Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, told the Associated Press that the Ministry of Tourism and Sports would hold a major meeting to consider ways to welcome foreign tourists to travel to Thailand expectedly from October 1 to help stimulate the domestic economy.
The meeting is expected to be on August 27 and will involve 4 other departments from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Transport, and Ministry of Interior.
Phiphat believed that by setting the date to welcome tourists on the first day of October would help recover Thailand’s economy in the fourth quarter as it could potentially help more than 4 million people, from entrepreneurs to local vendors, working in the tourism industry.
The minister told the Associated reporters: “I still insist on inviting foreign tourists to enter Thailand. It would be one of the best solutions that we can think of right now to solve this struggling economy but have to do it cautiously.”
Unfortunately, the ministry had to come up with a new strategy since the previous tourism plans like Travel Bubbles and Safe and Sealed had already been turned down by the Prime Minister. It is unclear what the exact details of this new plan will consist of or if the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, which is primarily consisted of doctors, many opposed to opening borders at this time, would approve it. Other discussions and plans around Samui and Phuket have taken place but the Tourism Ministry hopes this major meeting can come up with a definitive plan that all sides will agree on.
“We hope that a joint meeting with five ministries will hopefully give us some good strategies to work together. For instance, we could use a twin-city relationship that Thailand had bonded with many cities around the world. Then, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) could develop the idea of what cities or countries might work with this matching plan. And after that, we could welcome them to specific cities to fulfill the propose of economic stimulation.”
Cities and places being proposed to potentially welcome foreign tourists are Phuket, Samui, Pattaya, Krabi and a few others according to the tourism ministry.