BANGKOK, 2 March 2021: Leading international travel and hospitality enterprises with headquarters in Bangkok seek a commitment from the Thai Government to reopen borders on 1 July 2021.
An open letter dated 2 March, penned by 16 organisations, seeks to obtain a commitment from the Thai government to open borders to international tourists who have proof of vaccination and foregoing the need for quarantine.
Backed by a petition website that is clocking up support from travel and hospitality firms across the country, the letter from the 16 firms *(see list below) argues that the year-long border closure has decimated Thailand’s tourism-related industries.
“It has severely damaged the Thai economy with profound negative effects on hotels, aviation, tour operations, restaurants, attractions, retail, medical tourism, meetings, conferences, agricultural supply chains and many more support sectors.
“The financial, social, physical and psychological health of Thai people has been adversely affected. The disruption of travel has not just impacted tourism, but also torn families apart and greatly reduced international trade.”
The current situation is unsustainable, the letter states adding: “We are therefore seeking a commitment by the Thai Government to reopen borders on 1 July 2021 to let tourists with proof of vaccination enter Thailand without quarantine.”
The #OpenThailandSafely campaign was launched on 2 March, presenting a petition which underpins a formal request to the Royal Thai Government to respond favourably to the rollout of Covid-19 vaccination programmes worldwide.
The petition is open to anyone in Thailand or around the world who would like to see the country reopen.
In a separate press statement to the open letter, one of the founding signatories, YAANA Ventures CEO 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.”
The Open Thailand Safely campaign will also send the 1 July open letter 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.
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.