Thailand Pass to end on June 1
Move aims to revive global arrivals
published : 28 Apr 2022 at 05:22
newspaper section: Business
writer: Dusida Worrachaddejchai
The cancellation of Thailand Pass registration is expected to take place on June 1, with tourists using their TM6 immigration form for vaccine declaration, says the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
After the Test and Go scheme is scrapped from May 1, the removal of Thailand Pass will create a more seamless travel experience and stimulate more travel to the country, said Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
He said Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul already agreed to terminate the Thailand Pass scheme.
Eliminating Thailand Pass means Thai embassies and consulates can reduce their workload, as they worked to help approve the required documents.
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration must approve this proposal at its meeting next month for the requirement to void.
Tourists might be required to complete their vaccination record on the TM6 immigration form upon arrival, with immigration officers responsible for screening the form or vaccine passport, said Mr Phiphat.
However, the government hasn't decided to step up screening measures by mandating booster doses, as the vaccine coverage of each country differs.
"If the infection rate caused by the Omicron variant subsides by June 1, the remaining travel regulations must be unlocked as the country prepares to announce Covid-19 as endemic," he said.
Meanwhile, the plan to collect a 300-baht tourism fee from international travellers will be submitted to the cabinet within the next two weeks to implement in roughly three months.
Mr Phiphat said if there is no requirement for health insurance in the future, the tourism tax can offer insurance to tourists, covering medical costs for green-level Covid patients.
As the government set a target for foreign arrivals of 7-10 million this year, he said delegates from the ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand plan to visit Saudi Arabia to sign a memorandum of understanding with Saudia, the nation's flag carrier, in mid-May.
The Middle East market can help to fill the void in the low season thanks to Thailand's abundant natural resources and rainfall, which matches this segment's travel interests, said Mr Phiphat.
In terms of the "We Travel Together" hotel subsidy scheme, the ministry has to calculate how much of the budget is left from the fourth phase. He said at least 1 million room nights could be added to support the off-peak season between June and September.