Phuket Beach, Thaland. Credit Artur Wayne on Unsplash
Earlier this week China announced the launch of a digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate that will enable citizens to travel abroad.
The move led to tourism businesses and agencies in both countries to make the first tentative steps in the possibility of quarantine-free travel arrangements being in place from as early as June this year.
Prior to the pandemic China was a key source of tourists into Thailand both for pure tourism and to visit relatives in the Land of Smiles.
Vichit Prakobgosol, the president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) has now called for the Thai government to begin talks with their Chinese counterparts on a travel corridor between the two countries for vaccinated travellers.
An early opening of a travel corridor between the two countries in June could have a significant impact on the number of Chinese tourists entering Thailand this year.
“If Thailand can implement a travel bubble with China by that time, we have high hopes we can have 8 million Chinese visitors this year. If a pact is finalised in July, Chinese arrivals would be less than 6 million, and if not until October, the figure is more likely 3 million.”
“The Chinese market could take just two months to resume after regulations are settled. Chinese arrivals could reach 10 million within one year. If Andaman provinces lead pilot projects, this will benefit the tourism industry.”Vichit Prakobgosol, President Association of Thai Travel Agents
The calls could be premature however as the Thai government has indicated that it may wait until the World Health Organisation (WHO) has published its vaccine passport guidelines. Outward travel from China is also still prohibited, potentially for the first half of the year.
Source: Bangkok Post
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