End in sight for Thailand Pass once Covid-19 declared endemic – TAT

PHOTO: Phuket International Airport - HKT

The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand says tourism numbers may need to be revised down due to the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which includes surging oil prices and rising inflation. Yuthasak Supasorn adds that entry restrictions will be relaxed in stages as officials move to declaring Covid-19 endemic.

Cabinet has already approved a Public Health Ministry proposal to declare the virus endemic by July 1. According to a Bangkok Post report, Yuthasak says this will mean a further relaxation of entry requirements, including the end of the much-maligned Thailand Pass by the second half of the year.

The CCSA is expected to propose the easing of some travel rules at its next meeting on March 18. However, unfortunately for those who feel strongly about it, dropping the PCR test on arrival is not expected to be one of them. Yuthasak insists the measure is still required while Thailand is struggling with the current high infection rate.

In terms of foreign arrivals once the virus has been declared endemic, Yuthasak acknowledges that July is the summer season in Europe and European tourists may prefer to holiday in their own region at that time. However, Thailand can expect to welcome more tourists from the short-haul market instead. This includes India, which recently agreed a travel bubble with Thailand, Vietnam, which re-opens fully on March 15, and Malaysia, which will re-open its land border with Thailand from April 1.

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Meanwhile, the TAT is waiting to see what the CCSA decides for the upcoming Songkran holiday in April. If officials give the go-ahead for celebrations, Yuthasak says his agency will launch marketing campaigns to boost tourism.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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