November 1st Re-opening : A “Slow Start” Is Better Than “No Start”

November 1st Re-opening : A “Slow Start” Is Better Than “No Start”

November 1st Re-opening : A “Slow Start” Is Better Than “No Start”

There was much excitement about the opening of the country finally on November 1st, with Thai authorities expecting 30,000 visitors and only 8,000 actually turning up, mostly returning Thais and expats.

The slow start may be off putting for many, especially business operators who are deciding to reopen their businesses or not.

A whole array of complaints and grumblings concerning the opening have been put forth such as the cost of insurance and rocketing SHA accommodation prices for potential travelers, the fact that most children are not vaccinated, so no family vacations while pubs, bars and entertainment venue are closed so no party crowd either.

A slow start, then, off-putting and frustrating definitely but maybe necessary?

It has been estimated by Bank of Thailand that if the re-opening goes well, the country would be looking at a GDP growth this year of 0.7% to 1.0% but if the reopening was to meet with an “accident” which means another wave, then the country will end up with a negative GDP again for the year and the untold misery of another economic crash which may not be survivable this time.

The government has no choice but to open the country, that is a certainty, if Thailand is to avoid a total breakdown of its tourism reliant economy.

However, the government is facing a substantial amount of pressure from several segments of the Thai media and society to not open up for fear of importing new cases and causing another wave.

 Therefore, the government’s only path of moving forward and reopening has to be done carefully and slowly so that the authorities can keep a tighter control of the situation in order to avoid “mishaps”. The rules and regulations will decrease over time as the Thai authorities get the hang of ensuring “reopening safely” and then can make moves towards a more relaxed opening, confidently.

Another important point to keep in mind is that the double dose vaccination rate of the country stands at 40% and yes, we can keep crucifying the government for a blotched up vaccination management job but the country needs to leave that behind and think constructively about the future of tourism from this point onwards.

Also, most countries added to the list have just been informed and need to make adjustments to their flight schedules to Thailand and will probably have it sorted out by mid to end November giving the Thai authorities time to ramp up their vaccination rate.

Business operators need to be patient for a little while longer but a safe slow opening is any day better than a no opening or an opening that crashes immediately.

Written By - Patra Manas.