Thailand to welcome one millionth tourist this year by end of May

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Thailand expects its one-millionth foreign tourist this year to arrive by the end of May, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The kingdom has seen a sharp increase in tourists since the Test & Go program and other entry requirements were scrapped at the start of this month. However, the current influx of tourists still has nothing on pre-pandemic levels.

A total of 966,686 international tourists have traveled into the kingdom of Thailand so far this year as of May 11. The TAT expects that the millionth tourist will arrive before the month ends. In 2021, only 428,000 foreigners arrived in Thailand throughout the whole year.

Tourism has increased since Thailand scrapped the Test & Go program on May 1. The on-arrival testing was off-putting for potential tourists, with horror stories circulating online about tourists who tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival and had to pay high fees to quarantine for 14 days. The end of on-arrival testing has driven tourism upwards as expected.

In pre-pandemic Thailand, approximately 110,000 tourists were arriving in the kingdom every day, or approximately 3.3 million tourists every month. So, Thailand still has a long way to go until foreign arrivals hit pre-Covid levels.

If Thailand Pass is scrapped as expected on June 1, traveling to Thailand will involve a lot less paperwork. Currently, tourists are required to upload their vaccination history and also proof of Covid-19 insurance that covers 10,000 USD.

Unvaccinated travelers must provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in the kingdom. The faff involved with Thailand Pass is arguably the biggest barrier to Thailand’s tourism industry right now.

Thailand might lure in more foreign tourists by declaring Covid-19 as an endemic disease, but it all depends on the government’s definition of endemic. Last week, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that visitors must still wear face masks even when Thailand declares Covid-19 as an endemic disease.

Thailand’s legal requirement to wear a mask – even outdoors – is also unappealing to potential foreign tourists, given that much of the world ditched their masks a long time ago.




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