Thailand’s international tourism recovery could take years
Tourism in Thailand accounted for about 20% of gross domestic product before the Covid crisis, so the partial reopening of borders to foreign tourists last November is a bold step to boost the economy again to give.
The Thai tourism authority, called the TAT, has made several guesses about how many visitors would visit Thailand in 2021 and 2022, all of which were forecasted optimistically. However, they are based on hope rather than the reality of an unsafe tourist environment due to a rise in Covid19 infections across the country and associated border restrictions in most parts of the world.
The partial opening of the borders to tourists from 63 countries is taking place, while pubs and entertainment venues in most regions of the country are either closed or are not allowed to serve alcohol with meals.
Despite questions from the tourism industry, especially the hospitality industry, the Thai government has announced that the reopening of nightlife venues will be postponed until January 15. A CCSA representative* expressed concerns about ventilation and ineffective preventive measures in pubs, clubs and karaoke venues.
The so-called quarantine-free entry for fully vaccinated foreign tourists is wrong, as it forced travellers to remain in isolation in hotel quarantine for up to 30 hours until their Covid test results are available.
If a tourist has a positive Covid test or a negative test on arrival but sits next to someone who has tested positive, they will be quarantined for 14 days at their own expense. This was not announced when the border was opened. According to local media reports, this cost some travellers between 50,000 baht and 350,000 baht in one example.
The relatively high cost of Covid19 testing at the airport, the entrance fee of 500 baht introduced in 2022, which will be collected from a ticket office on arrival, has postponed planning a trip to Thailand for many Dutch and Belgian Thailand-goers.
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