Thailand recently announced that it would be reopening its borders to vaccinated travelers by mid-October 2021.
The country closed its borders in March 2020 and then introduced a 14-day quarantine, resulting in a major fall in inbound activity. The relaxation of restrictions in October, which aim to take advantage of a strong inbound winter tourism market from Europe, will be the market’s first full opening since.
A "sandbox" initiative on Phuket is set to test the waters, with vaccinated tourists offered free movement on the island and onward travel after 14 days. However, many travelers from traditional markets such as the UK and Europe are likely to be deterred by the requirement to quarantine on return.
Tourism accounted for roughly one-fifth of Thailand’s economy prior to the pandemic. More than seven million workers are understood to be adversely affected by the closure.
Prior to 2020, international capacity into Thailand was growing rapidly. Some 56.1 million seats were flown into the country in 2019, up from 45.3 million in 2016.
The nature of the country’s geography, and the desire for multi-stop tourism within Thailand, also helped to support a strong domestic market, which offered 47 million seats in 2019.
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