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Thailand tourism officials aim for 5 million foreign arrivals this year

Caitlin Ashworth

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Stock photo by Suhyeon Choi for Unsplash

Thailand tourism officials are shooting for a goal of 5 million international arrivals this year. That may sound like a lot, but it’s half of the original forecast predicted for this year before the new wave of Covid-19 infections and a far cry from the roughly 40 million visitors welcomed to Thailand in 2019.

Tourism and sports minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says Thailand needs to gain confidence between China, India and Malaysia to make sure tourists feel comfortable visiting Thailand. Tourists from China, India and Malaysia made up 40% of the 39.8 million arrivals in 2019.

“If we can attract 5 million tourists this year under the current circumstances, that would be a success… The number of travellers from long-haul destinations would be insufficient to reach the goal of 10 million arrivals.”

The Public Health Ministry is working on a Covid-19 “vaccine passport” which would be on a smartphone application or a smart card. Phiphat says that once the scheme is ready, tourists with the vaccine passport will be able to enter Thailand.

With Thailand’s mass Covid-19 immunisation plan expected to start within the next month, Phiphat says the ministry plans to talk with the prime minister and the Public Health about including tourism workers in the first round of vaccinations.

The first group to be vaccinated are frontline health care workers and people over 60 who live in areas classified as the highest risk of infection. Phiphat says people who work in the tourism industry should also be included in the first priority group. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is also urging the prime minister to allocate 5 million doses to cover 2.5 million people in the tourism industry.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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53 Comments

53 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Nipral

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    “That may sound like a lot….” You bet !!!!!!!
    One can always dream, it’s not taxable !

  2. Avatar

    Xoxo1234

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    This covid passport won’t happen, it will be illegal everywhere to discriminate against people who are unable to take vaccine for whatever reason. How don’t they understand something so simple?

    • Avatar

      The Thaiger

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:46 pm

      It’s not a matter of discrimination. This is a public health emergency in many countries. But I can’t imagine the vaccine will be ‘mandatory’, but associations like IATA and the airlines can make decisions about who they wish to carry on their flights, and individual governments can make decisions about who they let into their countries.

      • Avatar

        imnotstupid

        Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:59 pm

        so… what your telling me is it will more or less be mandatory unless you stay inside your home the rest of your life?

        No airline travel, no entry to many (globalist ran) countries, no concerts… Eventually no access to food venues…

        You say that, but we know where this is going, it won’t be mandatory, but nor will you be allowed to do anything you want to do without it.

        • Avatar

          D-Boy

          Monday, February 1, 2021 at 7:51 pm

          ?

      • Avatar

        Dreamon

        Monday, February 1, 2021 at 3:14 pm

        So, a person with sea food allergy will never travel again.

        • Avatar

          Nipral

          Monday, February 1, 2021 at 3:49 pm

          …or a child below 16 !!!

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Monday, February 1, 2021 at 3:55 pm

            When testing’s done, apparently.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, February 1, 2021 at 3:53 pm

          I had to look that one up. Why not try a different vaccine if worried?

          • Avatar

            Daniel Verex

            Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 1:02 am

            I doubt anyone will have the free choice about which vaccine to take.

            Also, remember, Thailand, like any other jurisdiction, are likely to only recognize vaccines the Thai medics approve. So you may get the situation that someone has been vaccinated with xyz vaccine, has the stamp, has the digital passport and approval, but Thai border says “NON”, we do not approve that vaccine, no entry.

            This needs a world wide solution (not an individual country by country solution) and until the world comes together and creates a single, world wide protocol, borders will not remain freely open to all.

      • Avatar

        Juzer Taher

        Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 4:51 pm

        Best is to get the entire population of Thailand vaccinated and then allow the tourists,even if tourists not vaccinated what difference would it make….

    • Avatar

      Michael

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 4:10 pm

      Where do you get the idea that it will be illegal everywhere? I already heard about airlines wanting to make a vaccination mandatory.
      Where I come from they even have the idea to make it mandatory for visiting concerts and other big events where a lot of people meet.

    • Avatar

      Alavan

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5:23 pm

      Even 50 years ago I had a yellow WHO International Certificates of Vaccination book. Without those certificates you could not enter some countries. It notes smallpox,yellow fever,cholera and some others.
      So why should something like that be illegal now?

    • Avatar

      TS

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 7:38 pm

      illegal to discriminate in Thailand? You gotta be kidding. Need a reality check sir.

  3. Avatar

    Joe

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    The mass immunisation programme starts next month-this statement sounds impressive, unfortunately it only means 50000 vaccinations from China which have not even reached stage 3 testing yet, I guess that’s where Thailand comes in. The next serious amount of vaccinations are due not until in June but first have to be produced in Thailand, good luck with that.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 1:59 pm

      Sinovac’s actually been Phase 3 tested in Brazil, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Turkey but the results aren’t available yet.

