Thailand has launched an ambitious plan to reopen its borders to tourists. The hospitality industry has been ravaged by travel restrictions since March 2020 when drastic measures were taken to slow the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The November 1 opening is the latest attempt to restart a sector that represented 20% of gross domestic product before the pandemic struck.
Throughout Southeast Asia, governments have been extremely cautious in their approach to dealing with coronavirus, rapidly imposing restrictions and lockdowns designed to support their zero transmission policies.
Thailand was no exception. But in the last couple of months, Bangkok has also been among the first countries to talk about the need for reopening, beginning with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s 120-day plan to fully reopen announced in June.
Earlier attempts, including the Phuket Sandbox scheme — which has been more popular with returning Thais and local residents than with tourists — fell far short of initial projections.
However, the implementation of the plan was a learning experience in how to open a destination safely, taking into account the concerns of local residents and the imperatives of restarting a key sector of the economy.
Since November 1, Thailand has opened more destinations, including Bangkok, to foreign visitors. Details on how the plan will be implemented have finally been released, though questions remain. The current timeline will see the whole country reopen by the beginning of 2022. As the capital and other destinations reopen, will expectations be met?
To discuss what lies in store for the Thai tourism industry, the FCCT is pleased to welcome:
Issara Sthapanaseth, director of the Prachuap Khiri Khan office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Krod Rojanastien, president of the Thai Spa Association, leading the Hua Hin Recharge plan to reopen the resort town to domestic and foreign travelers in conjunction with TAT and other local and national partners;
John Brown, chief executive of Agoda, the online travel agency that lists over 2.5 million properties worldwide;
Gilles Cretallaz, Accor vice-president of operations for upper Southeast Asia, who oversees 144 hotels and resorts for the group in Thailand and neighboring countries.
Ekasit Kunadirekwong, an analyst with Krungsri Securities specializing in the Thai consumer sector.
Moderator: Vincent Vichit-Vadakan, a freelance journalist and member of the FCCT’s programme committee.
Panel discussion in the clubhouse and Facebook Live, Thursday, November 4, 7 pm
The Bachelor Japan Season 4 showcases Thailand
Bangkok, 2 December, 2021 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to report that Thailand features as the main location in the Japanese reality TV show ‘The Bachelor Japan Season 4’, of which the first episode aired on 25 November, 2021.
In cooperation with the TAT Tokyo Office, a film crew from Amazon Prime Japan and YD Creation Japan comprising 65 actors, production staff, technicians and others travelled to Thailand to shoot for the show in the spectacular Southern provinces of Phuket, Phang-Nga, and Krabi between April and June 2021.
A total of six out of the 10 60-minute episodes of ‘The Bachelor Japan Season 4’ were filmed in Thailand.
Aside from the valuable promotional exposure the destination will receive in Japan, a key source market for visitors from the Asian region, the foreign production also generated much-needed income and employment opportunities in the local tourism and film-related sectors of the three chosen locations.
Phuket, Phang-Nga’ and Krabi were among the first destinations in Thailand to reopen to tourism under the Sandbox programme, and the TAT Tokyo Office has capitalised on the interest of foreign filmmaking to promote the world-class tourist appeal and public health safety standards of these destinations.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said “Popular TV shows like ‘The Bachelor’ are an effective way to deliver promotional messages directly to international markets, in this case Japan, which is among the 63 countries and territories from which fully vaccinated visitors can enter Thailand through the Exemption from Quarantine (TEST & GO) programme. With Thailand featuring so significantly in ‘The Bachelor Japan Season 4’, this helps us to promote travel to Thailand now that entry rules are being relaxed and tourists are once again welcomed.”
Fully vaccinated visitors from every country around the world can also visit Thailand via the Living in the “Blue Zone” Sandbox destinations programme. Meanwhile, partially or unvaccinated visitors are also much welcomed via the Happy Quarantine programme. However, to prevent and control the spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, Thailand currently imposes travel restrictions on arrivals from Africa.
Photo Credit: Instagram: @BachelorJapan外部リンク, @bachelorjap外部リンク
COVID-19 vaccine guide for travellers to Thailand
International travellers, including returning Thais and foreign residents, who are above 18 years of age should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 with a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) or the World Health Organisation (WHO) no less than 14 days before their travel date.
Bangkok, Updated on 29 November, 2021.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide an update to our guide to COVID-19 vaccines for international travellers to Thailand effective from 16 December 2021.(more…)
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