Thailand’s tourism marketers should focus their attention on India and Russia, Pattaya’s top business leader said.
Boonanan Pattanasin, president of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, said neither Russia nor India are requiring citizens who travel abroad to undergo quarantine upon returning home. That means they are the most likely of Thailand’s frequent visitors to visit after the country reopens.
U.K. residents, Europeans, Japanese and Koreans all must quarantine after going home. So they are less likely to visit. And the Chinese can’t leave the country at all, he said.
Boonanan also endorsed the idea of standardizing the reopening plans of all the provinces that originally hoped to reopen to fully vaccinated foreign tourists in October – Chonburi (Pattaya), Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi and Chiang Mai – rather than have each devise their own conflicting plans.
Chonburi’s “Pattaya Move On” plan contained the most onerous restrictions, including a three-day quarantine upon arrival. Again, Boonanan said, tourists don’t want quarantine, in Thailand or at home.
A “sandbox” plan for the five provinces – no matter when they reopen – with no quarantine and the ability to switch locations after a week is preferred, he said.
In the end, however, it comes down to safety. Tourists need to feel safe to visit and local residents need to feel safe having foreign tourists arrive.
As of Wednesday, it appears Chonburi and all the other provinces may not reopen until Nov. 1. The final decision will rest with the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration later this month.
Boonanan said that, no matter the month, there won’t be many arrivals. But, if things go well, the second month definitely will see more arrive.