Thailand Sets Plans for Tourism Rebranding, to Emphasize Quality Over Quantity
Published: May 20, 2020 at 3:23 pm
With the travel ban about to be lifted, the Kingdom of Thailand is beginning measures to welcome tourists again into the nation while still keeping everyone in the country safe from a possible second wave of coronavirus infections.
This means that the government will transform the tourism sector, one of the country’s largest contributors to the economy, to paint the country as a destination that is totally safe for travel amidst a global pandemic. The catchphrase for this new project is “Amazing Trusted Thailand.”
As we already know, Thailand’s efforts at containing the COVID-19 virus has been highly effective. It has one of the lowest infection rates in the whole of Southeast Asia, and its mortality rate is near zero. The ratio between infection and recovery is virtually 1 to 1.
As TAT expects international tourists to start flocking to Thailand by October, the agency, together with other relevant government units, are hard at work determining measures that need to be in place to keep Thailand COVID-free and tourism-friendly before visitors start coming in.
One of the policies they will be implementing for tourists is to limit their destinations to areas that have no record of infection and are easily overseen to ensure quick response in the event that an infection does occur.
For instance, the government has identified Samui and Phuket – also the country’s top island destinations – as places they will open up for international tourists in the future, as these areas satisfy the above criteria.
In addition, these international tourists will have to carry documentation that will demonstrate to immigration that they have not been infected with the coronavirus and that they are of good general health.
Moreover, they will need to invest in health insurance before traveling and will need to provide documentation for that as well.
By matching COVID-free areas in the country with tourists coming from countries that are relatively unaffected by the pandemic, the tourism sector can allow these international visitors to come in without having to subject themselves to a 14-day quarantine.
The country expects much of the traffic to come from countries with the highest number of yearly visitors before the pandemic, namely, Vietnam, China and Singapore. However, to further minimize exposure, the country will set a quota on the number of tourists from these countries under the rebranding.
Also, as part of its drive to highlight Thailand’s trusted healthcare system, airports will have medical professionals standing by to subject tourists to rapid antibody testing upon arrival.
These measures are still up for discussion, however. Governor Yuthasak said that, before international markets will open, the Thai government will undergo discussions with other countries’ governments to ensure the safety of both local Thais and foreigners who plan to visit the country by October.
In addition, Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn will be meeting with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his cabinet to present the plan and obtain approval next week.