Thailand’s Minister for Sports and Tourism, Pipat Ratchakitprakan, has announced that the country’s tourism is to remain closed until at least the second quarter of next year.
This effectively ends all hopes of a turnaround in the tourism industry during the European winter high season.
“The country will continue opening to businessmen, technical experts, high-level workers and those in the medical field for now. Fourteen-day quarantine will continue for now with many countries still in the grip of the pandemic,” Pipat said.
Currently, Thailand’s borders are open, and tourists can gain access in the country through new visas. However, most travellers are turned off by the red tape involved and the daunting requirements.
The Thai Hotel Association and Thailand Travel Agents Association have been urging the Thai government to drop or shorten the mandatory quarantine for all incoming travellers and to create travel corridors with neighbours and other “low-risk” countries, including Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan but without luck so far.
Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is still urging caution to prevent another Covid-19 outbreak.
The Thai government appears to be bowing to survey after survey showing that a majority of Thai people around the country are in favour of keeping the borders closed for now, despite the country’s tourism and hospitality industry being shattered by the government’s policies.