Tourism Authority Of Thailand Updates Requirements For Each Reopening Area
Published: August 30, 2021 at 9:58 pm
The country is expected to have 5 locations participate in reopening schemes and another 2 in extension programs for the upcoming tourist peak season, which typically begin in October.
Of all 7 reopening areas, only Phuket has completely opened to vaccinated visitors, while the others continue to limit tourist routes to selected areas and impose different restrictions to balance health and safety.
Hua Hin and Phuket are named quarantine-free locations since they do not need visitors to stay in their accommodation. On the other hand, Chiang Mai requires a 1 day quarantine, but the tour operator must arrange any excursions.
Tourism reopening in Samui and Phuket in July and Phangnga and Krabi as expanded locations in August, TAT is set to recommend 3 additional destinations to CCSA next month — Pattaya, Hua Hin, and Chiang Mai.
Before the pandemic, TAT reported revenues from Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin, Samui, and Chiang Mai accounted for 50 percent of the country’s total tourism income. According to the schedule originally presented to CCSA, Pattaya and Chiang Mai intended to reopen next month, but nationwide vaccine shortages forced them to delay the reopening for at least one month.
Even if more locations will be added for the peak season, this plan will fall short of the target set by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha last June to reopen Thailand by the second week of October where fully inoculated tourists aren’t required to undergo quarantine.
Krod Rojanastien, the man in charge of organizing Hua Hin Recharge said it would be impossible to attract foreign visitors as long as required quarantines and tour programs remain in place. As a result, Hua Hin chose a scheme that is similar to Phuket.
Rather than confining tourists in quarantine areas, it intends to place a zone within 86kms of Hua Hin to allow them to move using monitoring technology for safety and health checks and offering appealing extra packages to give recreational options throughout their stay.
After Phuket Sandbox became the province’s only quarantine-free area, Phuket and its expanded destinations began to feel the squeeze this month as a decrease in tourist numbers became apparent in recent days.
On August 26, 156 tourists arrived, down from an average of 460 daily arrivals between July 1 and August 14, as a result of the pandemic crisis in Phuket and across Thailand prompting several countries to issue a travel warning. The United Kingdom is the most recent country to add Thailand to its red list, which implies that visitors that visited Thailand will be required to pay for their hotel quarantine upon their return to the UK. As of August 25, Phuket has just 5,416 visitors left.