Thailand delays plans to reopen Bangkok to tourists

18-Sep-2021 Intellasia | TheNationalNews | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Travellers hoping to fly to Thailand next month will have to wait a bit longer to visit Bangkok, after authorities announced plans to delay the proposed reopening of the Thai capital by two weeks.

Initially set to welcome vaccinated tourists from October 1, Bangkok will now keep its borders closed to overseas visitors until the middle of next month.

The move comes as many Bangkok locals wait for their second dose a Covid-19 vaccine. Under proposed reopening plans, local vaccination rates must be above 70 per cent before vaccinated tourists can visit.

The delayed reopening was announced in a discussion between Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s minister of Tourism and Sports, and Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang, on Wednesday.

Ratchakitprakarn said the appropriate timeline for Bangkok should be postponed from October 1 to October 15, when the capital city is expected to have administered vaccines to 70 per cent of its residents.

As the most-visited city in the world before the pandemic, Bangkok’s prolonged closure has hit the tourism economy in Thailand hard.

It is the first destination most tourists visit when travelling to Thailand, so the city’s reopening is set to be a boost for the whole country.

The tourism ministry previously pledged to open the capital and to bring at least one million international tourists by the end of 2021.

Other provinces in Thailand are already welcoming vaccinated travellers including Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan.

Northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai, famed for its temples and mountains, as well as beach resorts Pattaya, Cha-Am and Hua Hin, have also been preparing to reopen to tourists.

A tweet from the Tourism Authority of Thailand on Thursday showcases Chiang Mai and states that the destinations will reopen to travellers “sooner rather than later”, but no confirmed date is given.


Category: Thailand

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