Thailand likely to delay plans to have ‘travel bubble’
BANGKOK (THAILAND) – The resurgence in coronavirus cases in countries which had earlier contained the initial outbreak has made Thai authorities think of postponing the plans to have travel bubbles.
This month, Thailand had partially lifted a three-month ban on foreign tourists and was planning to boost tourism, which is a key contributor to its economy, by having travel bubbles with countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong that had managed to contain the virus.
However, fresh outbreaks have led to uncertainty, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said.
“The travel bubble that was going to begin in the fourth quarter could be delayed,” he added. The government had previously said the travel bubble could begin in September.
“We adjusted our forecast for foreign arrivals this year to 8.2 million from 10-12 million,” Yuthasak said.
Thailand witnessed 6.7 million foreign arrivals in the first five months and is permitting business travellers and tourists seeking medical treatment to enter.
To boost revenue, the government will introduce a $722 million (£574.89 million) domestic tourism stimulus.
Last year, a record 39.8 million foreign tourists visited Thailand and spent 1.93 trillion baht, which contributes 11% of its GDP.
Thailand on Wednesday marked 44 days without any local transmission. It had reported as many as 3,197 infections and they comprised returnees.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field