Leading international tourism companies in Thailand have launched a campaign to reopen the country’s borders from 1 July 2021.
The #OpenThailandSafely campaign was launched 2 March with the support of over 15 major companies including YAANA Ventures, Minor Group, Asian Trails, Capella Hotels and Resorts, EXO and many others. [The full launch list is here]
The Open Thailand Safely campaign has laid out its arguments in a petition which will underpin a formal request to the Royal Thai Government to respond favourably to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination programmes underway in Europe, USA and other Thailand tourism source markets.
The petition is open to anyone in Thailand or around the world who would like to see the country reopen.
The campaign argues that 1 July is an appropriate date for five reasons: the majority of citizens in many source markets will have been vaccinated by then; it gives time to Thai medical authorities to vaccinate both front line staff in hospitality settings in Thailand and/or vulnerable citizens around the country; it gives international travellers time to make travel plans and bookings; the date gives time to airlines, hotels, tour operators and others to start marketing and sales and get ready for tourism operations to commence; and it will take Thailand at least a year, and maybe longer, to return to the large numbers of international visitors that it had before the Covid-19 crisis.
To ensure the safe reopening of Thailand, the petition argues that “international tourists can be asked to satisfy any safeguards the Thai Government may require. This may, for example, include showing officially recognised proof of a Covid-19 vaccination from their home country, purchasing health insurance, showing proof of a negative Covid test within 72 hours of departure, and so on.”
#OpenThailandSafely was the initiative of leading Bangkok-based private sector travel companies YAANA Ventures, Minor Group and Asian Trails.
The CEO of YAANA Ventures, Willem Niemeijer, said: “The 1 July reopening would be a strategic opportunity for Thailand to show a leadership role among Asian countries and prepare the way for a solid recovery of the Thai economy in 2022.”
In the coming days, the Open Thailand Safely campaign will also send the 1st July request to Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mr Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, and the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mr Yuthasak Supasorn.
According to the Bank of Thailand and official sources in Thailand, tourism, pre-Covid, was worth about 2.9 trillion baht (US$96.5 billion). Some 39.7 million international visitors in 2019 helped sustain up to 8.3 million jobs. However, arrivals fell to 6.7 million in 2020 making between two and four million people unemployed.
Meanwhile, destinations such as Seychelles, Maldives, Greece and Sri Lanka have either opened borders already or are in discussions to do so in light of successful Covid vaccine rollouts in their key source markets.
People can sign the petition for Thailand to reopen on 1 July at www.OpenThailandSafely.org.
ABOUT MINOR HOTELS
Minor Hotels is a hotel owner, operator and investor with a portfolio of over 539 hotels, resorts and serviced suites under the Anantara, Avani, Elewana, Oaks, NH Hotels, NH Collection, nhow, TIVOLI Marriott, Four Seasons, St. Regis, Radisson Blu and Minor International brands. Today, Minor Hotels’ portfolio spans across 55 countries in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Europe and the Americas. In addition, Minor Hotels also operates mixed-use business including shopping plazas & entertainment, residential properties, and a point-based vacation club.
ABOUT ASIAN TRAILS
Asian Trails has grown to become the leading destination management company in Asia with full-service operations in 9 countries across East and South East Asia. Our portfolio of services is highly diverse and includes wholesale leisure arrangements, meeting and conference organization, team building, incentive travel, airport transfers, hotel bookings and a range of tour packages that includes cultural, historical, social and adventure-based programs. Headquartered in Bangkok, we operate in Cambodia, China / Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Our specialist destination management professionals provide the best leisure and travel services available on the market. We take our leisure guests beyond the window of a tour bus to the Real Asia so that they smell, taste, touch and experience the beating heart of every place they visit. Being recognized for our service standards across the globe, Asian Trails has received various international and company awards for operational standards and service-minded DMC innovations. With the launch of various new technological platforms, Asian Trails upholds its commitment to innovate and follow the technology requirements for Asia’s travel partners.