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5 May 2022

Econ Digest

Full opening on May 1, 2022, an important step for Thailand… introducing preferential benefits to support the tourism market


        Thailand is one of the countries that have significantly eased their entry requirements on international visitors. Starting May 1, 2022, the Thai government will waive the RT-PCR test for fully vaccinated foreign travelers, reduce health insurance coverage for foreign visitors from USD20,000 to USD10,000, and reopen 31 land border checkpoints in 17 provinces for overland crossings. KResearch perceives that these measures are important steps to boost tourism and revitalize the outlook for international tourism in Thailand for the remainder of 2022. The number of foreign tourists is expected to gradually accelerate in the second half of 2022 due to the peak tourist season in many countries. However, there are still many challenges that could affect foreign tourists’ confidence and their travel decisions, including international travel policies of tourists’ home countries, especially China’s zero-COVID policy, the Russo-Ukrainian war, and increased travel expenses due to global energy prices and inflation.

        KResearch believes that the number of international arrivals to Thailand for 2022 will be around 4 million people. If the Russian-Ukrainian war does not intensify further, European tourists will remain an important tourist market for Thailand this year. The number of foreign tourists may be higher than expected if market environment factors show more visible signs of improvement. For tourism operators, there are still business challenges that must be considered after the opening to foreign tourists, because tourism trends will change after COVID-19.These changes include most tourists choosing to travel independently, most tourists are repeat visitors, tourism purposes are more diverse, focusing on a travel destination that is safe from COVID-19 and can meet demand while creating an experience during the trip. To this end, while the COVID-19 epidemic has not yet eased, tourism operators should adapt tourism products and services to the needs of each target group, in addition to following the epidemic prevention safety standards.

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Econ Digest