Given up from hopelessness: Southeast Asia, the most popular country among Russian tourists, lifts all restrictions

Southeast Asia is lagging behind the rest of the world in post-COVID-19 tourism growth and will not be able to fully restore the tourism industry until 2026. However, he will try. This information was provided to local media by the governor of the Bank of Thailand, Sethaput Sutivartnaruput. This was said on the eve of the actual rejection of all recently introduced anti-covid instruments for the reception of foreign tourists by Thailand: in fact, the kingdom surrendered from hopelessness – if these restrictions are left, then Thailand will finally lose the battle for the tourist flow to competitors.

He also added that currently 55% of air passengers in the region come from either North America or Europe. “The Thai government is already on the verge of canceling applications for the Thai Pass as well as the Test & Go scheme if the proposal is approved at the April 22 meeting at the Covid-19 Situation Management (CCSA) meeting. The move comes after data provided by ForwardsKeys, a travel analytics firm, shows the kingdom's lucrative outbound tourism industry is under threat from Southeast Asian competitors due to the government's tight grip on anti-COVID measures. representative of the local central bank.

The meeting was initiated by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, who said that the ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would propose to cancel all these schemes, as well as the very receipt of a pass to Thailand from May 1. “Thailand is lagging behind its competitors in Southeast Asia, hurting the country's valuable foreign tourism industry. The Test and Go regime for vaccinated travelers, as well as the Thai Pass scheme, should be urgently canceled and passengers allowed to fly directly to Thailand with only vaccinated passports or a certificate of vaccination,” the minister said.

Thailand currently reaches only 24% of the 2019 level, while the same Philippines already shows 65%. Almost all restrictions have been lifted there, and people are willing to go “where there is no hassle.” Tourism Minister Mr. Phiphat expressed confidence that with the improved entry regime, the country could host at least 10 million visitors this year, or 25% of the number of visitors in 2019. In terms of revenue generated, he was even more ambitious, suggesting that between £1 trillion and £1.5 trillion could be generated, 50 to 75% of the 2019 figure. However, he emphasized that the success of his proposal will depend on the number of daily deaths from the virus in Thailand and the number of cases during the Songkran period.

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