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Thailand’s Reopening to Foreign Tourists Praised by Businesses

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According to the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce, Business leaders are expecting an influx of foreign tourists and investors when Thailand reopens next month. Stanley Kang, chairman of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce said the “Reopening Thailand will open up many opportunities.”

His statement comes after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced a phased reopening of Thailand to vaccinated foreign visitors without mandatory quarantine, starting from November 1st.

Foreign tourists from 5 low-risk countries, including China, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States would be allowed in first. More countries would be added to the listing in December, Gen Prayut said on Monday.

The reopening has drawn a mixed response from business people to health critics. Many expressed worry that rushing to reopen Thailand could lead to a renewed spike in COVID-19 infections. Local businesses however welcomed the government’s steps to reopening. Many expecting an improvement in the Thai economic situation from increased spending by foreign tourists.

More foreign investors for Thailand

Mr. Kang said he expects more business leaders from overseas to visit Thailand if they are spared mandatory quarantine.

The coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted foreign direct investment into Thailand. Above all, because many countries put travel restrictions in place to contain the spread of covid-19.

Business leaders saw the mandatory 14-day quarantine as a hindrance, so they were reluctant to come to Thailand, Mr. Kang said. The reopening of Thailand without quarantine will above all benefit the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions industry, he said.

Mr. Kang, however, did not expect foreign tourists to make a beeline for Thailand at the beginning of November. However, he predicted the arrival of foreign tourists to pick up from the middle of November. Mr. Kang urged the Thai government to quickly meet the target of fully vaccinating 70 percent of the population.

Currently, only about 35 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated.

The number of people able to travel will depend on how many airlines are ready to fly to and from Thailand. Thai Airways just announced the rescheduling of international flights to 36 destinations. Furthermore, Finnair announced it would operate its first non-stop flights from Stockholm to Bangkok and Phuket on October 23 and 25th.

More foreign tourists expected

The Thai Chamber of Commerce, Sanan Angubolkul said he expected more than 100,000 foreign visitors a month once Thailand opens its doors to foreign tourists. Say this would contribute to rising economic activities.

Predicting that Thailand’s economic growth would be zero to 1 percent this year.

The Phuket “Sandbox” scheme targeting foreign tourists, the further easing of travel restrictions and the government’s economic relief packages, have positively impacted Thailand’s economy, he added.

Mr. Sanan said the planned reopening is a good sign but Thailand still needs to be cautious. Above all at a time when new covid-19 cases have stabilized and are on a declining trend.

He also urged the Prayut government to accelerate the second and third shots of the covid-19 vaccinations. He called for the distribution of more Covid-19 vaccine doses to other provinces.

Meanwhile, the president of the Thai Hotels Association, Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, also expressed confidence over the reopening. She said, “a well-managed reopening would drive the Thai economy, it will also help support the tourism industry which has suffered from the fallout of the pandemic.”

Source: Thai PBS

 

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