Executives back reopening

Executives back reopening

Most executives of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) support the government's plan to reopen the tourism industry between October and November and are demanding only necessary measures to prevent new Covid-19 infections.

A total of 78% of 150 executives agreed with the reopening and lockdown easing plan in a survey conducted by the FTI in September, said Wirat Uanarumit, vice-chairman of the FTI.

Only 22% disagreed with the plan.

The findings came as the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration decided to reschedule the start date of the reopening from Oct 1 to Nov 1.

Five areas -- Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Phetchaburi -- are part of the plan to put them back on the foreign tourist map.

The pollsters found 73.3% of the interviewees held a moderate view on the reopening plan as they wanted disease prevention and economic recovery to occur together.

Some 12.7% wanted the government to give priority to economic issues, while 14% continued to support harsh measures against Covid-19.

When asked what measures should be put in place to prevent a new outbreak when the reopening plan takes effect, 44.7% of the respondents said foreign tourists should be required to stay in designated tourist areas for 14 days before being allowed to travel elsewhere.

Some 26% said tourists should be allowed to travel around the country without quarantine under a travel bubble agreement between Thailand and their countries.

Mr Wirat said 16.7% wanted tourists to only stay in the designated tourist areas while 12.6% supported nationwide travel, provided foreign tourists were initially kept in quarantine for 14 days.

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