Thailand's tourism sector wants country reopened on July 1
Leading tourism companies in Thailand launched a campaign on Tuesday to reopen the country's borders from July 1, 2021.
The #OpenThailandSafely campaign was launched by more than 15 major companies including Minor Group, Asian Trails, YAANA Ventures, Capella Hotels and Resorts EXO and many others. Minor Group boss Bill Heinecke is among leading Thai hoteliers pushing for vaccination-based early opening of the tourism industry.
The Open Thailand Safely campaign laid out its arguments in a petition backing a formal request to the government to respond favourably to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination in Europe, the US and other markets for Thai tourism.
The petition is open to anyone in Thailand or abroad who would like to see the country reopen.
The campaign argues July 1 is an appropriate date for five reasons: the majority of citizens in many source markets will be vaccinated by then, it gives time for Thailand to vaccinate frontline hospitality staff and/or vulnerable citizens, it gives travellers time to make travel plans and bookings, the date gives time to airlines, hotels, tour operators and others to start marketing, sales and preparations for the restart of operations, and it will take Thailand at least a year to restore the number of visitors it had before Covid-19.
Under the July 1 restart plan, tourists could be asked to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination, a negative test with 72 hours of departure, health insurance, etc.
"The July 1 reopening would be a strategic opportunity for Thailand to show a leadership role among Asian countries and prepare the way for a solid recovery of the Thai economy in 2022," said Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures.
Open Thailand Safely organisers said they will also send the July 1 request to Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, the minister of tourism and sports, and the Tourism Authority of Thailand governor.
Organisers pointed out that tourism destinations such as Seychelles, Maldives, Greece and Sri Lanka have either opened their borders or are considering doing so following successful vaccine rollouts in their key source markets.