Thailand’s tourism minister has said travel bubble tourists who visit Thailand during a soft reopening may have to spend 14 days in designated areas. However a negative test for Covid-19 after two weeks would free them up to go anywhere in the Kingdom.
Tourism and sports minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said his ministry has talked with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha about creating a travel bubble for tourists. Requiring them to plan a trip with a minimum 14-day stay.
Instead of being kept in 14 day quarantine, tourists could still travel within five designated travel bubble areas: Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Phuket and Pattaya.
After two weeks, visitors be retested for covid-19 test to ensure they are virus-free.They would then be approved to continue their holiday to other destinations.
The tourism ministry regularly talks with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration about the travel bubble plan. The travel bubble plan is expected to be concluded by government in July. The travel bubble scheme will be proposed to the full body chaired by Gen Prayut at a later stage.
Thailand’s travel bubble scheme maybe in August
Mr Phiphat said he still hopes to launch the travel bubble scheme in tandem with low-risk countries in August. Stating that domestic tourism alone cannot fully revive the battered tourism industry.
Although the government is introducing domestic stimulus schemes its not enough to stimulate the tourism industry. Thailand’s domestic tourism activity makes up about 40-45% of tourism revenue.
“It is important to bring inbound tourist to help fill a big vacant spot in tourism revenue. Mr Phiphat said they have to travel with the new zones instead.
The five designated areas for tourist bubbles were set after the Tourism Authority of Thailand conducted a survey with locals. Some 74% of respondents agreed with introducing travel bubbles with strict measures.
Ministry of Tourism to Target Rich Tourists
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 Tourism sector. It 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.