Thailand to open its doors to more tourists to boost industry

Thailand to open its doors to more tourists to boost industry
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BANGKOK (Dec 8): Thailand is set to open its doors to more foreign tourists in a bid to boost the tourism industry, which has been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deputy government spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek said the cabinet today approved a plan to offer long-stay special tourist visa (STV) to visitors from all countries.

Previously, under STV, only visitors from low-risk Covid-19 countries were allowed to enter the kingdom, she said.

However, she said the number of foreigners entering the kingdom was relatively low.

“It is lower than our expectation. About 825 tourists from 29 countries visited the kingdom. Only six yachts docked in Thailand,“ she said at a press conference here today.

Ratchada said all foreign visitors must comply with the rules and regulations under STV including undergoing 14-day compulsory quarantine upon arrival. 

Under STV, which kicked off in late October, foreign tourists can stay up to nine months in the kingdom.

They must undergo a 14-day quarantine at the state’s alternative quarantine facilities (hotel) upon arrival and obtain health insurance that covers Covid-19 treatment for the amount of US$100,000.

Thailand, the first country outside China to report Covid-19 cases in January this year, halted commercial flights and banned foreign visitors in an effort to keep infections at bay.

To date, Thailand has recorded 4,126 Covid-19 cases and 60 fatalities.