PM tells govt: prepare for tourists

PM tells govt: prepare for tourists

Visitors are seen at the Grand Palace. Thailand is now preparing to open more cities to tourism. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Visitors are seen at the Grand Palace. Thailand is now preparing to open more cities to tourism. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered various ministries to speed up preparations for boosting tourism while keeping in mind pandemic restrictions.

The order comes as a medical expert raised concerns over the possibility of the healthcare system having to contend with another outbreak if the government insists on reopening the tourism industry as early as Oct 1.

Gen Prayut on Wednesday assigned the Tourism and Sports, Public Health and Interior ministries to prepare for an increase in both domestic and foreign tourism during the fourth quarter of this year, said Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Dr Taweesilp was speaking after a meeting of the CCSA chaired by the prime minister.

The ministries were instructed to find areas suitable for the government's new tourism reopening programme, called "Covid-free Tourist Area Sandbox", which is similar to the Phuket Sandbox programme, he said.

Dr Taweesilp said ideal candidates for the tourism programme include islands and areas with an airport, which should also have in place Covid-19 prevention and control measures.

The pilot phase of the new tourism promotion programme will begin in October, when five provinces -- Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi and Chon Buri -- are set to reopen for tourism, he said.

Dr Prasit Watanapa, dean of Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, meanwhile, cautioned the country is not fully ready to reopen given its low Covid-19 vaccination coverage.

Dr Prasit said the government should note lessons learned from the Phuket Sandbox programme, and the fact that even fully vaccinated people can still catch the coronavirus and spread it. "It will be worrying to lift the Covid-19 quarantine if the country reopens its tourism on Oct 1, with only 38% of the population having received one Covid-19 vaccination and only 18% having had two vaccine shots," he said.


  • assign: to give a person a particular task or position - มอบหมาย, สั่งงาน
  • candidate (noun): a thing that is likely to do or be something; something that is being considered for a particular job, use, etc. - ตัวเลือก
  • chair: to be the person in charge of a meeting, committee, or company - ดำรงตำแหน่งประธาน, ทำหน้าที่ในฐานะประธาน
  • contend with: to have to deal with a problem or with a difficult situation or person - ดิ้นรนต่อสู้กับ
  • coverage: the size of the area that is included or covered -
  • pilot: of a plan, product or system that is used to test how good something is before introducing it - นำร่อง
  • preparations (noun): things that you do to get ready for something or make something ready - การตระเตรียม
  • suitable: acceptable or right for someone or something - เหมาะสม
  • worrying (adj): that makes you worry - น่าหนักใจ
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