to be a woman but officials from the Chinese Consul's office confirmed it was a man.