Thailand’s chief tourism official announced that the country expects to welcome five million tourists in 2021. However, initially, Thai authorities predicted that the tourist flow will be ten million tourists.
“If we can attract five million guests this year under the current circumstances, it will be a success,” said the head of the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
First of all, the focus will be on tourists from Asian countries – China, India and Malaysia. Visitors from these countries accounted for 40% of the 39.8 million tourists vacationing in Thailand in 2019.
Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports plans to discuss with the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Health of the country the issue of including citizens working in the field of tourism in the vaccination program at its early stages – in February.
“Employees in the tourism industry, such as hotel staff, drivers, restaurant and spa workers located in major tourist centers, should be among the first groups to receive vaccinations,” said Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
The minister believes that this will help protect workers in the tourism sector, since they are in contact with foreign guests every day.
Also, the country is currently working on a “vaccine passport”. It is possible that in the future, foreign tourists with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate will be able to enter the country freely, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarna said.