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'Safe and Sealed' tourism plan proposed

Tourists take sunset pictures at Promthep Cape in Phuket. A new plan aims to draw at least 500,000 tourists to Thailand. Photo by Sarot Meksophawannakul

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Tourism operators are proposing a new tourism plan, called Safe and Sealed, to replace travel bubbles and keep Thailand from realising the worst-case revenue scenario of 675 billion baht next year, down from 3.01 trillion baht in 2019.

At a meeting chaired by Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, tourism-related groups offered a proposal to let inbound tourists restart their trips to Thailand in the fourth quarter with safer screening and more flexibility for more countries than the travel bubble scheme.

The president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents said that while Thailand has started to welcome some groups of foreigners, the total will be fewer than 100,000 visitors and cannot prevent tourism-related businesses from falling into bankruptcy.

The new plan is expected to draw at least 500,000 tourists to Thailand and generate 50 billion baht in revenue. The cost of the package would be 100,000 baht per person, higher than the average price of 50,000 baht before the pandemic.

"Safe means we will select only guests from a city with a record of no infections for at least 30 days, and they can travel under the sealed conditions provided by tour operators in designated hotels and provinces that agree to welcome those tourists," he said.

Other necessary screening processes are also required, such as an infection-free certificate 72 hours before a flight, as well as insurance and tests.

Tourism businesses want the government to help start the fund with a 100-billion-baht budget.

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