Thailand tourism officials talk of potential travel bubble with China

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With restrictions in Beijing easing and plans to issue digital Covid-19 vaccination certificates to Chinese nationals, there may soon be a travel bubble between Thailand and China, allowing those vaccinated against the coronavirus to travel between the countries without quarantine.

Just yesterday, the Chinese government announced it would issue the digital certificates to help citizens travelling overseas, a move that made the tourism industry in Thailand “jubilant,” the president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, Vichit Prakobosol, told the Bangkok Post.

Immediately after the announcement, tour agencies in China contacted operators in Thailand to talk about the possibility of quarantine -free travel for vaccinated tourists.

“If Thailand can implement a travel bubble with China by that time, we have high hopes we can have 8 million Chinese visitors this year… If a pact is finalised in July, Chinese arrivals would be less than 6 million, and if not until October, the figure is more likely 3 million.”

Thailand may potentially set up a tourism project called the “Andaman sandbox” that would allow quarantine-free travel to tourism destinations along the Andaman coast such as Phuket, Koh Ngai, Railay and Khao Lak, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

The Andaman pilot projects will benefit the tourism industry, Vichit says. He also says travel arrangements with China should be a top priority.

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