      The initial jabs for Phase 1 are due to be AZ’s, and I think theirs are the 50,000 you’re referring to, not Sinovac’s which are due to be 200,000 if approved.

      • Avatar

        Julian

        Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:30 pm

        Wow You must be THE world’s expert on Covid must tell Boris to get hold of you if he wants some advice

        • Avatar

          Nipral

          Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:40 pm

          he is the world expert on feckless comments, home-made statistics and fake references…among other things. But no way to get him away from his laptop more
          than 30 sec. !!!!

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Monday, February 1, 2021 at 4:03 pm

            Feckless is in the eye of the beholder, but if you’ve got any doubts about any stats or references just ask.

            Just because you may disagree it’s rather pathetic to claim home-made or fake when any stat or reference I’ve given here is, without exception, always from a reliable source which I give if asked.

      • Avatar

        Alavan

        Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5:26 pm

        Results from Brazil: Sinovac 50,4% effective. easy to find with google

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, February 1, 2021 at 6:58 pm

          Not quite the whole story, though.

          Reportedly 50.4% effective overall getting more effective the worse the effects, so 100% effective against serious illness, hospitalisation and fatalities.

          IF correct, I’d prefer that to 95% protection overall, with a 1 in 20 chance of it being serious and dying.

          IF.

          • Avatar

            Alavan

            Monday, February 1, 2021 at 11:31 pm

            Then better go for the Johnson & Johnson. Better results and works also against the South-African kind.

      • Avatar

        Graham Smith

        Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 1:51 am

        Check Manau in Brasil, jungle corona. But maybe you already know about that???

    • Avatar

      Slugger

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 6:21 pm

      Chinese vaccines are being used in several countries now. Do stop writing untruths.

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    “5 million international arrivals” … sounds as likely as the 5 million doses of vaccine he’s expecting those working in the tourism sector to get in the first round of vaccinations next month.

  5. Avatar

    10bagger

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    I almost spit my coffee out… These guys need to start doing stand up comedy.

  6. Avatar

    Jason

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    It’s nice to have something to aim for but I think any country working in isolation from other nations won’t achieve much. This is a global pandemic, notonly a national one. People expect that nation’s leaders will drop the power trip and talk to each other to work on an international framework to restore travel links for business, tourism and family.

    • Avatar

      Glenn

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:44 pm

      no worries Jason, Thailand is fully on board with the UN Agenda21/2030 plans.

      “The Public Health Ministry is working on a Covid-19 “vaccine passport” which would be on a smartphone application or a smart card. Phiphat says that once the scheme is ready, tourists with the vaccine passport will be able to enter Thailand.”

      Straight out of Agenda21/2030 and the WEF Great Reset.

      Welcome to the future and “a boot stamping on a human face forever”. Enjoy what’s left of your freedom while you have a year or less of it.

  7. Avatar

    Jason

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    I think vaccines need to be produced locally. I wonder what chance there is that these pharmaceutical companies will just share their “recipes” so that countries who have facilties to do so, can produce their own. In my own country, we have the facilities and will be producing Oxford Astra Zeneca as well as getting Pfizer as well for front line health workers, and the elderly (we hope). Thailand has the capability to produce vaccines and these companies need to be compelled to share the technology. “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day….teach him how to fish, you feed himfor a lifetime”

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 4:07 pm

      There’s no chance at all with any of the vaccines so far, Jason.

      All the best have done so far is say they’ll sell at cost until the pandemic’s over, and they decide when that is and they can put the price up.

  8. Avatar

    Patrick Nouvel

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Bla bla + bla bla = bla bla, quarantine already proved less than 400 a month. More are business & family matters, not tourists.

    • Avatar

      Nipral

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 3:54 pm

      Surprised ?

  9. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    What escapes the attention of many is that, arrivals are not a good indicator of tourism.
    Days in Thailand by tourists is.
    Their seems to be no statistics on that.
    In addition, are arrivals of wives from Laos, on one day shopping trips counted?
    Are transit arrivals counted?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 4:11 pm

      Plenty of stats if you only look, Toby.

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Monday, February 1, 2021 at 6:16 pm

        Where are days spent in Thailand by tourists statistics?
        You stated earlier in this thread you would supply your sources when asked . . .

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, February 1, 2021 at 7:08 pm

          Probably too complicated for you, Toby, but if you do a search for “how long do tourists stay in thailand” the first entry says 9.26 days and gives the sources and plenty of other stats.

          No pictures, sorry.

          If you can’t manage that maybe your carer could help with, or a passing six year old child.

