“The scheme will make the fullest use of CCSA’s latest announcement that reduces mandatory quarantine period for foreign visitors to Thailand from 14 days to as low as 7 days, effective since September 30,” he said. “So far, the reopening of selected provinces under tourism sandbox programmes since July 1 has mainly attracted tourists from faraway markets at more than 90 per cent, while only 10 per cent of visitors under these schemes are from Asian countries.”
Thanes added that another factor that makes sandbox programmes unpopular among Asian visitors is the Covid-19 measure imposed by the government of each country. “Singapore and Japan now require returnees from Thailand to undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine before entering the country, while China still prohibits its citizens from overseas travel to curb the outbreak,” he said. “However, we expected that these rules will be eased up by early 2022, to prepare for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.”
TAT’s Unlock Thailand will aim primarily at India and South Korea markets, as the Thai government has recently reduced warning level of India from high risk to medium risk country, and allowed Indians to be one of 78 nationals that can participate in the tourism sandbox schemes. “TAT will negotiate with Indian authority to draft the air bubble agreement, whereas commercial flights from India can directly land in Thailand without having to go through a hub at the Middle East to change flights,” said Thanes.
“As for South Korea market, TAT will try to push for travel bubble agreement for fully vaccinated tourists to engage in variety of activities in Thailand,” he added. “The pilot phase will focus on offering golfing packages in Chiang Mai, which has over 10 golf courses that are popular among South Korean golfers.”
Four selected districts in Chiang Mai are scheduled to open to foreign tourists on November 1 under the province’s “Charming Chiang Mai” programme, whereas vaccinated tourists can travel to Chiang Mai and stay at certified hotels for seven days, during which they can travel on sealed routes in the province under supervision of guide tour companies. After seven days and they still test negative for Covid-19, they can proceed to travel in other provinces of Thailand.
Published : October 05, 2021