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If you’ve had the opportunity to visit Thailand, you’ve experienced some of the best this world has to offer. The country has gleaming temples, palatial palaces, museums, parks, and nonstop action at every turn if you find yourself in a large metropolitan city like Bangkok.
The number of tourists and expats from around the world have been steadily increasing for years (albeit sometimes to the detriment of the country).
However, COVID-19 has pushed the reset button and Thailand has an opportunity to change a few things before tourists return. But in a country that is highly dependent on tourism, is their new idea crazy or strategic?
Nationwide lockdown measures were put in place in late March and Thailand has had a cautious, strategic, and staged approach to reopening including:
- Phase One: Business travelers, investors, skilled workers, people with Thai family members, teachers, etc. (started July 1)
- Phase Two: Medical tourism travelers (started July 1)
- Phase Three: General tourists (has been delayed several times but we now have “clarity” on the plan)
31 STEPS TO PARADISE?
According to the Bangkok Post, Thailand is considering a 31-step plan to reboot their tourism industry slowly and safely. If your eyes just glazed over with number 31, just wait…it get’s better! 😉
If you’re a visual learner, here it is:
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has published several steps for visitors to regain entry to Thailand but some of the highlights include:
- Apply for the new 90 day special tourist visas (STV)
- Show evidence of your chartered or private jet number
- Show evidence of a health insurance policy with at least $100,000 of coverage
- Pre-pay for 104 days of accommodation (14 days of quarantine & 90 days of post quarantine)
- Show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival
- Obtain a “fit to fly” certificate (whatever that is)
- Take another COVID-19 test upon arrival
- Quarantine for 14 days and don’t leave
- Wear a tracking bracelet
TOO EARLY TO SAY R.I.P. TO THAILAND TOURISM?
Thailand’s travel industry to ROBUST (to say the least) but without the “mass market,” I have no idea how the flag carrier airline Thai Airways, hotels, tour groups and other traditional travel industry jobs will continue to survive.
Thailand’s approach appears to cater and attract people who will bring vital spending into the country for months on end, rather than a few nights at a time and says the implementation could take place as soon as October.
Over the past several years, Thailand has closed several beaches including the famous Maya Beach because tourists flocking to the beautiful coastline have absolutely destroyed it.
As the number of tourists and expats from around the world have steadily increased, Thailand has had to implement new measures to prevent the country destruction and COVID-19 has pushed the reset button.
I have to admit that as soon as I saw the number 31, I deleted the country from my ‘list of places to visit any time soon’ but then I considered the target applicants. Is this a strategic way for Bangkok to say “we are primarily interested in wealthier customers, individuals that want to stay long-term and invest in the country” or is this plan just completely crazy?
What do you think about Thailands new approach to reopening?