The Tourism and Sports Ministry is planning to propose the cancellation of the “Thailand Pass” scheme and introduce a single ATK test to welcome international tourists and spur tourism growth.
Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn revealed at the 2022 general meeting of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) today, March 24th, that the ministry would propose a plan to revoke the “Thailand Pass”, hopefully, to be implemented from June 1st onwards, in order to enhance more opportunities for the tourism sector to recover from the Covid-19 situation hardship.
In short, the plan would encourage traveling to Thailand to return to normal as in 2019 or before the Covid-19 global pandemic, Phiphat said.
Travelers would not be required to register either “Test&Go” or “Sandbox” or “Quarantine Tourism” and, in principle, should not require a Covid-19 test. However, the minister suggested that ATK testing should still be conducted on the first day of arrival for public confidence or that the test could be optional but encouraged.
Moreover, the ministry would also introduce the change of an RT-PCR test to the ATK test for all international visitors on their first day of arrival, starting May 1st, in the upcoming meeting of the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) this month. This would also, notes TPN media, end a mandatory stay at a SHA++ hotel until results were available, a major negative for many visitors.
The proposals aimed to revive Thai tourism and meet the ministry’s goals of introducing Thailand as a world leader in tourism, expecting at least 7 million foreign tourists out of the target of 10 million by year-end and 30 percent tourism revenue’s recovery of total revenue in 2019.
It is expected that the revenue would be recovered by 50 percent in 2023 and 100 percent, or at an equal amount to 2019, in 2024.
“However, the most important factor to be considered whether the plan would be implemented or not was the fluctuation of daily infection and fatality rates during or after this Songkran (Thai new year in April) festival. The total number of daily infections must not exceed 50,000-60,000 cases and the fatality rates must not exceed 100 cases a day,” Phiphat stressed.
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