The Nation Thailand is reporting that Chiang Mai will become the first province to welcome foreign tourists outside of the Sandbox programme.
Main picture temples in Chiang Mai credit Tim Durgan on Unsplash
The plan, which seems to still be formally agreed, would see direct flights from select Asian countries, rather than being open to all nationalities in the same way as the Sandbox is now.
“After the discussions with the TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) office and the private tourism sector of Chiang Mai, we have come to a conclusion to welcome the foreign tourists with direct flights to the province instead of having the tourists complete the mandatory stay under the Phuket Sandbox scheme. Our main target is Korean tourists who have continuously travel to Thailand during the last quarter of every year, including tourists from India and Singapore.”Thanes Phetsuwan, Deputy Governor of Marketing Asia and South Pacific, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
The move would be a departure from the Sandbox programme which has been instrumental in the reopening of Thailand tourism since the pandemic closed the borders in March 2020.
There have been a number of false dawns in a number of areas of Thailand which have pushed for early reopenings only to be halted by increasing Covid-19 cases, slow vaccination rates or the inability to agree Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) with government officials.
We wait for further developments and a possible official announcement in due course.
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