Thailand Reopening Press Conference speech by TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing and Communications at WTM 2021
Speech by Mr. Siripakorn Cheawsamoot
Deputy Governor for Marketing and Communications
Press Conference: Thailand Reopening
World Travel Market (WTM) 2021
Monday, 1 November, 2021, 11.00-11.45 Hrs.
South Gallery Room 23, Excel London
Sawasdee khrap and good morning,
Your Excellency, Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand,
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tourism Authority of Thailand,
Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand,
Distinguished guests, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen,
- On behalf of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, I would like to thank you all for being with us today. It is my great pleasure to be back in London for World Travel Market
- Thailand is proud to attend WTM 2021 in person. After our enforced time apart,
now we can reconnect with our supporters, well-wishers, and partners.
- This year, our Thailand Pavilion features “Visit Thailand Year 2022, Amazing New Chapters”, and we have 13 exhibitors ranging from hoteliers to destination management companies promoting Thailand’s tourism products and services with a fresh new perspective
- WTM 2021 will provide me with a unique opportunity to learn more about this vibrant and ever-growing industry. I also look forward to meeting many of you in person.
2. Thailand’s Tourism Situation
Let me begin with a few words about Thailand’s tourism situation.
- From 1 July to 30 October 2021, the Phuket Sandbox has welcomed 59,689 international arrivals, generating 75.58 million Pound Sterling (3.46 billion Baht) in tourism revenue circulating in the national economy. Our top countries of arrivals are the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, Germany and France.
2022 Tourism Target
- As the impact of the pandemic is quickly subsiding in Thailand, we are expanding the reopening plan with many more destinations, which will assist the recovery of the economy. TAT has set the goal for 2022, targeting total tourism revenue of 34.71 billion Pounds Sterling (1.58 trillion Baht) with 17.87 billion Pounds Sterling (818 billion Baht) from the 13 million international arrivals.
(Remark: 1 GBP = 45.8 THB as of 15 October 2021)
3. Thailand Reopening
Quarantine Exemption for Low-risk Countries
Distinguished guests, I am happy to inform you that from today, 1 November, international visitors can visit our beautiful country under three schemes: Test and Go, Living in the Blue Zone, and Happy Quarantine.
Test & Go
- Test and Go: Fully vaccinated foreign visitors from the United Kingdom and 62 other countries and territories can now enter Thailand with no quarantine requirements. They are required to spend their first night at a SHA Plus or AQ accommodation, while waiting for their COVID-19 test result. After receiving a negative COVID-19 test, travellers are then free to travel anywhere in Thailand.
- The list of the approved countries and territories will be expanded later to cover the entire world from 1 January 2022. The ‘Test & Go’ quarantine exemption scheme is to cater for the growing demand for European visitors coming to Thailand during the high season. TAT is expected to welcome around one million international visitors during the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.
- Living in the Blue Zone: Fully vaccinated travellers who are not from the approved countries can travel to selected destinations and spend seven days there before leaving to other parts of Thailand.
Reopening Phases for the Blue Zone Destinations
- As a plan to revitalise the nationwide tourism industry, Thailand has reopened its border to international visitors in four phases, the pilot phase in July with the Phuket Sandbox, followed by the Samui Plus Model. For the next step, Thailand will expand the reopening to designated destinations or known as the “Blue Zone”. The Blue Zone or the Business and Leisure Ultimate Experiences zone are destinations that are ready to welcome fully vaccinated international visitors and guarantee an unforgettable travel experience to all visitors.
- The second phase (1-30 November, 2021) will see the reopening extended to 17 other tourism-driven destinations. These include all areas of Bangkok, Krabi and Phang-Nga, and designated areas in Buri Ram (Mueang), Chon Buri (Pattaya, Bang Lamung, Na Jomtien, Bang Sarae, Ko Si Chang, and Sriracha), Chiang Mai (Mueang, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, and Doi Tao), Loei (Chiang Khan), Nong Khai (Mueang, Si Chiang Mai, Tha Bo, and Sangkhom), Phetchaburi (Cha-Am), Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin and Nong Khae), Ranong (Ko Phayam), Samut Prakan (Suvarnabhumi Airport), and Udon Thani (Mueang, Na Yung and Nong Han).
- The third phase, in December, will reopen 16 more provinces which are tourism driven, well-known for arts and culture, or border destinations. The final, fourth phase, which will begin in 2022, will reopen another 12 border destinations.
- Happy Quarantine: Travellers who do not fit into the previously mentioned schemes will have to undergo the quarantine measures set by the Ministry of Public Health.
