Optimism for travel restart as Thailand readies to reopen for vaccinated

Thai tourism operators are seeing a very positive outlook with international travellers eager to travel to Thailand following the government’s announcement that the country will welcome fully vaccinated tourists without quarantine requirements starting November 1.

Initially, at least 10 countries deemed low-risk including the UK, Singapore, Germany, China, and the US will be allowed to enter Thailand.

Thailand will reopen to fully vaccinated travellers from at least 10 low-risk nations from November 1

Sisdivachr Cheewaratanaporn, managing director of Quality Express Tour, said the news is welcomed, following nearly two years of hardship for tourism operators due to the Covid-induced travel slump.

“At this time, tourists in many countries want to travel to Thailand,” Sisdivachr said. He added that even though some countries like China, Japan and Hong Kong have yet to allow their citizens to travel abroad, there is an optimistic demand outlook from other potential markets.

For instance, Indian tourists which has become a key visitor source market for Thailand, have shown a readiness to return once entry restrictions are relaxed. Also, European tourists are likely to be among the first groups to return to Thailand during the year-end season and in 1Q2022.

He shared that the agency has started working with overseas agents to sell packages, and have received “fairly good feedback”.

Luzi Matzig, chairman of Asian Trails Group, revealed that the reopening of Thailand to vaccinated visitors is a step in the right direction that restores confidence from international markets, especially Europe, that are crucial to the country’s tourism recovery.

Some 70 per cent of the European Union’s adult population has been fully vaccinated and allowed to travel overseas, however, they want the Thai government to waive the need for certificate of entry application in order to ease travel, he noted.

Matzig said he is currently working with agents in European countries to prepare tours, and that the response has been “very positive”.

Supawan Tanomkieatipume, managing director of the Twin Towers Hotel Bangkok, expressed optimism over the country’s reopening next month, saying that he looked forward to hotels, and F&B and entertainment venues being filled again, especially in December when restaurants will be allowed to resume the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Supawan said that she has been receiving an uptick in requests from travel agents asking for room rates on behalf of their clients.

She also shared that many hotels in the capital and in major tourist destinations have been receiving calls from potential clients looking to rent spaces to run year-end events.

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