TAT disappointed over Thailand’s entry on red list
The Tourism Authority of Thailand voiced its frustration at being downgraded to the UK’s red list.
It is a significant blow as UK arrivals have been the second largest source market (3,186 arrivals) for Thailand’s ‘sandbox’ quarantine-free travel scheme.
Having been designated as a red list country, all returning travellers to the UK must undergo expensive hotel quarantine.
“Thailand’s move to the red list is devastating news for Thailand and its tourism industry. Since 1 July Thailand started successfully welcoming international travellers under a ‘sandbox’ initiative which allowed for a safe and controlled return to tourism in limited areas of the country,” said Khun Chiravadee Khunsub, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand for UK & Ireland.
“Phuket has just 3,000 cases which makes yesterday’s announcement of a blanket travel ban to Thailand even more frustrating.”
Phuket has welcomed over 24,500 tourists since the sandbox initiative started in July and has been extended to several other popular holiday islands.
Samui, Ko Pha-ngan and Ko Tao are also open to international travellers and Krabi, Ko Phi Phi, Khao Lak, Ko Yao were recently added this month.
The restart of tourism has generated about $36.7 million and TAT expects about $325 million by the end of the year.
“My hope is that this change is short lived and business to Thailand will pick up again, as quickly as it has to date, and our industry partners will see an increase in demand and sales again,” Chiravadee said.
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