Vaccination packages mulled

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Tourists wear face masks upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Tour operators have floated the idea of luring inbound travellers with vaccination tour packages after the first batch of inoculations are distributed to high-risk groups in February.

“After the vaccines arrive, we need a tourism plan by the second quarter this year to create more demand,” said Chamnan Srisawat, Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) president.

The one-month tour packages are expected to cost 150,000 baht, including a 14-day quarantine in an alternative state quarantine or alternative local quarantine facility and vaccination costs.

The tourism plan aims to support inbound operators and hoteliers at major tourism destinations that still rely heavily on the international market after a long pause.

If the Food and Drug Administration approves private hospitals reserving more Covid-19 vaccines, tour operators can partner with hospitals to offer jabs for foreign travellers, he said.

Mr Chamnan said the idea is in the early stages of discussion and requires more consideration, such as the availability of vaccines in Thailand and a government determination of its likelihood.

“Tourism-related operators will not be able to stay afloat until mass vaccination programmes take place globally,” he said.

“We still need financial relief from the government.”

Soft loans, a one-year debt holiday and 50% co-payment of monthly salaries are measures operators submitted to the government to help protect tourism jobs.

Mr Chamnan said the council recently had a meeting with the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) to discuss future cooperation.

The TCT plans to offer special packages for FTI members when the new wave of infections is under control, as there are around 100,000 workers in the industrial segment who have the potential to help drive more domestic trips.

Read the full article at Bangkok Post: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2055191/vaccination-packages-mulled

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