Thailand, one of our Educational Travel Program destinations, is one of the best-performing countries in terms of COVID-19 response and prevention. Although cases are still present, the government is continuously working to keep the community and the economy strong.
The Tourism Ministry of Thailand has recently pledged to welcome the first batch of international tourists to the country by October.
According to the Ministry, tour operators can now start promoting long-stay packages via the special tourist visa (STV) to potential customers. The SVT will allow foreign visitors to stay in the country for 90 days, extendable twice for up to 270 days. This policy is expected to be effective starting next month until November next year.
To be eligible for the STV, tourists must provide all required documents regarding their itinerary to officials. This includes payment for alternative state quarantine (ASQ) or alternative local state quarantine (ALSQ) facility, post-quarantine accommodation, chartered flights or private jet bookings, COVID-free certificate, and travel and health insurance.
After the approval of all documents by the Foreign Ministry, it will issue a certificate of eligibility (COE) and STV to tourists to let them continue with their travel plans.
Bangkok is where the first visitors will undergo 14-day quarantine, as the city provides sufficient ASQ facilities. During the first stage of reopening, international flights will be limited to three flights a week with 100 tourists per flight. Many travelers have already shown interest in visiting Thailand. Thus, if the initial month runs smoothly, and providing another outbreak does not happen, the government aims to increase capacity in the next phase.
According to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, the policy targets to bring in 100-300 visitors a week, or up to 1,200 people a month. This is expected to generate income of about 1 billion baht a month, which can hopefully help the country restore the tourism industry at a minimum level.