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Thailand’s Tourism Minister urges government to revisit travel bubble idea

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PHOTO: Jeshoots.com on Unsplash

Thailand’s Tourism Minister, Pipat Ratchakitprakan, is once again floating the idea of ​​”travel bubbles” with low-risk countries after the plan was initially shelved by the Civil Aviation Regulator. The original plan had been to create travel pacts with countries deemed safe from the virus, such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. However, a new spike in numbers in some partner countries meant the plan was postponed.

By way of compromise, Pipat suggests a travel bubble could be created with safe cities and provinces in those countries, rather than the countries as a whole. He says domestic tourism alone is not enough, with Thailand suffering from the lack of foreign visitor revenue. He adds that he will discuss the possibility of travel bubbles with the government.

“Although we’re currently encouraging Thais to travel domestically, it’s still a difficult situation for entrepreneurs, since foreign tourists contributed 2 out of 3 trillion baht of the total revenue. We will negotiate with PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and the health ministry to permit more travel into the country. “

His suggestion comes as the government plans to grant entry to additional categories of foreigners in phase 6 of the easing of travel restrictions. Pipat says travel bubbles would initially focus on attracting what he calls “high-end” tourists, in an effort to revive Thailand’s decimated tourism industry.

“High-end travellers on a leisure trip will be allowed to come in first. We believe that they will be able to visit destinations such as Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Samui as early as September. We have already surveyed and conducted public hearings at those destinations. “

SOURCE: Khaosod English

 

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