/* */

New Proposal for Tourism using organised tour to 5 areas

3 Jul 2020

A leisure travel bubble strategy was drawn up with three opening stages, beginning with a mere 1,000 visitors a day through five provinces.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Recreation, said the Ministry had already requested the Thai Travel Agents' Association (Atta) and the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) to plan 6-7 day tour packages in five areas that would be able to join the pilot project, including Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Phuket and Pattaya.

During the first step, without a 14-day quarantine, the number of foreign visitors is limited at 1,000 a day nationally, which is scheduled to begin during August. When the capacity of each jurisdiction to perform swab tests for the growth of coronavirus decreases, the government would require a larger amount depending on the quantity. The plan needs clearance from the Ministry of Public Health, and a compilation of countries with specific criteria and should be completed within two weeks.

According to the World Health Organization, the proposal calls for Thailand to give low-risk countries a bubble system, implying safe from the pandemic for 30 days.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is expecting to hear local views this week after Thailand's Tourism Authority (TAT) and TCT were named by the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration to perform a survey of eight destinations: Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Chiang Rai and Hat Yai.

Mr Phiphat said after Tuesday's government authorized domestic tourism stimulus packages, he predicts that this year's domestic tourism objective might be 120 million trips, up from 100 million trips, as the subsidy will cause those with buying power to spend on tourism.

The growth of foreign visitors is projected to be sluggish owing to further public protection standards.

Achieving 1.23 trillion baht in sales would be a problem as usually domestic visitors spend less than foreigners, Mr Phiphat said.

Thailand will continue with tour groups in the first step of the leisure market travel bubble, as it is simpler to handle roads, locations, and events, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said.

After a month of reopening in selected locations, he said if Thailand succeeds in managing inbound visitor facilities without causing new illnesses, the second step would see more attractions and a larger number of visitors allowed in.

The third step is where, by following the same safety criteria as the first two stages, the entire world will open up again to foreign visitors, both for tour companies and individual travelers.

Mr Yuthasak said that TAT would also need to raise the travel frequency of Thai visitors, from an average of 2.7 trips each year to three trips this year, to assist tour operators.

Source Bangkok Post