A travel bubble plan for International tourists has been drafted with three phases for opening in Thailand. Starting with a mere 1,000 tourists per day across five provinces.
Thailand’s tourism and sports minister, said the ministry already asked the Association of Thai Travel Agents (Atta) and the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) to design 6-7 day tour packages in five areas. The areas ready to join the pilot project, are Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Phuket and Pattaya.
The number of international tourists will be capped at 1,000 per day nationwide in the first phase. The international tourists will not require a 14-day quarantine. The international tourists Travel Bubble Plan is expected to start in August.
Furthermore ff any province’s capability to handle swab tests for the coronavirus rises, the government will allow a higher number based on that volume. The draft international tourists Travel Bubble Plan still requires approval from the Public Health Ministry.
Even more a list of countries with similar requirements, that list should be finalized within two weeks.
The draft calls for Thailand to offer a bubble scheme to countries that are low-risk, meaning free from the pandemic for 30 days, according to the World Health Organization. Three countries fall into this category: China, Japan and Taiwan.
Domestic tourism stimulus packages
The Tourism and Sports Ministry plan to hear local opinions this week. After the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration assigned the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and TCT with conducting a survey of eight destinations; Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Chiang Rai and Hat Yai.
Mr Phiphat said after the government approved domestic tourism stimulus packages on Tuesday. He estimates the domestic tourism goal this year could be 120 million trips. Up from 100 million trips, as the subsidy can trigger those with purchasing power to spend on tourism activities.
The number of international tourists is expected to be slow because of more requirements regarding health safety concerns.
Achieving 1.23 trillion baht in revenue will also be a challenge. Because above all domestic tourists typically spend less than foreigners, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the tourism and sports minister, said.
International tourists allowed
In the first phase of the travel bubble for the leisure market, Thailand has to start with tour groups. Because it is easier to manage routes, areas, and activities, said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
He said within a month of the first phase reopening in designated destinations, if Thailand succeeds in handling services for inbound tourists without triggering new infections. The second phase will see more destinations and a higher number of international tourists allowed in.
The third phase is when the whole country can open to international tourists again. Furthermore for both international tour groups and individual international tourists. Above all by adopting the same screening standards from the first two phases.
Mr Yuthasak said TAT will also have to increase travel frequency among Thai tourists. From an average of 2.7 trips per year to three trips this year, to help tourism operators.