The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is paving the way for future business by creating an escort team to help ease the visiting process in Thailand, saying a two-day training course will help prepare the country for reopening.
"Now is not the right time to allow business travellers in the country, but we have to prepare ourselves for future demand," said Supawan Teerarat, TCEB senior vice-president for strategic business development and innovation.
The training programme aims to set up an experienced escort team to coordinate business travellers during their visits, consisting of health personnel, medical assistants who can speak foreign languages, visitor assistants from a destination management company (DMC) and hotel representatives at guest accommodations.
She said the medical assistant positions would create new job opportunities for former flight attendants, a group battered by the outbreak, while DMC assistants would be responsible for jobs such as organising tour buses.
The Thai Hotels Association will contact more hotels to join the scheme if they agree to partner with hospitals, said Mrs Supawan.
TCEB would jointly operate the programme with the Department of Disease Control, hoping to train two batches of personnel by the end of September.
She said the first batch is scheduled to complete training on Sept 20 and there will be 20-30 health personnel, 40 medical assistants and 60-80 visitor assistants certified by the agency.
"If we have a proven record from the training and provide strict disease control measures, then we can discuss with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration further loosening of restrictions on foreign business travellers," said Mrs Supawan.
The target group consists of Mice (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) travellers, investors and business travellers in every sector under the supervision of the Board of Investment.
Singapore is in talks with Thailand about reopening borders between the two countries via a "green lane" to welcome business travellers.
Singapore was reported to relax travel restrictions for tourists from Brunei and New Zealand, considered low-risk countries, on Sept 1 without quarantine requirement after tourists pass a coronavirus test.