Ministers and officials met on Sunday to coordinate further access for foreigners to the kingdom and the relaunching of Thailand’s tourism industry through the use of ‘tourism bubbles’ or bilateral agreements with other safe countries. Afterwards, a statement issued on behalf of Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakan, underlined the importance of tourism to Thailand’s economy.
Hours following the publication of an opinion poll showing the public set against the admission of foreign tourists into the kingdom and scepticism of when this would happen, a spokeswoman for the Thai Tourism Minister has said that his ministry is looking forward to rejuvenating the kingdom’s foreign tourism prospects. She said that the success of Thailand’s fight against the Covid 19 virus threat should inspire confidence among prospective visitors to the kingdom. The news comes following reports of a meeting between 3 key ministries and the Covid 19 administration centre on Sunday to plan and coordinate the return of foreigners to Thailand and a gradual relaunch of the kingdom’s vital tourism industry.
It comes as Thailand has been named second in an index published showing countries that have recovered quickest from the Covid 19 virus.
Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan ocha, on Sunday through government spokeswoman, Ms Narumon Pinyosinwat, expressed his gratitude to the Thai public for their discipline and perseverance after the country was named 2nd in the world in a global index of 184 states showing which countries have recovered fastest from the Covid 19 disaster.
Thailand second only to Australia in tackling the Covid 19 virus and making a quick recovery from it
The country that came out on top was Australia followed by Thailand.
The kingdom was followed by Denmark, Hong Kong, Taiwan, New Zealand, South Korea, Lithuania, Iceland and Slovenia rounding out the top ten.
The next ten countries were Latvia, Switzerland, Vietnam, Malaysia, Norway, Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg and Finland.
Index was driven 70% by the death rate
The index was drawn up by a Malaysian based organisation using big data technology and qualitative analysis from countries worldwide.
However, 70% of the score was determined by the level of fatalities while 30% was based on Global Health Security data maintained by John Hopkins University in the US.
This is an analysis of how well equipped and organised any country is to deal with a pandemic such as this.
Thailand has extensive experience in dealing with such health challenges going back to the Aids epidemic in the kingdom and its training with US health agencies since the 1960s.
Meeting on Sunday of 4 government agencies and officials to plan the return of foreigners to Thailand
This followed a meeting of representatives from the Covid 19 management centre, the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Public Health Ministry on Sunday the 14th June.
It is understood that a meeting will be held again on June 17th to process proposals further.
Increase in capacity for inbound travellers from 500 to 1,000 per day is the next step – priority given to business and medical needs
This first step will see an increase of foreigners being left into the kingdom through an increase in the capacity to process inbound travellers from a level of 500 per day to 1,000 per day.
These will be foreigners entering under conditions and subject to 14 days quarantine under arrangements that are already in place.
It is understood that, for now, priority will be given to business interests and those seeking medical treatment in Thailand.
It is proposed that later, other groups of foreigners will be considered for entry under this regime.
Tourism Ministry promises a restart of tourist activity
A briefing was given to the press by Ms Triksi Trisornkun, Deputy Spokesperosn of the Prime Minister’s Office.
She revealed that Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakan, Minister of Tourism and Sports, was confident in Thailand’s tourism potential and the kingdom’s ability to cope with the current situation and challenges caused by the virus.
The Ministry of Tourism stressed the importance of beginning a process of relaunching tourism back into Thailand.
This would start with the tourism bubble concept. This involves bilateral agreements with partner countries and regions deemed to be safe for the Covid 19 virus.
Visitors from such countries or safe areas, arriving in Thailand under such agreements, will not be subject to 14-day quarantine but reports last week indicate the government is strongly considering the deployment of appropriate medical tracking using technology.
The world is getting better says ministry bulletin although stressing a need for caution and care
She said while Minster Phiphat was confident, initially, however, the country would have to be cautious and select only countries or regions within countries which are safe.
The Ministry of Tourism would also stipulate that arrangements must be put in place to test travellers before they fly to Thailand in addition to tracking when they are holidaying in the kingdom.
The statement struck an optimistic note by pointing out that the world was getting better and that tourism was essential for helping Thailand’s economy recover quickly.
The spokeswoman emphasised that the strength of Thailand’s public health response to the virus will be a boost in confidence for foreigners considering a holiday in the kingdom when access is reopened to their market.