Tourism ministry unveils portal to assist visitors

Tourism ministry unveils portal to assist visitors

Entry Thailand, a new tourism website
Entry Thailand, a new tourism website

Thailand has launched a new tourism website, aiming to make travel to the country easier for the 8-15 million tourists expected to visit next year.

The central platform, named Entry Thailand, includes necessary information before arrival, providing basic information and documents that tourists have to prepare in advance with complete links to third-party organisations involved with entry requirements, websites for authorised SHA+ hotels, Covid-19 insurance, Thailand Pass registration and MorChana -- the official tracking app.

The extensive services also cover arrival, tax refunds and online alerts to the Tourist Police through an application.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the tourism and sports minister, said the ministry created the portal website as a part of its e-service roadmap between 2022 and 2024 to facilitate tourists who face more difficulties due to complicated requirements during the pandemic.

"The pile of paperwork and several organisations tourists have to deal with are inconvenient. The ministry wants this platform to help reduce their difficulties when planning trips to Thailand," said Mr Phiphat.

As the Covid-19 situation has improved recently, he said the government is hoping that border reopening to four neighbouring countries -- Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia -- will drive the number of tourists next year to 8-15 million, generating 1.3-1.8 trillion baht for the economy.

He said if the upward trend gains momentum in 2023, Thailand should receive 20 million international tourists, and that will require the country to have an established system to handle such huge demand.

According to the ministry, the portal website will help centralise the scattered information regarding travel experiences in Thailand, such as attractions, transportation and food.

In the next phase, the ministry will encourage other state authorities to feature their services on the platform and will also leave the backdoor open for startups who want to connect Entry Thailand with their products and services.

The first phase of the website has been allocated a 49.6-million-baht budget and the ministry hopes the system can help connect Thailand with 7 billion tourists globally.

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