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Q3 tourism hopes fade as US advises citizens not to travel to Thailand

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/jeiline

Hopes are fading for a tourism revival in the third quarter of this year after the US government cautioned its citizens against unnecessary travel to Thailand. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has added Thailand to its Level 4 countries, the highest-level warning, as a result of the rising Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom.

The Bangkok Post reports that the development has all but dashed hopes of a tourism revival this quarter, with operators now pinning their expectations on the last quarter of the year. However, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn from the Association of Thai Travel Agents points out that, even without the US warning, the surge in Covid-19 cases is bound to cause a drop in tourist numbers.

“With a surge of daily infections and record high fatalities being reported, the flow of travellers will automatically drop, with or without travel advisories, as people are concerned about health and safety.”

He adds that, despite Phuket trying to distinguish itself from the rest of the country in order to keep its sandbox scheme alive, the southern island is also experiencing a rise in infections. He says the only way to restore tourism in the high season is for the government to get the outbreak under control.

“The government has to effectively control the outbreak in a timely manner for the upcoming high season to allow more destinations to re-open and welcome tourists from Europe.”

Meanwhile, according to the Bangkok Post, Charintip Tiyaphorn from the Tourism Council of Krabi says the CDC travel advisory will have an impact on the Phuket sandbox and by extension, Krabi, Phang Nga, and Koh Samui. These 3 tourist destinations are expected to re-open this month to sandbox tourists who’ve spent at least 7 days on Phuket.

Charintip says tourism operators in Krabi are not expecting a significant rise in tourist numbers in September, which is traditionally the lowest part of the season in that region, but that ramping up the vaccine rollout would provide some hope for the high season.

“We hope the national vaccine rollouts could reach 10 million doses per month in August and September to contain and prevent outbreaks, paving the way for tourism to rebound in October.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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