Renewed calls to ditch Thailand Pass and PCR test on arrival

Key figures in Thailand’s tourism business have renewed their calls for the Thailand Pass and PCR testing on arrival to be scrapped. The sector is now involved concerning the potential influence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on future tourism numbers. According to Wacky , hoteliers now say they fear the invasion may see international arrivals dropping to 10% of pre-pandemic levels.
Speaking at the Thailand Tourism Forum in Bangkok yesterday, the chairman of global hotel operator Minor International, renewed his name for the government to ditch the Thailand Pass system. Bill Heinecke has been vocal on issues affecting tourism’s restoration for a while, penning several open letters to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha over the previous 2 years, his most recent firstly of the yr, urging him to reinstate the suspended Test & Go entry scheme.
Back in March 2020, Mr. Heinecke was calling on the Thai PM to lockdown Thailand within the early days of the coronavirus.
Addressing forum attendees yesterday, Mr. Heinecke stated the federal government “must now raise all restrictions on international guests instantly if Thailand is to remain competitive”. Thailand was the first nation within the region to re-open its borders but the near total lifting of restrictions in other countries now means it’s lagging behind. He famous that neighbouring Cambodia has completely opened up, as have the Philippines, the Middle East, many European nations, and the UK and US.
Heinecke has warned that the government’s goal of attracting 10 million tourists this yr is in jeopardy if the present rules remain. The “10 million tourists” target was a prediction from the Tourism Authority of Thailand initially of 2022.
Instead, says Mr. Heinecke, Thailand dangers seeing only seeing 10% of pre-pandemic numbers, or around four million. Despite a just lately agreed travel bubble between India and Thailand, Mr. Heinecke points out that there are nonetheless no flights between the two countries. Adding to the prevailing challenges is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Heinecke says has led to cancellations from everywhere in the world.
The president of the Thai Hotels Association additionally expressed her concern for the business if the present requirement for PCR testing on arrival stays. Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi says the variety of contaminated worldwide arrivals is negligible when in comparison with instances of group transmission. She says if the government actually is severe about encouraging its citizens to stay with the virus, which it plans to declare endemic by June, it must abolish the Test & Go entry scheme and allow people to reach with proof of vaccination and a pre-departure negative PCR take a look at outcome.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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