Locals, tourism operators want Thailand to reopen – survey

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According to a survey conducted by the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), local residents and tourism operators are in favour of Thailand reopening its borders to international tourists.

60% of locals and 50% of tourism operators want that Thailand is welcoming foreign travellers using the special tourist visa. The divide is greater when it comes to lifting the mandatory 14-day quarantine, only 39% of locals polled approved, while 50% of operators agree. Officials are floating with the idea of allowing vaccinated travellers to forego quarantine.

The survey was conducted from 11 November to 10 December 2020with 785 tourism-related operators and 1,444 Thais as participants.

Chamnan Srisawat, TCT’s president, is optimistic that tourism will resume once the virus is under control and people gain more confidence in travelling.

Thailand predicts five million foreign arrivals this year, far from its pre-pandemic figures after the number slumped 83% to 6.7 million in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic that prompted travel ban not only in Thailand but around the world.

Meanwhile, the kingdom may see a million tourism workers losing their jobs in the first quarter saying that relief measures are urgently needed.

The government agree that reopening tourism is key to rev back economic activity as Thailand is heavily reliant to its tourism industry brought by its unique culture. Therefore, stringent health and safety protocols are in place to facilitate safe reopening.