The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has said it expects at least 8 million international visitors to make their way to the Kingdom this year.
TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn attributed the positive outlook to a recent announcement from the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), asking relevant units to consider relaxing COVID restrictions for international travelers.
He explained that responsible agencies will take into consideration infection rates during the long Songkran holiday period and make proposals during the CCSA general meeting on April 22nd.
Officials are also currently looking at canceling the “Thailand Pass” system, along with the RT-PCR test requirement for international arrivals, possibly replacing it with the faster and more convenient antigen test.
Yuthasak added that the TAT may propose adjusting quarantine measures for high-risk individuals and remove the requirement for foreign visitors to have travel insurance. If approved, these adjustments could be implemented as soon as the start of May or June.
Citing TAT data, Yuthasak said there were about 444,000 international visitors during the first three months of the year, a 30% increase from the previous quarter, generating some 34 billion baht in revenue.
The second quarter of this year is meanwhile projected to see about 341,000 foreign visitors, bringing in at least 23 billion baht in revenue.
According to the TAT governor, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports expects to welcome 5-15 million international travelers in total this year. He also noted that if Thailand sees at least 5 million visitors during the first 9 months of 2022, at least another 3 million will likely follow.
Much could depend on whether China goes through with its plans to relax travel restrictions for its citizens beginning in October.