Thai tourism stocks soar as China scraps quarantine measure from Jan 8
China will scrap quarantine measures for overseas arrivals starting January 8, in what is seen as a gamechanger for Thailand’s tourism industry.
Chinese health authorities announced the move on Monday after nearly three years of strict pandemic border restrictions effectively prevented tourists from leaving the country. China was Thai tourism’s largest overseas market before the pandemic struck in 2020.
China’s National Health Commission (NHC) added that travellers would only need a PCR test taken 48 hours pre-flight to enter China.
“According to the national health quarantine law, infectious disease quarantine measures will no longer be taken against inbound travellers and goods,” the NHC said.
Restrictions limiting the number of international flights will also be abolished, it added.
The measures will take effect from January 8, when Covid-19 will be downgraded from a top-tier Class A infectious disease to Class B.
Monday’s announcement triggered a spike in China-related shares on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) while searches for Chinese international flights also soared seven times.
“This is good news for Thailand’s tourism industry, which relies heavily on Chinese tourists,” said a SET source. “In 2019, before the pandemic, around 11 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand, or 27% of nearly 40 million total foreign arrivals.”
Thailand can now expect an influx of tourists from China over Chinese New Year on January 22.
With reports from AFP, The Straits Times