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Thailand Has Reopened to Taiwanese with Quarantine-Free Entry in November
As the epidemic has stabilized and vaccine coverage has increased, the Thai government has gradually eased inbound travel regulations. Thailand has officially reopened from November 2021. Tourists who are fully vaccinated and hold negative PCR test results are welcome to Thailand and experience diverse vacation options, such as high-end hotels, Thai SPA massage, and golf holidays.
Interview content with Ben Hung, the Marketing Manager of Tourism Authority of Thailand Taipei
In the past two years, the global tourism market has almost been closed due to the epidemic. Instead of traveling abroad, people travel within their own country. And it has made a significant impact on Thailand, the country depending on the tourism industry.
Thailand is one of the countries with the most tourists in Southeast Asia and a favorite tourist country for Taiwanese. To revitalize the tourism industry under epidemic prevention, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been adjusting its marketing strategies and has launched the “Sandbox” program. Phuket and Samui have reopened to international tourists from July 2021 conditionally. Krabi and Phang Nga Province started in August. Passengers from low- and medium-risk countries who are fully vaccinated can enter Phuket without quarantine. In line with the new regulations of the Sandbox program, the Thai government reduced the least time spent in Phuket from 14 days to 7 days.
Among the four phases of the Thailand reopening plans, the second phase (November) included popular attractions such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Hua Hin. The third phase (December) is for art and culture attractions such as Ayutthaya, Chiang Rai, and Sukhothai. And Thailand will reopen another 13 border provinces in the fourth phase (January), including Kanchanaburi, Surin, and Ubon Ratchathani.
Now, travelers can take direct flights from Taiwan to Bangkok and conduct PCR tests in their reserved accommodations or testing centers. Take the pre-arranged airport shuttle bus directly to hotels, and wait for the test results in hotel rooms. Those who receive negative test results can arrange their tours and travel freely. However, complying with epidemic prevention regulations such as wearing masks, washing hands frequently, taking temperature, conducting name registration, and keeping a social distance is necessary as in Taiwan.
Ben Hung, the marketing manager of the TAT Taipei Office, said that the new Sandbox program welcomes tourists from all over the world, including Taiwan. The TAT has also launched a series of promotional activities, including the Phuket and Samui Golf Package, online travel activities in cooperation with MyProGuide. Besides, TAT plans on inviting Taiwanese travel agents and media to the Thailand fam tour, acquiring the local epidemic prevention measures and the latest travel news.
In response to the new Sandbox program, the TAT joined Golfdigg and launched the updated Phuket Golf Package, applicable from November 1 to December 23, 2021. The package fee includes six specified golf courses (Canyon Country Club –Canyon Course, Mission Hills Phuket, Laguna Golf Phuket, Red Mountain Golf Club, Loch Palm Golf Club, and Blue Canyon Country Club –Lake Course), SHA Plus certified hotels, and transportation services.
Putting the good old days without COVID-19 aside, it is much more convenient to visit Thailand now than it was during the severe epidemic. People can now plan their post-pandemic trip to Thailand by visiting the three exhibitions held by TAT Taipei Office –ITF (Taipei), TTE (Taipei), and KTF (Kaohsiung). They introduce Thai cuisine, islands, cities, festivals, travel news, Facebook activities, and exclusive booth activities. The TAT exhibition in ITF, finished on November 7, had received massive positive feedback from visitors.
Ben Hung mentioned that the epidemic in Thailand is now relatively easing, and the vaccine coverage rate is gradually increasing with 74% first dose and 40% second dose. Phuket, the first reopened province, is planning for the third dose to strengthen protection for both natives and tourists.
In terms of air traffic, most of the airlines currently operate the Taipei-Bangkok route only due to low passenger traffic, including China Airlines, EVA Air, STARLUX Airlines, and Thai Airways. However, Thai Vietjet Air plans to open the Taipei-Bangkok-Phuket route. All the airlines are actively preparing for the post-epidemic tourism market. Once the time is ripe, the flight to Chiang Mai may resume next year.
Ben Hung suggested that people who plan to visit Thailand during the Lunar New Year of 2022 should arrange quarantine hotels for returning in advance. Make preparations for the bilateral regulations and take a safe and fun vacation. As for the recommended places to travel, besides the urban charm of Bangkok, the slow and Northern Thai style of Chiang Mai is also a good choice.