The Songkhla private sector in the Sadao District was planning to welcome Malaysian tourists following the Malaysian government’s approval of the Thai-Malaysian border reopening, effective on April 1st.
Dr. Sitthiphong Sitthiphatprapha, advisor to the Dan Nok Entrepreneurs Association and a hotel operator in Sadao, said yesterday, March 9th, that there had been a clarification that the Malaysia government had agreed to reopen its side of the border this April while Thailand had already done so on March 1st to welcome Thai residents under the “Test&Go” scheme.
Local residents in the border area of the Sadao district and in Songkhla saw the border reopening as an opportunity to stimulate domestic economy and tourism. In the next 40 days, the private sectors and local operators would discuss various preventive measures to ensure compatibility with the Malaysian regulations as the country had announced Covid-19 as endemic and was able to open the country with more measures of relaxation while Thailand was implementing the “Test&Go” which was not compatible. This was the most concerning issue that must be urgently discussed and finalized, Dr. Sitthiphong stated.
The advisor also said that the private sectors wanted to attract Malaysian travelers as they were the main target group of tourists to revive local tourism businesses after two years of quietness. Operators were also making themselves ready for the reopening.
He added: “There were more than 30 hotels in Songkhla that have qualified with “SHA” and “SHA Plus”. Of that, five of them were located near the Sadao border. However, our government must clarify the conditions for entering the country in order to create mutual understandings and make sure that the measures would not obstruct or limit the travelers.”
“For example, the Thai-Malaysian border checkpoint could arrange a “Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL)” which allowed eligible vaccinated travelers to enter the country quarantine-free if they meet all requirements, just like how Malaysia applied to Singapore.”
Photo Courtesy: Nation TV
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