In regard to the recent developments for travel to Thailand and to update the Indian travel media on current protocols for foreign tourists looking to visit Thailand, H.E. Ms Pattarat Hongtong, Ambassador of Thailand to India met with the media on 31st January 2023 at the Ambassador’s Residence, New Delhi. Mr Vachirachai Sirisumpan, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in New Delhi also joined the session.
In a meeting, H.E. Ambassador gave a briefing about bilateral relations between Thailand and India in particular the tourism sector and followed by tourism updates in Thailand by the Director of TAT New Delhi. • The bilateral relations between Thailand and India have steadily grown, with increasing numbers of exchanges of high-level visits and meetings, as well as bilateral trade reaching a new record at 17.7 billion USD in 2022.
- The tourism industry is a major contributor to the country’s economy, roughly 18% of the total GDP of Thailand. Related businesses and employment such as hotels and accommodations, transportation services, restaurants and etc. benefit from this sector. • In 2022, international tourists reached over 11 million. Among these numbers, Indian tourists have become the 2nd largest group of tourists arriving by air last year with a number of almost 1 million, while Malaysian ranks No. 1 and Singapore No. 3. We hope that the number of Indian tourists could return to 1.4 million this year.
- From 1 October 2022, Thailand lifted all Covid-19 related measures and continues to welcome all international tourists under the fully-reopen-to-tourism policy that was introduced since then. • Since 9 January 2023 Thailand implemented new public health measures. Travellers from the listed countries requiring negative RT-PCR test results before departing Thailand should have health insurance covering at least US$10,000 for COVID-19 treatment that covers the duration of stay in Thailand plus 7 additional days. This is to ensure that the departing passengers who have positive RT-PCR results and cannot travel to the particular countries, including India, will be covered financially if being hospitalised in Thailand.
- The covid-19 situation in Thailand since October 2022 is stable with fewer cases. People continue to practice good hygiene. Travel and hospitality businesses in Thailand continue to follow the guidelines and standards of the “Safety and Health Administration” or SHA certification.
- The Thai government together with TAT and related private sectors still give their full attention to Covid-19 prevention measures. If you travel to Thailand, you can see that the majority of Thai people still wear masks. Public areas like shopping malls still follow public health recommendations. Tourism-related business especially hotels and airlines give their attention to hygiene, so Thailand is very confident that Covid-19 is well under control. As part of the full reopening to tourism, Thailand is also offering a longer period of stay for visitors. Effective through 31 March 2023, the period of stay is extended to 45 days (from 30 days) for tourists from countries/territories entitled to visa exemption, and to 30 days (from 15 days) for those eligible for a Visa on Arrival (VOA).
- In spite of the current guidelines issued by the Indian authorities, there is no significant decline in Indian tourists to Thailand. • Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Thai travel industry give high importance to all international markets. India is regarded as one of the top markets for Thailand.
- Cooperation between TAT and Thai travel trade with our travel trade partners in India is very strong and will continue to be stronger.
The media guests at the meet included travel consumer media, travel trade media, TV News channel representatives, radio channel representatives and editors of mainline newspapers.