Thailand Hopes For Tourism Recovery Fade

Phuket beach, Thailand credit Artur Wayne on Unsplash

Hopes that the sandbox project would help to attract significant numbers of foreign tourists in the second half of 2021 are fading as the latest Covid-19 outbreak continues to see increasing numbers of cases.

Sunday saw the latest in a series of record numbers of new daily cases reported as 2,438 were recorded plus 11 new deaths. The daily total dropped to just over 2,000 today plus 8 more deaths, but to date the country has now seen 57,4508 cases and 148 deaths.

The Thai government has now halved its expected number of foreign visitors to 3-4 million in 2021, almost 40 million arrived in 2019, and slashed the amount of forecast tourism revenue.

The country had hoped to attract 6.5 million tourists this year.

Thailand is still hoping to continue with the sandbox plans, starting with the removal of quarantine for vaccinated visitors to Phuket from July.

However current restrictions in place to curb the Covid outbreak plus calls for a wider lockdown, are likely to impact on the number of tourists willing or able to travel to the “Land of Smiles”.

The sandbox relies on at least 70% of locals in Phuket being vaccinated prior to welcoming back tourists without quarantine.So far around 20% of Phuket residents have been vaccinated

Source: Bangkok Post

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