PM: We need foreign tourists for sake of local economy

PM: We need foreign tourists for sake of local economy

Welcoming mat will include strict disease controls

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha tries durian chips during his visit to Rayong province on Tuesday. He said the country needed to welcome back foreign tourists, for the survival of its economy. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha tries durian chips during his visit to Rayong province on Tuesday. He said the country needed to welcome back foreign tourists, for the survival of its economy. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Thailand needs to attract foreign tourists back and have a welcoming system of disease control in place, so local people can start earning money again, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday.

The return of foreign visitors would begin with only a limited number of arrivals, to test the country's disease control measures, which would be comprehensive, he said.

He sought to allay concerns that tourists coud bring with them a new wave of coronavirus disease. Gen Prayut said the government would not let visitors arrive as they pleased.

"There will be forms to fill in. Flights must be traceable. When they reach their destinations their whereabouts will have to be confirmed and they will be isolated from others," the prime minister said.

Gen Prayut said the return of tourists was essential for the country.

"If nothing is done, things will get worse. Premises will be shut down. Employees will be laid off. How can the government afford to help them all?" he said.

He gave an assurance that visitors would be monitored, and said he hoped that local people would welcome them back.

"Local people must take care (of the visitors) because the benefits will go to them, not the government," Gen Prayut said.

"Please rest assured that if (the disease) is detected, we will be able to contain it," he said.

The prime minister said officials were drafting procedures for handling arriving tourists and considering which would be the first destination to receive them.

The biggest economic impact has been on the provinces that used to get a large number of foreign tourists, he said.

The prime minister did not say how tourists would be persuaded to come here.  


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (185)

UAE reopens all 7 regions to foreign visitors

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates resumed issuing visas to foreign visitors to all seven of its regions as of Thursday, after a six-month suspension imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, state media reported.

16:56

Heavy rain continues until Tuesday

Heavy rain will continue until Tuesday after it caused runoff and floods in several provinces from Wednesday night, according to the weatherman.

14:32

More charges

The digital minister moves to prosecute three major social media service providers for failing to remove anti-monarchial messages they were were warned about, and the student protesters who posted them.

13:40