Thailand Pass system
- In order to make your travel to the country easier and friendlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and the Digital Government Development Agency have developed the “Thailand Pass” system, a web-based system for Thai and foreign travellers to fill in their travel and health information and upload the related documents before travelling. This is active from today onwards. The purpose of the system is to support the “Ease of Travelling” policy, which will replace the ‘Certificate of Entry’ and shorten the process of filing information and uploading travellers’ documents before visiting Thailand.
- As you are well aware, the COVID-19 situation has created a tourism freeze worldwide, and now since many countries are slowly reopening for domestic and international travel, new tourism trends or “mindsets” have emerged during this difficult time. Tourists are nostalgic and longing for their beloved destinations, yet they look for something new in familiar places. Also, the sense of being trapped during lockdown has left many travellers with the urge to stay longer at a destination while exploring new places, and trying out new activities. At the same time, in the new normal way, travel, safety and hygiene will still be top priorities for travellers.
4. Visit Thailand Year 2022
Now tourism momentum is returning once again, Thailand sees an opportunity to push forward showcasing new tourism products and services, as well as present our beloved attractions in a new light.
Ladies and gentlemen, next year, 2022 will mark a new chapter for Thailand as we celebrate “Visit Thailand Year 2022” where throughout the year, we will invite travellers from around the world to experience the “Amazing New Chapters” of Thailand.
As such our key messages will highlight the abundance of tourism products and services in Thailand that will fulfil all your travel desires, because from A to Z, Thailand has it all.
Distinguished guests, here at WTM 2021, it is my great pleasure to announce first three Amazing New Chapters of Thailand’s new travel experiences.
- In Chapter 1: The First Chapter – We will start the new year with a new positive beginning. TAT will highlight tourism products and services that will definitely:
- A : Awaken Your Senses – Excite and amaze your five senses whether through delicious Thai delicacies that will excite your taste buds to the amazing sights of picturesque natural scenery that lets you feel the beauty all around you.
- B: : Beyond Expectation – A little touch of Thai that will elevate your travel experience to everything you have ever dreamt of and more.
- C : Craft your Imagination – Come and let your imagination roam and your creativity run wild in Thailand. As Workation’ is growing in popularity, we have seen many bleisure visitors coming to Thailand, as the country does not only offer high standard infrastructure, but also has many cultural hotspots with so much to see and do.
- Chapter 2: The One You Love – Many destinations in Thailand like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai with beautiful beach getaways and mountain resorts have been popular destinations for wedding and honeymooners for many years. So for this chapter we will focus on segments; such as, family, couples, and friends, and invite them to:
- N : New Expressions of Romance – Find a new expression of romance with loved ones.
- O : Overjoyed with Excitement – Create exciting new and unforgettable memories together.
- P : Pump your heart with flames of passion – and cherish all of your wonderful moments forever and ever.
- Chapter 3: The Earth We Care – TAT will focus on responsible and sustainable tourism, as during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, nature has been restored once again. This has been evident in the appearance of conservation of animals; such as, the Leatherback turtle and Bryde’s whale. Thus, the travel trend has change and travellers are looking to:
- R : Reconnect with nature – Ecotourism has continued to gain significance and attention from tourists, as people realise more and more just how their behaviour has had an impact on the environment. They will look to minimise waste and travel more responsibly.
- S: Submerge yourself in local culture – Travellers also look to immerse themselves in local culture and enrich their travel experience with authentic and unique travel experiences.
- Throughout the year, there will be many amazing new chapters for you to explore in Thailand, and these chapters will showcase our wonderful and diverse products that set us apart us from our competitors.
- And now to give you a glimpse of what is in store for you next year, I would like to show a short VDO about the Amazing New Chapters. (เปิด VDO “Amazing New Chapters”)
5. Marketing Directions for the European Market
- I am pleased to report that arrivals from the European markets are now returning with many carriers offering direct flights with a significant amount of capacity to Thailand. In addition, Thai Airways is resuming 38 routes to Thailand, including seven routes between Thailand and European cities programme to Phuket and 10 routes between Bangkok and European cities.
- Apart from Thai Airways, other major airlines; such as, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, and Finnair are offering flights from European cities to Thailand with a capacity of over five hundred thousand seats.
- In addition, in line with the direction to focus on responsible and sustainable tourism, TAT London is organising an online activity “Responsible Thailand Awards 2021” which has been held for 13 years now. The online competition invites our friends to vote on their preferred choice of the best practice of ethical, responsible, and sustainable organisation and attractions. The winner will win a free trip to Thailand, which we will announce the result on 8 December, 2021.
Ladies and gentlemen,
- Once again, thank you for being with us today. We count the British and Europeans as good friends of Thailand. Thailand has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the United Kingdom and Europe, and I am sure that this will continue for many years into the future.