TAT’s New Plan Hopes To Attract More Tourists Amid COVID-19

A public health worker guides Chinese tourists from Shanghai who arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on special tourist visas, in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn)

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on Tuesday rolled out its 2021 Tourism Plan, targeting healthy tourists from across the world as the country tried to stem imported COVID-19 cases.

In its tourism plan next year, Thailand also highlighted the country’s tourism sites that are free from COVID-19.

“The world knows that Thailand had been very successful in containing the virus and that nearly all of our 76 provinces are COVID-19 free,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

The main highlights of Thailand will remain the same, that includes natural beauty, the Thai cultural sites and authentic Thai food, the governor said.

However the 2021 Tourism Plan for now is only a blueprint, as tourism next year would depend mainly on the situation of the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

“We are looking into early next year or in the second quarter when tourism will pick up again,” said Yuthasak.

The governor also said he expected Thai people to make an approximate 120 million domestic trips and spend about 800 billion baht (25.6 billion U.S. dollars) next year.

For inbound tourism, the TAT expected about 20 million visitors and a revenue of about 1.5 trillion baht (48 billion U.S. dollars) from their spending next year.

Thailand has already announced plans to gradually allow return of foreign tourists to minimize job losses and prevent shuttering of more hotels and travel-related businesses.

According to the TAT, more than 2,000 tourists have shown interest under a special visa program that would allow them to stay in the country for as long as 270 days.