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Boost to tourism industry as China resumes flights to Thailand

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Thailand received another boost to its tourism industry yesterday when China gave its blessing to resume flights between the two Asian nations.

The gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, the scrapping of the Thailand Pass, and the relaxation of mask-wearing have all been much welcomed as the kingdom fights back against two tough pandemic years. And the welcoming of Chinese tourists will provide another shot in the arm to the Thai economy.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has granted permission for 2 flights each week for the first time since the pandemic kicked off over 2 years ago.

Initial flights will be restricted to business people and students, but Beijing says it will gradually reopen more international flights for tourists.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand announced their carriers would be sharing the burden of operating the flights, except those to Beijing and Shanghai.

Thai Airways International, Thai Smile Airways, Thai Lion Air, and Thai Air Asia have all submitted requests to fly to Guangzhou, while Thai VietJet will fly to Kunming and Nok Air to Nanning.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said the easing of travel restrictions in China is a good sign and will hopefully help the tourism sector rebound and generate revenue from the return of Chinese tourists.

“Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was delighted by the CAAT’s decision to resume flights to China. The Tourism Authority of Thailand is prepared to go full steam ahead in promoting tourism with almost all stringent restrictions to entry for foreigners to be scrapped this Friday.”

Several Chinese cities have recently relaxed quarantine policies for international arrivals. Many inbound travelers face 7 days quarantine, down from the 14 days, although some cities have a 7+ 7 quarantine policy in place.

Visitors will be subject to 5 nucleic acid tests during their central quarantine period, with both samples of nasal and throat swabs required on the last day. If all results are negative, they then undergo a 7 day home quarantine, during which three nucleic acid tests are required. The measures are lifted if all test results are negative.

But it is worth checking before travellers fly.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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