As per a report of Bloomberg, From next month, Thailand is planning to scrap the requirement for international tourists to take a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test upon their arrival in the country.
This comes as the Southeast Asian country ramps up efforts to attract more tourists as global tourism recovers.
Satit Pitutecha, Deputy Health Minister, said after a meeting of the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Friday that;
- At airports, RT-PCR tests will be replaced by antigen tests.
- Vaccinated passengers will also no longer be required to book a one-night hotel stay in order to obtain visas.
With these measures, Thailand joins countries such as Australia, the Philippines, and Singapore in reducing entry restrictions as it relies on a massive influx of visitors to sustain a fledgling economic recovery that is challenged by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Thailand tourism officials, including hoteliers and more than 100 travel industry professionals, have urged that the so-called Test & Go visa programme and the Thailand Pass should be scrapped.
It must be noted that travellers who are arriving in the country through the Test & Go and Sandbox scheme are mandatorily required to register for entry using the Thailand Pass system.
“We’ve continued to ease rules on tourist arrivals both by land and by air, and we’ve seen substantial increase in arrivals, we will need to weigh carefully between the economy and heath.”said, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha
According to Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, the biggest concern for Thailand’s tourism business is a shortage of visitors from China, which has a zero-Covid tolerance policy and is seeing an increase in omicron infections.
He believes that eliminating RT-PCR tests will assist to strengthen the baht at the margin.
TAT Signed LOI With THAI And THAI Smile
In the absence of tourists from China and Russia, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is now targeting India as a key source market for tourist arrivals in Thailand and signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Thai Airways International (THAI) and THAI Smile Airways (THAI Smile) to promote tourism growth from India.
TAT said, Over 500,000 Indian tourists are supposed to visit Thailand this year, bringing in over 24 billion baht in revenue.