With the emergency decree and inbound flight ban sending tourism figures plummeting, the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) is urging to make June the last month of international flight bans.
With zero new tourist arrivals for the past two months, a first for the Thai tourism industry, the Tourism and Sports Ministry’s statistics show the April and May figures being impacted by the bans on travel.
Instead of banning travel, TCT says they should focus on coordinating travel bubbles with countries that yield low-risks of Covid-19.
Travel bubbles between countries are essential tools that should be signed as soon as possible for foreign business travellers to begin their trips in July, said Mr Chairat, TCT’s president. He furthered the notion by saying that operators are in desperate need of foreign tourists.
The number of international tourists from January to May dropped by 60% year-on-year to 6.69 million, or 10 million tourists shy of the same period last year. International tourism revenue figures plunged 59.6% to 332 billion baht.
Mr Chairat said the government should provide a tracking application to international tourists while travelling in Thailand to keep tabs on people who have been in the same areas as Covid-19 patients.
However, Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said even if travel bubbles between countries are created, Thailand is unlikely to welcome any international tourists in July. The country cannot hope for an influx of visitors this year, he said.
“In July, the door to our country will open only to two groups of foreign citizens: businessmen with an invitation letter from partner companies in Thailand, and patients holding doctor appointments in Thai hospitals,” said Mr Phiphat.
He said the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) assigned five offices in China to consider negotiating travel bubble regulations with selected cities first.
Without a 14-day quarantine, the ministry wants to be sure other effective screening measures are prepared, said Mr Phiphat.
“In the first phase of bringing in international tourists, the priority target is guests who can afford to stay longer than 14 days in the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, domestic tourism in May showed a glimpse of hope as the second phase of the lockdown relaxation on May 17 prompted local travellers to make 570,000 trips, down by 97% but an improvement from April when there were only 130,000 trips, down 99.3% year-on-year.
At least 1 million domestic trips are expected during June as the situation has improved significantly.
SOURCE: Bangkok PostStay updated with Samui Times by following us on Facebook.
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