Despite having the second most daily Covid-19 infections in the country today with 441 and becoming the 6th most infected province overall, the Deep South border province of Songkhla is preparing to reopen in December and bracing for a surge of overland international visitors. Local tourism operators are saying they expect around 10,000 tourists from Malaysia and Singapore per week coming into Hat Yai across the Malaysian border.
The chairman of the Songkhla Tourism Association says they expect visitors to spend at least 5,000 baht each on their jumps across the border. They expect three destinations that were popular before the Covid-19 pandemic to once again be the main draw: the commercial hub city of Hat Yai, Muang district, and Dan Nok in the border district of Sadao.
The Tourism Association said they have been communicating with groups of business operators in both Malaysia and Singapore who have expressed excitement over the ability for people to begin crossing the border again soon. Hat Yai is preparing for the return of tourism; the city is home to 100 tour guides and 30 tour companies.
The association chairman is advising businesses in the tourism sector to get ready. He calls for staff to be on hand to welcome international tourists and help them with their travel and tourism needs, especially around Songkhla and the other provinces in the south of Thailand. He reminds of the need to boost confidence in the first tentative returning tourists so Thailand and Songkhla have a reputation of safety and welcomeness in hotels, restaurants and other local businesses.
The Southern border hasn’t reopened just yet, but the CCSA meeting yesterday indicated that land and sea borders that were deemed safe for Covid-19 procedures would be able to open next month and serve as additional options for Test & Go and Blue Zone Sandbox arrivals to enter Thailand. More detailed plans are expected in the coming days before the start of December.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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