Everything used to be fine in our lives until March of 2020, when the coronavirus—more commonly known as COVID-19—spread to the rest of the world. The damage the pandemic has done is unprecedented, and no one could have predicted it. People were dying, businesses were shut down, and every country closed its borders and stopped international travel to prevent spreading the virus.
More than a year later, the world slowly started to heal at a considerable rate—something no one also predicted. People thought that lockdowns and social distancing protocols would go on for a long time, but that wasn’t the case because vaccines were released to the world. Because vaccines were administered to the public, many countries like Thailand lessened their restrictions by allowing vaccinated tourists to visit.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the situation of Thailand’s tourism industry and its approach toward the pandemic. Read on below to learn more.
The Current Situation of Thai Tourism
Before the pandemic, tourists from China made the biggest population of overseas arrivals at 12 million tourists in 2019. However, The pandemic dealt a massive blow to the country because tourist arrivals were down 80 percent—a concerning matter for a country with 40 million tourists arriving in a year. Thankfully, thousands of tourists are expected to come to Thailand via Phuket International Airport.
The Thai government reopened the country for fully-vaccinated tourists from more than 60 low-risk countries. Some of these countries include Australia, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, and more.
The Thai government views this as a good move because an estimated $30bn in revenue can be obtained. However, the government also projects that tourism revenue will be back to its pre-pandemic levels in 2023. The challenging part of this is China’s ongoing border closures that come in the way of the tourism industry’s recovery.
As good as it may sound, the unfortunate fact remains that Thailand still records at least 10,000 new coronavirus infections in a day. Some tour guides have also said that they haven’t been contacted by tour companies and customers yet, meaning it will take a while to get tours out in the open again.
The People’s Underlying Concerns
While reactions to the country’s reopening to tourists have been mostly positive, some concerns and protests against the decision, particularly from locals. They fear that letting tourists in will lead to a massive spike in coronavirus cases which can lead to another lockdown, and most of them don’t want to go through that experience again. Some have also said that tourists coming for the holidays will only have a negative experience. They argue that holidays should come with ambiance and convenience—two things that you won’t get if you travel abroad during a global pandemic.
On the other hand, locals have also said they’ll have to accept them because they have been experiencing difficulties making a living the past year. Their solution is to enforce strict social distancing protocols in their establishments to prevent the virus from spreading further.
The Feasibility of Travelling to Thailand Today
Since Thailand opened its borders to tourists, yes, you can. It’s only a matter of finding out if you’re included in one of the low-risk countries that the Thai government has allowed to enter. You also don’t have to quarantine anymore, meaning you can get right to your trip.
Thailand may have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but it has slowly recovered, and tourists can revisit it, including you. If you’re successful, simply follow everything in the country to have a safe, virus-free trip.
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