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Thai travel agents propose opening borders to tourists from “low risk” Chinese provinces

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Unsplash: NeONBRAND

Foreign tourists are entering Thailand slowly… very slowly. Only around a couple hundred tourists have entered the country since travel restrictions were put in place 7 months ago. Thailand needs to step up, according to the Association of Thai Travel Agents.

Travel agents warn that around 2 million people could lose their jobs if foreign tourists aren’t allowed to enter Thailand in large numbers. They’re suggesting that Thailand open its borders to Chinese tourists from areas considered a “low risk” for spreading Covid-19.

A petition calling on the government to allow travellers from 22 provinces in China to enter Thailand was submitted by ATTA president Wichit Prakobkosol with the Tourism and Sports Ministry. The provinces, including Zhenjiang, Anhui, Chongqing, Hebei, Hubei, Hunan and Fujian, are considered a low risk for spreading Covid-19.

Wichit claims that 300,000 foreign tourists could potentially enter Thailand each month if the government opens borders to tourists from the 22 Chinese provinces. He says the move could generate 15 billion baht in revenue each month.

So far, 150,000 workers in tour businesses have been laid off from more than 10,000 firms, Wichit says. For most of them – around 90% – the job loss is temporary. If travel restrictions are still tight, around 2 million people in the industry could end up being unemployed, he says.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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