2020 had been the most unprecedented year for tourism-based economies. Thailand where tourism is the backbone of economy was not an exception. The Land of Smiles, as Thailand is often referred to, saw a drastic fall in foreign tourist arrivals due to the implementation of strict measures, including airspace closure, border shutdown, and mandatory quarantine, in the wake of the pandemic. The eighth most visited destination with a whopping 39.92 million foreign tourists in 2019, Thailand registered a meager 6.7 million footfalls in 2020 – which took a toll on the tourism industry.
Vaccination drives being in full swing across geographies have set the passage to a V-shape recovery for Thailand’s tourism-backed economy, which is currently in doldrums. The country is mulling over plans to welcome vaccinated tourists and exempt them from 14-day mandatory quarantine. The plan under consideration is titled “Welcome Back to Thailand Again”.
To be effective in the third quarter of 2021, Thailand’s ‘Welcome Back to Thailand Again’ campaign is aimed at attracting tourists who have been or will be inoculated with complete dosage of vaccines against the Novel Coronavirus. The entry requirements, except usual visas, will be far relaxed for them. Vaccinated tourists can head to their favorite beaches and islands without institutional quarantine upon arrival in Thailand.
“The Welcome Back to Thailand Again” plan, once in effect, is expected to save an estimated 400,000 jobs in the hospitality sector and keep a similar number of people employed in other tourism-related sectors. The government of Thailand is keen on executing the campaign; that’s why it is being promoted in the neighboring countries, including China. The Welcome Back to Thailand Again is the answer to ‘When will Thailand reopen for tourists?’