THE major tourist dependent countries have all begun to de-escalate out of strict quarantine measures, some with greater success than others. This choice to de-escalate has been taken by many countries as they rely on tourism as one of their main economic engines. However, an exception to this rule is Thailand.
Thailand has kept its borders completely closed to outside foreigners. The Telegraph reports that the ninth most visited country in the world (with 38.2 million tourists in 2019) has ruled out reopening internationally until at least 2021.
Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, the director of the Thai tourism promotion agency, explained that although they have considered the possibility of reopening, the outbreaks of neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines or Vietnam, has led them to be cautious and learn from other’s mistakes.
Chattan was also not optimistic about 2021: “Although we will reopen the borders in January, I do not expect us to exceed seven million tourists over the whole year.” It should be noted that tourism generates a substantial amount of revenue for the Asian country, 12 per cent of GDP (more than 60 billion dollars annually). So far, this nation that boasts of around 70 million inhabitants, Thailand has registered 3,300 cases and 58 deaths from Covid-19 in total.