Tourism industry asks government to reconsider travel bubble
The former president of Thailand Hotels Association, Supawan Thanomkietipumi, is proposing the government reconsider the “Travel Bubble” as a way to help revive tourism.
Supawan said there is demand in the Chinese tourist market to travel to Thailand, but the Chinese government still does not allow tour companies to operate abroad. The only way, she thinks, to help tourism in Thailand is for the Thai government to enter a direct dialogue with their Chinese counterparts.
Last week, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, tourism and sports minister, said during a press briefing, that the ministry is planning to welcome Chinese tourists, as the first group of foreign tourists entering Thailand without a mandatory quarantine during the Lunar New Year.
Phiphat said the “travel bubble” will focus on the provinces that have been covid-free for 150 days. He added that he hopes the government will approve the plan before January 1st, saying that this will be a gift to Thailand, to be a guideline to revive Thai economy.
Last Friday, Thai Public Health ministry revealed a list of low-risk countries proposed to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), the list include China, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, etc. Visitors from These countries have to be quarantined for 10 days, shorter than the current mandatory 14 days.
For the provinces that will welcome these visitors, will be those where the local people accept the idea. Initially, there are ten provinces including Chonburi and Burirum. Provinces which join the program have to be well prepared and able to provide quarantine facilities and medical services as needed.
Recently, the Thai cabinet approved a project to develop human resources for tourism, to cope with the “new normal” way of travel, with a budget of almost 67 million Baht. The project started in October and will run until September next year, hoping to be able to train around 12,000 individuals in popular tourism provinces in Thailand.
Earlier this month, Hong Kong’s financial secretary Paul Chan, said in the TV interview with CNBC, that there are ongoing discussions with countries, including Thailand and Japan to enter a “travel bubble” with Hong Kong.