Major tourism-industry groups called on the government to exempt travelers who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus from having to endure quarantine when arriving in Thailand.
The Tourism Council of Thailand, Thai Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade made separate, but nearly identical appeals to the Public Health and Tourism and Sports ministries in hopes of rebuilding Thailand’s devastated tourism industry.
The so-called “vaccine passport” would allow vaccinated tourists to skip the lengthy and costly isolation and restart normal tourism in the country, the groups said.
The tourism council has been especially critical of the government during the Covid-19 second wave, complaining that, unlike last year, the government provided hardly any financial support to businesses and employees.
The TCT and chamber of commerce both repeatedly have called for tax breaks, debt-repayment extensions, utility bill reductions and direct subsidies to no avail. Therefore, while shorter, this shutdown has been much harder to recover from, the associations said.
As a result, unemployment in the sector – estimated at 1 million in the last quarter of 2020, is expected to grow to as much as 2 million this quarter, even though restrictions have been eased nationwide.
Topping the list of demands are direct payments of 50 percent of tourism-industry employee salaries up to 15,000 baht and expansion of the “We Travel Together” subsidized-tourism campaign to include more than just hotels, airlines and restaurants.