The Thai Tourism Industry, in joint efforts with the Association of Thai Travel Agents, the Thai Tourism Authority and other relevant groups, are proposing to the Thai Cabinet and government to implement more long weekends to drive domestic tourism next year in Thailand, especially in the first half.
They are also betting on the Ministry of Public Health and Department of Disease Control to successfully control a large cluster of Covid-19 infections that was found at a shrimp market in Samut Sakhon.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam has been confirmed to be involved in the discussions, however, stated that it will be “some time” before being proposed to the Thai Cabinet.
A variety of dates are on the agenda, including Chinese New Year which this year falls on Friday, February 12th. Assuming the current Covid-19 situation is under control many provinces and areas, including Pattaya, are planning to hold elaborate festivals and events to draw domestic tourists.
The current outbreak in Samut Sakhon, according to the TAT, has seen many people cancel their previously scheduled New Year trips around the country out of precaution or fear of potential lockdowns trapping them in distant provinces. The Thai government, however, has insisted they will continue to utilize a four zone control system and not resort, at this time, to a massive National lockdown which would also devastate the already hard hit economy.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand is only predicting based on the current situation with Covid-19 and timeframe to implement vaccinations around the world 5.5 million tourists to arrive in Thailand next year. As a comparison, over 40 million visited last year and Pattaya alone had nearly ten million tourists. This forces the Thai Tourism Industry to continue to focus on domestic tourism over foreign tourism which is largely missing due to requirements of fourteen day quarantines and border closures.