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“India and Russia Should Be Included In Low Risk Countries List.” – Tourism Operators

Published: October 25, 2021 at 5:12 pm

To boost demand during the coming peak season, tourist operators in popular vacation destinations are asking the government to expand the quarantine-free zone to include new countries, primarily India and Russia.

According to Thanet Supornsahasrungsi of the Chon Buri Tourism Council, Russia was removed from the list of 46 low-risk countries due to a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, flights may not operate as planned because tourists wanted to travel with eased restrictions.

Fully vaccinated travelers under low-risk countries can travel without quarantine and eased restrictions starting November 1.

Aside from that group, tourists could only access 17 places via the sandbox program and must remain for 7 days before moving on.

Those who have not been vaccinated or who have been vaccinated with a vaccine that is not on the WHO or World Health Organization list are subject to a 10-day quarantine at quarantine facilities.

According to Mr. Thanet, India utilizes Covaxin, which the World Health Organization does not recognize. Thus tourists from that country still need to undergo quarantine.

Quarantine, he added, is a problem for the tourism industry since the typical stay of tourists is 4 to 5 nights.

“It’s tough for Pattaya to attract tourists in peak season due to restrictions on our big markets, such as India and Russia, and the fact that several low-risk countries are still subject to quarantine once they return home.” Mr. Thanet added.

To minimize misunderstanding among state authorities, operators, and visitors, further details such as the Thailand Pass must be explained, according to the president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui. Ratchaporn Poolsawadee,

He told reports that the Russian market is allowed to travel to Koh Samui under the Sandbox program, however, they must undergo two RT-PCR tests, which are still a hassle for tourists.

Flights to Koh Samui are set to begin on December 21, but operators must wait for new travel guidelines.

Since the Samui Plus sandbox program started, the island has welcomed 1,518 foreign visitors.

When the announcement that mandatory quarantine was removed from October 1 to October 20, 1,800 guests booked 12,933 hotel nights.

The program is projected to attract 10,000 visitors by the end of the year, but that figure is still subject to the local government guidelines.

Mr. Ratchaporn said that Australia’s envoy to Thailand would visit Koh Samui on 9 November to discuss a strategy for attracting Australian visitors. Australians are one of the top 5 tourism markets of the country before COVID-19.

Source: Thaiger

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