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Thailand attempting to form ‘travel bubble’ with India, governments announce

Thailand is attempting to form a travel bubble with India with the main goal of attracting high-value young Indian visitors. Thailand hopes this move will make significant contribution to the recovery of the kingdom’s tourism-dependent economy.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday approved a proposal on the Thai-Indian Air Travel Bubble (ATB), in which extra convenience will be offered to air passengers travelling between the two countries, despite some remaining Covid-19 restrictions, said CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin.

Airlines and air ticket agents along with Covid-19 control authorities, such as the CCSA will work together in this bilateral tourism promotion campaign, he said.

Approximately 1.9 million Indian tourists came to Thailand in 2019, which marked a 25% increase from the previous year, Taweesilp said, citing figures from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

They each spent seven days in Thailand and 44,700 ($1365.00) baht in Thailand on average, he said.

In 2019, this generated about 80 billion baht for Thailand’s tourism income, a 20% rise from the previous year when India had already become Thailand’s third-largest tourism market, with over 300 flights running from India to Thailand, the spokesman added.

“Indian visitors represent Thailand’s hope for the recovery of tourism,” said Somsong Sachaphimukh, vice president of both the Tourism Council of Thailand and the Indian-Thai Chamber of Commerce.

“India is a high-value tourism market given it has 600-700 million people aged 29 years and under,” she said. “The country also has a growing number of new millionaires.”

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports previously forecast 20% growth in number of Indian visitors to Thailand by 2030, while the World Bank projected that 83 million Indian tourists would be travelling overseas by that same year, up from 24 million in 2017, Ms Somsong said.

Holidaymakers account for 85% of visitors from India. They are mostly aged 25-35 years old and like to travel with groups of friends, family or as couples, she noted.

Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said earlier the government hoped to start talks with China and Malaysia this month, in a bid to secure travel bubbles. Thailand’s quarantine free Test & Go scheme for foreign tourists restarted on February 1st.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: EN.VIETNAMPLUS.VN

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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