Thailand Eyes 700,000 Tourists Via Various Entry Initiatives This Year

BANGKOK, Nov 3 (NNN-Bernama) — Thailand is hoping to get at least 700,000 visitors to the kingdom this year via various entry schemes and initiatives to revive the tourism sector and spur the economic recovery.

In its latest move, which started on Monday, Thailand welcomes fully vaccinated visitors from 63 countries and territories via “Test & Go” entry scheme, where visitors will skip mandatory quarantine.

It also welcomes fully vaccinated travellers from other countries via “Living in the Blue Zone”, a scheme involving 17 “sandbox destinations” including Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi and Phang-Nga, where they must stay for seven days in these tourist destinations before travelling to other provinces.

According to Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the kingdom welcomed a total of 85,845 foreign visitors through various entry schemes – including the “Phuket Sandbox”, Special Tourist Visa (STV), Thailand Privilege Card, and Medical Tourism – from January to September this year.

The “Phuket Sandbox” recorded a total of 60,649 visitors from July 1 to October 31 with the top five markets being the USA, Israel, UK, Germany, and France, it said.

“This year’s various entry scheme is expected to bring at least 700,000 visitors to Thailand,” TAT said in a statement.

TAT projected Thailand’s tourism sector to generate 1.58 trillion baht (100 baht = US$3) comprising 818 billion baht from international tourists and some 771 billion baht from domestic tourists, in 2022.

Partially-vaccinated or unvaccinated visitors from any countries and territories are also allowed entry via the “Happy Quarantine” requirements where they will undergo quarantine (seven to 14 days) and RT-PCR test before being allowed to travel to other provinces in the kingdom.

The reopening of its borders for the first time in 19 months is hoped to revive the kingdom’s ailing tourism industry.

In a bid to contain COVID-19 outbreaks, Thailand had imposed strict requirements and quarantine measures. The curbs saw tourist arrivals in 2020 dropping 83 per cent to 6.7 million, while foreign tourist receipts stood at a mere 332 billion baht.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand received nearly 40 million foreign visitors who spent 1.91 trillion baht in 2019.

Meanwhile, TAT had introduced its latest tourism marketing campaign – “Visit Thailand Year 2022” – with a number of strategic activities to promote the reopening of the kingdom at the World Travel Market 2021 (WTM 2021) from Nov 1 to 3.

“Leveraging the Royal Thai Government’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy model and our ongoing promotion of responsible and sustainable tourism, our new marketing activities for next year will emphasise Thailand’s strengths in biological diversity and cultural richness under the “Amazing New Chapters” concept.

“This will reiterate the good image of the kingdom as a top tourist destination with all health and safety measures in place as the world exits the COVID-19 era,” TAT Governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, said.

— NNN-BERNAMA

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