Thailand wants to set up a 'travel bubble' with Vietnam

9/5/2021| 15:30

The land of the Golden Temple is trying to reduce the number of Covid-19 cases in Phuket to 0 in time to open up to welcome international visitors back from July 1.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the government must accelerate immunization work, especially in Bangkok, to achieve public immunity by the fourth quarter. Daily cases must be less than 200 by the end of this month to restore confidence in international tourism. 

Once the disease is under control, the government will continue to discuss the tourism bubble with Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Laos and Malaysia. No country wants to participate in the travel bubble discussion with Thailand when the infection rate is still high, he said.

Currently, the Sandbox Phuket program (Phuket Sandbox) requires higher standards for the island to be ready to welcome guests who have been vaccinated, immune to quarantine. The number of infections must be zero before 1/7. If Phuket still records new infections, when 70% of the population has been fully vaccinated, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports will have to discuss again with the Ministry of Health. 

The Thai government is also planning to impose a tax of 300 baht (about $ 20) on each foreign visitor from January 2022. The proceeds of the tax will go to the tourism fund, used for future emergencies. The global pandemic has generated an urgent need for a tourism fund - now approved by the National Tourism Policy Committee. 

Phiphat emphasized that if Thailand can attract 20.8 million foreign visitors by 2022, the fund will be supplemented with 6.2 billion baht (nearly 200 million USD). This year, the government still keeps its target of welcoming about 3-4 million foreign visitors, in case the pilot opening program in Phuket goes according to plan.

According to Bangkok Post