Will Thailand’s Tourism Take Time To Bounce Back To Normal?

Will Thailand’s Tourism Take Time To Bounce Back To Normal?
Thai Business Box .

Will Thailand’s Tourism Take Time To Bounce Back To Normal?

The general consensus amongst analysts and industry executives seems to be that it will take years for Thailand’s tourism to make a comeback and return to the level of what it once was.

That may be a true prediction as a worse case scenario but on the other hand Thailand’s tourism road to recovery does not necessarily have to be a long and arduousone if the government commits to a full reopening without reverting back to lockdowns, especially after the vaccination rate of the population reaches 70%.

Some of the concerns are that Thailand’s low vaccination rate of 32% could be a put off for tourists, along with the substantial number of cases the country is seeing everyday and that Thailand’s reopening plan coincides with many other countries’ reopening and there will be competition for tourists in the months ahead.

Besides, a reopening could cause a spike in cases amid the country’s opening.

In actual fact, Thailand’s vaccination rate will not stay at 32% indefinitely especially when the government is committed to getting the vaccination rate up to 70% by year end, which is around the corner. The current load of cases will decline as is the case with every wave in every country in the world. Should we get another outbreak in 2022 the majority of the country’s population would already be vaccinated, therefore the severity of any future outbreak would be unlikely.

Also, the world is slowly moving towards a more homogenous world where countries strive for a vaccination rate of 70% or above. In the future, it does not matter where you travel, the chances of you getting infected abroad is the same as if you stayed in your own country.

That leaves the competition. Thailand has always had competition even in pre-Covid times, and the country still managed to welcome 40 million tourist in a year. Unless, the Covid pandemic has made more countries turn towards tourism as their revenue generator than pre-pandemic times, its likely the competition remains the same as it ever was.

However, its true that other countries will allow easier cross-border travel to compete for tourists more effectively but there’s no reason why we can’t make our entry procedures as close to the way it was, as possible. Pre-pandemic, our tourist entry policies was one of our stronger points, focussed on the convenience and ease of traveling to Thailand.

Therefore, how fast we return to normalcy depends on the policy makers attitude towards the reopening of the country. The question should no longer be “Should we reopen?” but more focussed on“How do we reopen fully and safely? ”.

If the government can restart the tourism engine, the country’s economy will get a booster shot like no other. Thailand is not a rich nation and the government cannot afford to financially support struggling SMEs and workers in the tourism industry indefinitely. Something has to give.

If making Thailand safe for reopening is the “make or break” point it falls on the government to make sure “safe for Thais and tourists” happens.

The vaccination rate need to accelerate, medical segment prepped up, medication made readily available, entry process of foreigners must be streamlined but without compromise on tests and virus control measures once a tourist is in the country but make it easy, convenient, cheap and hassle free.

Its time for Thailand to reopen fully, the waves may come as they do anyway, even when the country’s borders are closed.

Learning to “live with Covid” means just that, the country has to take a brave step forward, prepare as much as we can, but we cannot keep waiting, while our once bustling tourism sector dies a slow, painful death.

Written By - Patra Manas.