According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), foreigners who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 should be allowed to visit Thailand without the need to quarantine.
The tourism authority says so-called ‘vaccine passports’ would enable foreign tourists to stay in Thailand without needing to spend the first 14 days of their trip in an alternative state quarantine facility.
The ‘vaccine passports’ are one of a number of ideas suggested by TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn in a bid to revive Thailand’s decimate tourism industry, which faces the prospect of one million workers left unemployed as a result of the pandemic.
Mr Supasorn said under the proposals, vaccinated tourists from the United States and Europe could start arriving in Thailand as early as March or April, with a focus on what would be the Easter holidays.
Tourists from China, Japan and South Korea would arrive later once restrictions on all but necessary travel had been lifted by the governments in those countries.
Mr Supasorn said that if the ‘vaccine passports’ get the approval he would expect 10 million tourists to visit the country in 2021.
Mr Supasorn added that TAT has already entered discussions with Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways about offering tourists all-inclusive packages. While details were not specified, it is presumed that the packages would enable vaccinated foreigners to travel to Thailand without restrictions or the need to enter quarantine.
TAT will also ask the tourism authorities in other ASEAN countries to adopt the ‘vaccine passport’ model in order to stimulate tourism across the region.
The news comes as two of Thailand’s largest hotel operators have urged the government to cancel the current COVID-19-quarantine rules for vaccinated visitors in a bid to revive the country’s tourism industry.