First international arrivals

Tour operators in Thailand get a spark of hope as the Thai government allows the first international travelers to arrive into Thailand from July 1.
According to Bangkok post, the first group of foreigners to be allowed to enter Thailand will comprise business representatives, skilled workers, experts, people with Thai families, teachers, students and patients who agree to quarantine, according to the government.

They will be tested for Covid-19 both before and upon arrival, are required to have health insurance and will be monitored by medical personnel. Members of this group are expected to be allowed in on July 1.
The first tourists coming to Thailand could be allowed in on Aug 1 on condition they undergo “Villa Quarantine”, meaning they stay in their accommodation and do not travel.


Safe to travel

Many countries still issue recommendations against traveling to Thailand but I think that’s unjustified.
With only 3,157 cases and 58 casualties, Thailand has been very successful in containing the corona virus outbreak. Compare this to other popular (diving) destinations like Egypt (61.130 cases, 2.533 deaths) and Indonesia (51.427 cases, 2.683 deaths) and it is clear that it is relatively safe to travel to Thailand.

This is partly due to the Thai government having taken extremely strict measures in the last few months but it is also due to the Thai population having been very disciplined in following up these measures.
However, the Thai population has been hit very hard by the economic impact of Covid-19 and it is estimated that about 6.5 million Thai and immigrants have lost their jobs.
As of July 1, most businesses are allowed to reopen, but they must maintain strict social distance measures. For diving operators this is not difficult to do.

On the 1st of July it will be decided whether bars and pubs can be reopened. When this will be allowed, everything in Phuket will be more or less back to normal except of course that there are almost no tourists.


Trusted destination

For tourists who want to stay away from the crowds, the coming summer months will be a great time to come to Phuket. During the last three years, the government has already been tackling the problem of overcrowding at popular tourist attractions. A good example is the partial closure of the popular Maya Bay on Phi Phi Island for snorkelers and beach goers. The decision has resulted in amazing ecological recovery and the return of packs of blacktip reef sharks in the crystal blue waters off the bay.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will launch a campaign aimed at young affluent travelers, promoting Thailand as a trusted destination where tourists will have peace of mind. Also, the Thai government has announced to promote eco-tourism and sustainable development.
Hopefully this will help to revive tourism in Thailand after the covid-19 crisis.

Please visit these websites to find more information about travel opportunities and the current situation in Thailand:

Thai Airways 

German Consulate

Bangkok Post

Asia Scuba Instructors Blog is written by Course Director Marcel Jansen. Asia Scuba Instructors runs PADI Instructor Courses in multiple locations around Asia.

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