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Tourism Leaders Calls To Abolish Thailand Pass & PCR Test Upon Arrival

Published: March 2, 2022 at 6:47 pm

thailand tourism forum leaders

Thailand’s tourism leaders have reiterated their requests for the Thailand Pass and on-arrival PCR testing to be removed. The industry is now worried about the effect that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may have on future tourist numbers. Hoteliers now worry that the current situation in Ukraine would result in foreign visitors falling to 10% of pre-pandemic numbers.

During the Thailand Tourism Forum in Bangkok, Minor International’s chairman repeated his request for the government to abolish the Thailand Pass system. Bill Heinecke has been vocal on concerns hindering tourism’s recovery for some years, writing an open letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha earlier this year encouraging him to restore the suspended Test & Go entry system.

Heinecke discuss yesterday that Thailand’s government must immediately remove all restrictions on foreign tourists if the country wants to stay competitive. Thailand was the first country in South East Asia to reopen its borders, but the near-complete removal of restrictions in other countries has left it behind. Cambodia’s neighbors, as well as the Philippines, the Middle East, a number of European nations, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have opened up.

Heinecke warns that if the existing restrictions remain, the government’s goal of luring 10 million foreign tourists this year would be compromised. Rather than that, Thailand risks reaching 10% of pre-pandemic numbers, or roughly 4 million.

Despite a newly established travel bubble between India and Thailand, Heinecke observed that the two countries still lack flights. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has worsened the situation, as Heinecke reports that it has resulted in cancellations worldwide.

The Thai Hotels Association president stated her fear for the industry’s future if the existing need for PCR testing upon arrival remains. According to Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, the number of infected overseas arrivals is lower in comparison to community transmission. She asserts that if the government is really committed to encouraging locals to live with the virus, which intends to declare endemic by June, they should remove the Test & Go entry program and enable travelers to come with vaccination documents and a negative pre-departure PCR test result.

Source: Bangkok Post

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