Coronavirus has devastated the Travel and tourism sectors. The economy of countries like Thailand depends on tourism. Obviously, restrictions on travel have led to closure of many associated businesses. It was in March that the pandemic struck and those who have to travel for business or pleasure are finding it difficult to move out. Airlines have grounded their aircraft and cruise ship operators have docked their vessels in ports. Some countries are trying to work out methods to revive the tourism sector and Thailand is no exception. Its Minister of Tourism Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn indicated that his country has plans to welcome tourists for the upcoming winter holidays.

They will have access to certain areas but must be willing to arrive with long duration plans.

CNN quotes him saying - "I have asked the prime minister for approval to set October 1 as the date to allow (inbound) tourists to enter. I also have requested to use Phuket as a pilot model ... and have received approval from the Center for Economic Situation Administration." The success of this model will allow inclusion of other destinations.

Tourists will be required to fly into Phuket. This is the largest island of Thailand and tourists will have to remain quarantined in a designated resort for 14 days. Location of the resorts will be in close proximity of the beaches.

The pandemic has hit the economy of Thailand

Thailand relies on tourism and coronavirus has hit its economy hard.

CNN adds that according to the World Bank, the tourism sector is responsible for nearly 15 percent of its GDP. There is a ban on all international commercial flights. The ban does not include repatriation flights but those who avail of this option have to remain in quarantine facilities for 14 days.

Right now, there are domestic tourists and the sector will get a boost when foreigners arrive. Thailand came in the limelight in July 2018 for the cave rescue of a group of children trapped in underground caves by flash floods. These caves are a huge draw for tourists. Thailand has been able to check the spread of the infection, which is a positive for travelers.

Thailand wants international tourists

Phuket and Koh Samui are attractive travel destinations in Thailand for international tourists. CNN says these are far away from Bangkok and are languishing due to lack of foreign tourists. In the opinion of an official of a consulting firm, effort to woo international travelers to Phuket is a step in the right direction.

He says - "Covid-19 is unparalleled compared to other events but, looking at 9/11 and the restarting of travel, it was in baby steps, not giant steps." He mentions that foreigners from Scandinavia, Russia, Britain, and Germany return to Phuket each year as long-stay guests. His prediction is once temperatures drop in Europe, one of the logical destinations for travelers would be Phuket.

Coronavirus has affected tourism in Thailand

Bloomberg indicates Thailand is trying to reopen its borders to welcome international visitors, probably by October. Their absence has had an adverse effect on the economy because they account for about two-thirds of the country’s income from tourism. In an interview, Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob said - “The virus won’t go away soon and we have to think about the economy.

But we can’t just reopen the borders. We have to be careful. Thailand has a limited budget so we have to make sure we can control the disease well.” The country has closed its borders to visitors since late March and the government tried to boost domestic tourism to keep the industry alive. However, that cannot compensate the loss of foreign receipts. Thailand deserves credit for its ability to control the spread of coronavirus and this is a plus point to influence the decision of tourists. The authorities want to assign priority to Phuket province

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