Bangkok projected to reopen in next quarter
UPDATE: Chiang Mai is expected to welcome foreign tourists from Asia starting 1st November 2021 under the “Unlock Thailand” programme.
This means that visitors can fly directly into Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX), instead of first flying into Phuket or Bangkok.
The Nation reported this on 6th October 2021.
From 1st October 2021, Bangkok and Chiangmai may just be back on the roster again for vaccinated travellers. This announcement by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) comes on the back of the perceived success of the Phuket Sandbox Scheme.
Along with Pattaya, Cha-Am and Hua Hin, these cities due to reopen were announced by Tourism Ministry officials as part of next month’s goals to bolster tourism, and support the rebuilding of the economy.
Bangkok Post, however, projects the opening of Bangkok be “delayed ” to 1st November, citing reasons to do with the vaccination status of 70% by end-September.
With Bangkok’s gradual easing of lockdown measures, here’s what else to expect in terms of Thailand’s ambitious plan to ready the Land of Smiles to once again welcome visitors in the months to come.
Other news about Thailand:
Bangkok and Chiangmai projected to reopen from 1st October
The city of Bangkok and Chiangmai are on track for reopening within a month’s time, just in time for the start of October, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s site in a post dated on 6th September 2021.
Besides these two more internationally known cities, beachside havens like Hua Hin and Pattaya are rostered for a similar reopening date.
However, it’s important to note that Bangkok Post expects that the date for Bangkok’s reopening could be pushed back to early November – due to the speed of vaccinating citizens in the city.
Tourists can expect similar mechanics – in terms of staying in specific SHA+ certified hotels for 1 week, before being able to head out to explore the rest of the cities – if the country adopts the same structure rolled out in Phuket.
Which cities are next after Bangkok & Chiangmai?
If this wave of re-openings is successful, we can expect Thailand to allow other planned cities to follow suit:
- Chiang Rai
- Koh Chang
- Koh Kood
Travel bubbles with neighbouring nations, as well as those with relatively controlled Covid-19 situations are also in the works for next year, reports Bloomberg.
To clarify, the spots identified for re-openings apparently chart higher full citizen vaccination rates than the national average of 14%. As for first shots, Thailand reports a 35% vaccination rate, at current stats.
By now, you may be wondering why the continued push for re-openings despite the spike in cases in Bangkok?
Phuket Sandbox generated 1.6 billion baht in revenue
The nation does view the Phuket Sandbox as a ‘success’, quoting 26,000 vaccinated tourist visits in the first 2 months, based on TAT’s figures.
This apparently generated at least ฿1.6 billion (~USD$49 million) in tourist revenue.
As for the Covid-19 situation, TAT states that less than 1% of international visitors tested positive for Covid-19. However, concerns about domestic case spikes continue.
Do note that although these figures and dates are attributed to Tourism Ministry officials, the policies are subject to changes depending on the unfolding situation. For the latest updates, do head over the TAT’s site.
Thailand looks to reopening more cities to tourists in October
In general, it does seem like Thailand is game to reopen their nation gradually to tourists come October, on the back of their success in the Phuket Sandbox scheme.
This comes as a departure from the previous strategy of lockdowns to contain the pandemic, but more towards a strategy of living with Covid-19 via a vaccinated population.
We do hope that whatever is planned goes smoothly, and that we can balance both keeping our citizens safe, as well as revitalising the economy via tourism, which continues to be a mainstay as one of Thailand’s economic pillars.