          • Avatar

            Toby Andrews

            Monday, February 1, 2021 at 10:31 pm

            Look I asked you for a source, not a suggestion to trawl the net.
            And I do not want an vague summary.
            DO YOU HAVE IT OR NOT?

          • Avatar

            Buttaxe

            Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 10:51 am

            Thaiger! Remove this troll!

    • Avatar

      Alavan

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5:29 pm

      Plus tourists from Chinaa, India and Malaysia doesn’t look like the real big spenders.

  10. Avatar

    Pedro

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Not so long ago, this Ministry of Tourism only wanted ‘high end’ tourists to visit Thailand to fill up their friends 5 star hotels. What happened to that? Given the military Governments’ eternal crackdown on human rights and freedom of speech and expression, (cue Slugger to defend it), are these high end fully vaccinated tourists still expected from India, China and Malaysia?

  11. Avatar

    jesus monroe

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    Loos like someone brought out the bong again……

  12. Avatar

    D-Boy

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    What is the problem with self-quarantine?

    – It’s enforceable by both manual and modern means
    – It has an immediate impact on the economy with a limited danger of spreading of the virus
    – It can be rolled out to select groups: the Retired, Employed, Educator, etc
    – It’s a Win/Win for the Government, the unemployed locals and the disgruntled foreigner

    I have not heard a legitimate objection or discussion. This should be questioned, addressed, analyzed.

    • Avatar

      Ray

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 8:09 pm

      This idea is not further discussed because it is easily dismissible. Yes, you can use a locked tracking device like the ones they use for convicts. But how do you control the number of people that enter your self-quarantine environment? Station a police officer 24 hours before your front door? Self-quarantine never worked in the West where several countries had it implemented.

    • Avatar

      Peter

      Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 5:27 am

      The problem is that no tourists will come. So, no tourist money for the Thai economy. This has an immense negative effect on millions of Thai people’s quality of life.

  13. Avatar

    WEST TIGER

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 8:07 pm

    UNTIL THAILAND STOPS MAKING PEOPLE JUMP THROUGH HOOPS TO GET A VISA AND THEN STAY 2 WEEKS IN QUARANTINE, VERY FEW TOURISTS WILL COME, AND IN THE MEANTIME EVEN MORE JOBS WILL BE LOST

    • Avatar

      Daniel Verex

      Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 1:06 am

      100% Spot on.

    • Avatar

      Peter

      Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 5:28 am

      Yes, correct. So, why is the government doing this?

  14. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    The ten million number from before was embarrassingly absurd. At least the five million arrivals number is only unrealistic. Thailand got 6.9M in 2020, with about 6.7M of that in the months of Jan, Feb and March (only 800K in that last month). So the idea Thailand can get five million clearly means they plan to try and open in the third quarter. Might not be July, but they must be planning on at least September. You can’t realistically try to get to five million in just the fourth quarter alone. Not unless you have a completely unrealistic expectation of the monthly numbers once you do reopen (open meaning no quarantine). All the talk of pent up demand is just that it’s only talk. There is a lot of pent up interest, but that’s never translated into large numbers anywhere outside of Mexico (which isn’t a good comparison) since the start of the pandemic. There is a lot of things pushing against even five million. First and foremost is going to be the slow roll out and lack of vaccine doses in Thailand. They will probably have to try and get to the number without many Chinese tourists. Not only are they probably the most risk adverse tourist in the world, it’s doubtful the CCP will let them travel in large numbers this year anyway (and yes “let” is the appropriate word). Last will be a general lack of desire to travel any distance from home if at all by everyone else.

  15. Avatar

    Gautam Mehra

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 2:46 am

    What I wanted to figure out was, why is it that countries are not allowing people who tested covid positive previously and have antibodies in their blood.
    Current vaccine also do the same thing, create antibodies.
    So if people who already have them are allowed to travel then that becomes a sizable number to target for tourism.

  16. Avatar

    London Al

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 3:27 am

    Full vaccination along with a negative test before you leave and another when you arrive means you don’t have Covid, there is no reason to quarantine tourists who meet those criteria, if they were to adopt that as an entry requirement from perhaps April I’d say 5m is easily achievable, whether or not they do is another matter.

  17. Avatar

    Meno

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:29 am

    What ? 5 mill foreigner? What did he smoked ? No way eithe neighbors travelers such Chinese , Indian or Malesian will ever spend the 2 weeks in quarantine do not forget are the one that try to spend less money as possible while here …..

  18. Avatar

    brian mc

    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 8:20 am

    what’s all this I’m hearing about a virus? Is is like Y2K?

  19. Avatar

    Jerrod

    Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 8:32 am

    My average 4 week spend is $30,000USD for all my trips to 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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