Thailand to slowly restart tourism with flight from China


Chinese tourists pose on a beach at an island in Phang-Nga province, Thailand January 30, 2020. Thailand will receive its first foreign vacationers when a flight from China arrives next week, marking the gradual restart of a vital tourism sector battered by coronavirus travel curbs, a senior official said on Tuesday (Sept 29). - Reuters

BANGKOK, Sept 29 (Reuters): Thailand will receive its first foreign vacationers when a flight from China arrives next week, marking the gradual restart of a vital tourism sector battered by coronavirus travel curbs, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The first flight will have about 120 tourists from Guangzhou, flying directly to the resort island of Phuket, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters.

Thailand has kept coronavirus infections low with just 3,559 cases and 59 deaths, but its economy has taken a hit from a ban on foreign visitors since April and is expected to contract 8.5% this year.

Government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul expects 1,200 tourists in the first month, generating about 1 billion baht ($31.55 million) in revenue and 12.4 billion baht over one year, drawing in 14,400 tourists.

Nationalities permitted to enter will be from countries deemed low risk by the government, which will keep tabs on them.

"We are not opening the country, we are limiting the number of entries and will manage with wrist bands, apps to follow them," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters.

The government predicts just 6.7 million foreign visitors this year after a record 39.8 million in 2019, whose spending made up about 11.4% of GDP, or 1.93 trillion baht.

Thailand in January was the first country outside of China to detect the coronavirus, in a visitor from Wuhan.

"Tourists will be on a long stay visa, starting Oct. 8 and will stay in alternative state quarantine for 14 days," Yuthasak said.

Visitors need health insurance and a negative coronavirus test 72 hours before travelling and will be tested twice in quarantine.

"Thailand's protection system can prevent a second wave," government spokeswoman Traisulee said.

"We have prevented local transmission for 100 days before," she said, adding that had made Thailand attractive for visitors wanting to avoid infections. - Reuters
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

100% readers found this article insightful

Next In Aseanplus News

Myanmar detains 22 Thais sailing in Andaman Sea for illegal entry
Philippines suffers worst job losses in 15 years
Europe and Singapore align airline safety certification process to boost efficiency
"Rubber duck revolution' takes off in Thailand
China tells foreign enterprises 'to not worry' about export law
Bangladesh ships Rohingya refugees to remote island despite protests
Median income of Singapore residents down for first time since 2004
China to start ambitious rail line to link city clusters in 5 years
China's exports, imports seen expanding at faster pace in November
Daughter of slain Filipino activist arrested with baby

Stories You'll Enjoy