The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has affirmed that the activity to invite foreign travelers back to Thailand under the Special Tourist Visa (STV) plan will continue as arranged, however, it may be postponed because of administrative work strategies.
TAT governor Yutthasak Supasorn said that despite the delay, the first batch of tourists from China would reach Phuket this month under the STV scheme.
Earlier, Phuket was ready to receive the first group of tourists from China who were expected to land next week under the STV scheme aimed at supporting Thailand’s economic recovery.
In the early phases of resuming, the first flight was booked to arrive on Oct 8, is expected to convey 120 travelers from Guangzhou.
However, Director of Phuket International Airport, Pilot Officer Thani Chuangchu said a check with Thai civil aviation authorities found no evidence of a chartered plane from China.
He added that as far as he knows, as reported in the news, the flights will be chartered with a limited number of passengers and will have to follow the steps considered by the Thai government and foreign ministry from their point of origin.
According to the airport’s flight schedule from October 2, international, domestic and outbound commercial flights have not yet been approved, Pilot Officer Thani said, adding that the airport has not yet taken any action and the Emergency Administration (CCSA) is awaiting orders from the Covid-19 center.
On Wednesday, General Natthapon Nakpanich, head of the CCSA’s panel on easing the Covid-19 lockdowns, said the STV scheme would first be rolled out to the resort islands of Phuket and Samui.
He said the first group of foreign visitors was considered a low-risk group because there had been no new Covid-19 cases in Guangzhou for a long time.
In an article published on tna.mcot.com on Thursday, Pailin Chuchottaworn, head of the panel appointed to manage economic management, said it might be time to review the government’s current steps to tackle Covid-19.
He said Thailand has been praised for its ability to control the spread of the epidemic, but questioned whether Thailand was fit to maintain its covid-free status at the expense of the economy.
“Thailand will be the only country to be safe from the epidemic for which no vaccine is available for the duration.” But does this record want to keep the economy afloat? ” Mr. Pailin asked.