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Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Friday Business people and experts will be the first group of foreigners allowed to re-enter Thailand next month under the travel bubble model.
Mr Anutin revealed the timetable after discussing a travel bubble with Japanese ambassador to Thailand Nishida Kazuya. He said that ambassadors of many countries wish to discuss travel bubbles with him.
Above all to allow trips between their countries in a manner that can keep Covid-19 at bay.
“Businesses should not panic because tourists will have not been allowed to re-enter Thailand yet. Business people and experts will arrive first,” Mr Anutin said.
During his meeting with the Japanese ambassador, Mr Anutin said they discussed the requirement for Japanese visitors to clearly set their stay duration and also their whereabouts.
They would not be allowed to travel in the country freely. Furthermore they must also have fit-to-fly health certificates and also report to the companies where they would work, Mr Anutin said.
Thailand’s Travel Bubbles Start in July
“Without a movement, the economy would stall. Covid-19 does not kill the economy but the immobility of business people does… We try to start the travel bubble in July,” he said.
Mr. Anutin said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was aware of the Travel Bubble plan. He stressed that no one would be allowed to arrive in disguise of business people and go on vacation in the country.
The prime minister also told relevant officials to prioritize public safety in efforts to push the travel bubble policy. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration should consider the plan next week, Mr Anutin said.
According to the Bangkok Post Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said that the travel bubble started with; business people; skilled workers; machinery experts; foreign patients; teachers of international schools and also those seeking work permits in the country.
About 20,000 people have registered for such visits. Furthermore the health system could handle 20,000-30,000 such visitors, he said.
Thailand Tourism to Target Rich Tourists for Travel Bubbles
As Thailand’s Government mulls over the idea of Travel Bubbles the tourism minister has decided on a new strategy, target rich tourists. Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says target rich tourist rather than try to attract a large number of poorer tourists.
Rich tourists who are seeking privacy and social distancing in the new post Covid-19 era.
The pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the sector, which had become reliant on poor Chinese groups and backpackers, he said.
Once the country’s borders are reopened and so-called travel bubbles are agreed upon, marketing efforts will be geared toward rich tourists who want holidays with minimal risks.