Published on : Monday, May 31, 2021
For more than a year, keeping its international borders tightly sealed to all travelers in the middle of COVID-19, now, Thailandis in an urgent need to draw international tourism. It accounts for one-fifth of its economy in pre-pandemic times.
From July 1st, Phuket, the popular resort island, is all prepared to welcome vaccinated international visitors quarantine-free travel, three months before than the rest of the country.
Bloomberg reported that in March, the Thai government designed a plan to make sure that at least 70 percent of the locals of Phuket are inoculated by the time the destination reopens its borders.
To attract tourists, the Tourism Council of Thailand has designed a new ‘One Night, One Dollar’ campaign. It would see, to the foreign guests, participating hoteliers offering room rates of US$1 per night for accommodations that would typically run somewhere between 1,000 baht (US$32) and 3,000 baht (US$96) per night.
TCT president Chamnan Srisawat explained that he expects with around 70,000 rooms available on the island, nearly one million room nights would be offered up for booking at a dollar each. This move in July should generate 40 billion baht to help hotels and other tourism services.
Srisawat told TTG Asia that discrepancies in cost would be subsidized by the Thai government if the plan is green-lit. To quote him, “TCT also discussed the idea with major wholesalers and online travel agents to prepare for the reopening of Phuket. And they are ready to help.”
The proposed plan has been submitted to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, as well as the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. In June, it will be put forth for consideration by the cabinet.
If the promotion campaign – ‘One Night, One Dollar’ yields positive results in Phuket, the tourism players associated with government and private-sector may look to execute the same policy in other popular tourism areas, such as Bangkok, Pattaya and Koh Samui.
“However, the current wave of COVID-19 infection could (impact the) final decision. But we have been suffering from the pandemic for 15 months now. Only mass tourism will save us,” Srisawat said.