Thai Daily News reported Friday afternoon that the CCSA this afternoon was considering grouping the countries by economic value and vaccination coverage as a means of deciding which foreign tourists will be allowed to come to Thailand without quarantine from Nov. 1.
Under the framework, 38 countries would be considered, of which:
1. 24 are in the European Union.
- Five are the Scandinavian countries of Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland.
- Others are Israel, Switzerland, UAE, UK, USA, India, China, Qatar, Japan and South Korea.
Earlier, the Thai prime minister had stated that ten low-risk countries would be granted quarantine-free access from Nov. 1, although only the United Kingdom, United States, Singapore, Germany and China were mentioned by name.
Another question is: Will European tourists actually return to Southeast Asia?
In July Thailand launched a so-called sandbox scheme in Phuket, the most popular beach island, with great fanfare, whose economic success results are divided.
Also, all Southeast Asian countries rely heavily on tourism and are all looking for ways to revitalize the vital economic sector ravaged by the pandemic.
It is, therefore, no wonder that Southeast Asia is now in a hurry to welcome tourists back: in 2019 the tourism sector was still worth €340 billion to the regional economy. Foreign tourism accounted for about a third of Cambodia’s GDP and a fifth of Thailand’s.
But the corona pandemic has hit hard.
The region welcomed 143 million tourists in 2019, but last year this number plunged by 81%, bringing the total number of visitors to just 26.1 million, mostly from neighbouring countries, according to data from the Southeast Association bloc. Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In 2019, the United Kingdom accounted for the 13th largest share of tourists in the region, with 3.1 million British travellers visiting South East Asia. According to Asean Now data, 2.1 million Germans and 2 million French also visited the region.
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