On March 2nd, the tourism industry in Thailand launched the #OpenThailandSafely campaign which aims at lobbying the government reopen the country to tourism by 1 July. According to Travel Weekly Asia, more than 15 tour operators and hotel managers in Thailand have signed the petition. The petition is led by Bangkok-based private sector travel companies Yaana Ventures, Minor Group and Asian Trails, but it is open to anyone in the world.
In late February, Thai authorities began to administer China’s Sinovac Biotech for those aged between 19 to 59. It is expected that another 1.8 million doses of CoronaVac will be administered in the following weeks.
Several destinations have been working hard on their health and safety measures to reopen their borders and give a breath of fresh air to the wounded travel and tourism sector. Countries such as Maldives, Greece, Israel, and the Seychelles have been at the forefront of these initiatives.
In Thailand, the date of 1 July was considered for a number of reasons. It is believed that the date would allow enough time for Thai medical authorities to vaccinate both front-line workers as well as vulnerable citizens around the country. July 1st might give enough time to airlines, tour operators and other businesses in the value chain to start their marketing and sales campaigns accordingly.
According to Travel Weekly Asia, the #OpenThailandSafely team will send an official request to Thailand’s Prime Minister general Prayut Chan-o-cha, the minister of tourism and sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, and the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn.
The number of international tourism arrivals have dropped almost 75%. This means a loss of roughly 1.5 trillion baht (US$53 billion).