11 July 2024

Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan and Chiang Mai are set to reopen to foreign arrivals on October 1st, following the successful implementation of the first phase of the “sandbox” scheme in the southern provinces of Phuket, Krabi, Phang-nga and Surat Thani, Government Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said yesterday (Wednesday).

For the second phase of the “sandbox” scheme, he said that preparations have been made in the five provinces, such as mass vaccinations of people and promotional campaigns to attract tourists.

For the next step, which is the third phase of the scheme, he said that 21 provinces will be reopen to foreign tourists. These include Lamphun, Phrae, Nan, Mae Hong Son, Chiang Rai and Sukhothai in the North; Udon Thani, Nong Khai, BuengKan and Ubon Ratchathani in the Northeast; Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi in the western region; Rayong, Trat and Chanthaburi on the eastern coast; the central province of Ayutthaya and the southern provinces of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ranong, Trang, Satun and Songkhla.

While promoting foreign arrivals, Thanakorn said that the government will encourage more Thais to travel locally, under the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) and “Tour Tiew Thai” (Thailand Tour) programs.

Under the “Rao Tiew Duaykan” scheme, the government will subsidize 40% of hotel room charges, 600 baht food coupon per night and a 40% discount on two million air tickets or hotel rooms.

Registration to apply for the subsidies or discounts under the tourism promotional schemes will begin later this month, so Thai tourists can start travelling in October, which marks the start of the tourism season.

Thanakorn said, however, that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has stressed the importance of COVID-19 screening measures, to ensure safety for all tourists, both Thais and foreigners.

For the fourth phase, which is tentatively scheduled to commence in January next year, 13 border provinces will reopen for tourist visits.