Thailand is taking small steps to reopen its inbound tourism
After four months without any case of local COVID-19 virus transmission, on 20th October 2020, Thailand welcomed a group of 39 Chinese tourists to Bangkok. This is the first batch of international tourist traveling to Thailand after a seven-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The group who entered Thailand under the newly created Special Tourist Visa (STV) will undergo 14 days of quarantine in Bangkok before travelling elsewhere. But to be cleared to travel inside Thailand, the tourists must test negative for the virus twice and they must install a tracking app on their smartphones.
A second group of around 100 tourists will also arrive in Bangkok from China next Monday, 26th October 2020.
Nevertheless, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) emphasized that the country must start its reopening plan slowly.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said “The first arrivals may not be in large numbers, but their example will show the readiness of the public health system in Thailand.” He informed that during the first phase of reopening, the monthly figure is limited to 1,200 people only – a quite small figure comparing to the monthly average of 3 million tourists before the coronavirus outbreak.
Meanwhile, the group of DMCs and Hotel Associations hope the government will consider a tourism plan like “Travel Bubble” with some countries which have good control of Covid-19.
Within Thailand, although there are anti-government protests nearly daily, it may not affect tourists since strikes mostly happen in Bangkok as now, while foreign tourists desire to go to beaches or Northern Thailand.
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