November reopening to international tourists predicts 1.5 trillion baht

PHOTO: The government hopes November 1 reopenings will open the gates to 1.5 trillion baht of tourism in 2022. (via jcomp freepik)

Bangkok and areas in 4 key provinces are set to reopen on November 1 and the government is predicting that will lead to 1.5 trillion baht in tourism revenue for 2022. The goal is to open without quarantine restrictions for international tourists, barring any unforeseen surge in Covid-19 infections too dire to contain.

A government spokesperson said that a total of 10 areas will be reopening to international tourists in November including 4 in Chiang Mai province, 3 in Chon Buri, and one each in Prachuap Khiri Khan and Phetchaburi.

“These places will be reopened provided there are no big or serious infection clusters between now and November 1. The other conditions for visitors are that they must be fully jabbed and test negative for Covid-19 before arrival.”

In Chiang Mai, Doi Tao, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, and Muang are slated to reopen to international tourists, while Chon Buri is focused on reopening Pattaya City, Bang Lamung and Sattahip. In Prachuap Khiri Khan, Hua Hin, where the Chiva-Som International Health Resort was recently named the top spa resort in the world by Conde Nast readers, is set to reopen on November 1, along with Cha-am in Phetchaburi province.

And of course, Bangkok is a primary focus. The densely populated capital city has had the most Covid-19 infections and deaths as it struggles to contain the pandemic, but also is the hub of incoming international travellers to Thailand, with the spokesperson highlighting its importance.

“Although tourists may prefer to go to the sea or mountains, almost all of them have to visit Bangkok at least once on their trips to the country.”

The ever-optimistic government predicts that these reopenings will herald in floods of tourists, domestic and international, along with 1.5 trillion baht of tourism revenue. They predict 850 billion baht from domestic tourists forecast to take 160 million trips next year, along with 650 billion baht from an estimated 15 million international tourists.

That goal amounts to less than half of the 3.4 trillion baht tourism brought in before Covid-19 in 2019 when 40 million international tourists flocked to Thailand. But it’s a huge leap from the faltering Sandbox reopenings that have trickled in about 2.33 billion baht this year, with just over 43,000 travellers entering Phuket and a mere 1,069 travellers entering the Samui Plus and 7+7 extension programmes.

SOURCE: The Nation and Bangkok Post

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.