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3 in 5 Thai People want borders to reopen according to survey

29 Jun 2020

A study showed that Thais are moving slowly towards reopening borders for visitors as the coronavirus pandemic appears to wind down.  According to a survey conducted by UK-based market research firm YouGov, three out of five subject interviews (63 per cent) want the borders to reopen after three months of ban on most international flights to Thailand.

A fourth (26 per cent) of all interviewees said the border should be reopened in the next three months. A remaining quarter (26 percent) replied that the border would be reopened during the next six months to a year, while one in ten (11 percent) said the border would stay closed until after one year.

Yada Pornpetrumpa, president of the Khaosan Road Vendors Association, says that her and the vendors' livelihood at the popular tourist spot depends on reopening borders to tourists.

"At Khaosan, visitors make up 90 per cent of profits.

When there are no visitors there is no profit then, "she added. "We sellers can prepare to go out of business if tourists can't come in."

Yada said that although some eateries have already reopened on the iconic backpacking location, as Thailand enters July, more restaurants are expected to open – but many hostels and hotels are still closed indefinitely because they depend on international visitors, she said.

The Thai government is pushing for a travel bubble agreement to reboot the devastated tourism economy, which will allow tourists to enter from countries where the coronavirus is supposedly under control.

"The travel cloud, I understand," Yada said. "My friends abroad say they 're willing to go into quarantine so they can come here and take advantage of Thai health care."

But a number of trade guilds advised caution, saying foreign tourists could possibly trigger a second wave of virus outbreak, as recently seen in China.

Just three in ten (28 percent) of the Thais surveyed by YouGov agreed to open borders to other nations, while more than half (54 percent) disagreed and the remainder (17 percent) were unsure.

The poll was conducted on 2,069 Thai respondents for compensation between 22 to 24 June. To be representative the interviews were chosen by age, class, income level, and employment. It has a 3 per cent margin of error.