OMICRON CONCERNS IMPACTING TOURIST NUMBERS

With the emergence of a new variant of the Omicron coronavirus, many countries have abruptly resumed restrictive measures, including Thailand

Thailand is one of those countries that decided to postpone the idea of ​​replacing expensive RT-PCR tests with more affordable antigen test kits because it was expected to tempt arriving travellers. As a result, Thailand is currently experiencing a decline in new tourists, which the head of the tourism department Yutasaka Supasorn said is a predictable side effect of the new Covid-19 variant Omicron.

Since December 8, the number of international tourists entering Thailand has dropped to less than 3,000 per day.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has now announced it has extended quarantine for visitors arriving from overseas through sandbox and quarantine schemes from five to seven days.

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said the decision was in response to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and increase in infections in some countries.

Fully vaccinated visitors from countries included in the Test and Go scheme, who must stay only one night in a hotel, will undergo an RT-PCR test on arrival and then be required to antigen test themselves.

Public concern about a new variant of the coronavirus is constantly fluctuating. The Thailand Stock Exchange Index is down nearly 80 points, or 4.8%, in the first three days after news of the Omicron arrival.

Many are concerned about Omicron, which appears to be more infectious than previous options, although evidence suggests that infections caused by it are usually less severe. Travellers prefer to cancel or postpone their travels, waiting until 2022, when a better understanding of the new disease is likely to occur, and effective containment measures are in place and maximum protection against it is ensured with working vaccines.

Since Thailand opened on November 1 for the Safe Countries List, a large percentage of travellers have entered the country from European countries, especially the UK, Germany and France. But Europe is now seeing a spike in Covid-19 infections since the spread of Omicron, and today the UK, for example, cancelled British Airways flights to Thailand.

By December 15, Thailand’s daily tourist arrivals fell to 2,584, a figure that could continue to fall as the new variant, which has only been spotted a few times in the kingdom so far, is spreading rapidly to countries previously considered safe by the Covid Management Center. nineteen.

544’566 people have registered for the Thailand Passcode to enter the country, of which 436’008 have already been approved, and 160’079 tourists have already entered Thailand. France, Germany, Russia, the USA and Great Britain are among the five main countries whose citizens come to the kingdom now.