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Thai PM looks for Field of Dreams reaction on the back of new medical tourism hub

Bob Scott

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“If you build it, they will come,” so said Kevin Costner’s character in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. And the Thai PM, Prayuth Chan-o-cha, plans to take a leaf out of the Field of Dreams’ story book and do something similar by building and promoting a medical tourism hub to attract more foreign visitors to the country post-pandemic.

Thailand has a proven health record in dealing with the pandemic and is rated the world’s No.1 country for recovery in the Global Covid-19 Index.

The Thai nation drew praise from the World Health Organisation for its handling of the early phase of the pandemic, managing to keep total Covid-19 fatalities below 30,000, fewer than close neighbours Malaysia and the Philippines. The country’s Omicron wave has eased over the past month with new cases averaging around 5,000 a day, down from almost 30,000 in early April, so now is the ideal time to encourage visitors to return.

“Thailand has a proven track record in dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak. We will use this to promote the country’s medical tourism and health treatment to attract foreign visitors after the Covid,” the Thai PM declared at a press conference today.

The country has already scrapped mandatory Covid testing and quarantine for tourists, pre-arrival registration, and insurance requirement to encourage more visitors to Thailand as new Covid cases and deaths steadily decline.

PM Prayuth also agreed to ease remaining restrictions in the commerce industry to boost business and economic activities, and is to head a virus task force tomorrow to consider demands to reopen bars and other nightlife venues that have been shut for over a year.

The June-September period is considered a low season for Thai tourism but the nation expects holiday-makers to more than triple to around 1 million a month on the back of the travel curbs being lifted.

While Thailand’s household debt level has risen to almost 90 per cent of the gross domestic product, seen as a major barrier to its economic recovery, lower interest rates and fee charges will help ease the burden, PM Prayuth added.

Source Bloomburg

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you want to travel to Thailand, apply for the Thailand Pass with the 24-hour service and obtain Covid Insurance (including free SIM cards).

Note: Unvaccinated travellers require a negative RT-PCR test result 72 hours before travelling.

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