The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) are calling for a clear-cut plan on a vaccine passport by June to enable the country to open to the international market by the fourth quarter of 2021 – Bangkok Post.
The long-haul market is important for tourism within Thailand and there are fears that without a clear plan potential tourists will choose to book elsewhere once they are confident to do so. The vaccination programme in many western countries is far in advance of that in Thailand and it is believed that once travellers have been vaccinated they will be confident to travel again.
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, said that tourists are ready to be inoculated or participate within a vaccine passport policy if this would allow them to travel abroad once again. The UK, an important market, for example is planning on offering every adult a vaccine by the end of July and more than 17.7 million people have already received their first dose.
One of the biggest barriers to tourists continues to be the quarantine requirement which is only likely to be relaxed fully once significant numbers of the local population in Thailand has been vaccinated which may not be achieved until 2022.
“TAT plans to bring back international tourists by the fourth quarter but that will depend largely on our policy development too.”
“Those surveys clearly told us that the government must accelerate a concrete plan for a vaccine passport by June in order to receive inoculated tourists, or else we could miss a huge opportunity as some countries have already started quarantine-free programme for vaccinated travellers.”Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT Deputy Governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas via Bangkok Post
TAT have proposed a two-stage soft launch with marketing campaigns launched before the third quarter, followed by the introduction of an area quarantine policy within the third quarter. The full scale plan would then be launched in the fourth quarter.
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