Thailand has not seen any new European tourists since lock down of the country in March this year. There are hopes that this might change soon.
The Bangkok Post has reported that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is hoping that the first Europeans, from Scandinavian countries, will arrive later in 2020.
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT Deputy Governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas confirmed that tourism receipts from the European market accounted for one-third of total revenue prior to the pandemic. Getting back to these levels will not be a quick process and the initial focus will be on increasing the length of stay of visitors rather than sheer volume of tourists.
Visitors from Scandinavian countries traditionally stay longer than visitors from other European countries, averaging 18 days. These countries are also considered to have a low COVID risk.
Since the introduction of the Special Tourist Visa (STV), Thailand has seen just over 100 Chinese tourists enter under the arrangements. More than 100 Scandinavians are believed to have already registered interest in the STV with many hoping to visit in 2020.
TAT is believed to be working on introducing the Amazing Thailand Plus Package, a one-stop website for tourists interested in the STV scheme.
The Chinese market is seen as key to starting the recovery of tourism within Thailand.
In 2019 there were around 11 million Chinese visitors and TAT are hoping that around 7.5 million Chinese tourists will be able to visit in 2021.
The Bangkok Post recently reported a TAT spokesman as saying “When the pandemic subsides we will change their focus from business travellers and retirees, to a younger generation that are ‘less concerned’ with health risks.”
“Millennial travellers have more flexibility as they can actively penetrate technologies and online information — essential tools for post-pandemic tourism,” he continued.
Phuket Ready for Tourists
Tourists arriving under the STV have, until now, all entered the country through Bangkok, which has been deemed to be the safest entry point with the facilities to support the quarantine.
Phuket had hoped to welcome its first tourists in October but the planned flight was cancelled.
Now Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob has said “At this stage, Phuket International Airport is 100% ready for welcoming and testing tourists arriving on the STV (Special Tourist Visa). The lab and mobile lab trucks together can test 578 tourists per day” according to Travel Daily Media.
They also report that 17 hotels, with 1,900 rooms, have been approved as Alternative State Quarantine Facilities for incoming tourists.
STV Extension to Tourists and Crews of Foreign Yachts
A TAT press release on 2nd November announced that the STV was now available to yacht passengers and crew.
The STV is only available to people from a low-risk country unless they were within Thai waters when the Thai State of Emergency was declared in March.
They will need to quarantine onboard their yacht for 14 days and be tested 3 times for COVID-19 before they can continue to travel in Thailand.
Other STV requirements including health insurance of at least US$100,000 (approx £76,885) that includes COVID-19 treatment plus additional travel insurance.
Advertising and affiliate links help to support this site. We never tailor content to encourage sales with a particular company. We only partner with organisations who we believe provide a good service or product. Thank you.