Tourism officials call for vaccine passport strategy to re-open tourism in Q4

By TIN Media | Asean News Published 1 month ago on 24 February 2021
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THAILAND:

To welcome visitors internationally by the fourth quarter of the year, the Tourism Board of Thailand says that the Kingdom must follow the 'vaccine passport policy by June.

Siripakorn Cheawsamoot of the TAT says that a scheme would greatly impact the international market, which has already engaged multiple countries in large-scale vaccination programs.

“TAT plans to bring back international tourists by the fourth quarter but that will depend largely on our policy development too.”

The TAT calls also for an area quarantine policy from the third quarter of the year in line with the activities carried out on the southern island of Phuket in Indonesia by a group of tourists from Indonesia.

Siripakorn says recent surveys by visitors and travel agencies abroad suggest that people are likely to be vaccinated if they can travel internationally again.

In the meantime, Qatar Airlines Middle Eastern is calling for the compulsory 14-day quarantine at Thailand's beach destinations during the third quarter of the year, adding that it is prepared to resume direct flights to Phuket.

The TAT has surveyed more than 4,000 British individuals, 75% of whom consent to be vaccinated if it is necessary in countries to which they choose to travel.

In countries insisting on quarantine, however, 41 percent are against vaccination.

Another survey in Finland showed that 99% of people agree on the importance of international travel vaccinations, but 68% said they would not travel to any country where mandatory quarantine is still needed.

The Finnish survey reveals that 62 percent of the respondents have picked Thailand as their preferred destination. Siripakorn points out the results of the survey demonstrate the value for Thailand of a vaccine passport scheme.

“Those surveys told us that the government must accelerate a concrete plan for a vaccine passport by June to receive inoculated tourists, or else we could miss a huge opportunity as some countries have already started quarantine-free programmes for vaccinated travellers.”

In a further tourism drive, the London office of the TAT has launched a marketing campaign called, “Linger Longer”, to promote 60 day holiday packages. It’s understood tourists availing of the package plan to arrive over the Easter break.

The Mumbai and New Delhi TAT offices announced bookings being upgraded, with 2 groups of 200 to 300 Indian tourists organizing weddings in Kingdom Beach Hotels. The TAT projects spending a minimum of 10 million baht per group.


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