Thailand to hold talks with China and Malaysia for a travel bubble

As the world tries to adapt to changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, countries are revising their tourism policies and slowly opening borders to invite tourists to boost their economies. The Thai government also plans to start discussing travel bubbles with China and Malaysia in February to achieve steady growth in tourism.

Here’s Everything We Know About Travel Bubbles So Far

intergovernmental discussion

Thailand’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism, as a large portion of revenue comes from foreign tourists. The country’s economy has been hit by the pandemic as international travel has come to a halt.

Now, the government is preparing to hold talks with counterparts in China and Malaysia to develop a bilateral tourism bubble that would help attract tourists and keep them safe. The quarantine-free visa schemes of both parties will help the economy gradually recover.

The government should also repeal other COVID-19 rules and implement a “test and go” scheme, according to Tourism Council of Thailand vice-chairman Wiji Pacobson.

existing policy

The decision came after the government dropped mandatory quarantine rules for foreign tourists. People are free to visit the country if they are fully vaccinated.

However, the policy, along with the sandbox tourism experiment, failed to attract holidaymakers who would need to quarantine on their way home.

When will the meeting be held?

according to a report tigerThailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister Phipa Rachajibgan said this week he would start discussions with China during his trip to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Likewise, talks with Malaysia will start at the end of February, as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha plans to meet with Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Impact of Chinese and Malaysian tourists

according to a bangkok post Chinese and Malaysian tourists accounted for nearly a third of the 40 million tourists in 2019, generating a combined revenue of US$20 billion, the report showed.

(Main and featured image credit: Rach Teo/ @rachteo/Unsplash)

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