Booster jab urged for tourism staff
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Booster jab urged for tourism staff

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is urging business operators to ensure their staff have received a booster of the Covid-19 vaccine to prepare for the return of Chinese tourists.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said staff of all businesses in the tourism industry, especially those who come into close contact with tourists, such as hotel receptionists, drivers and tour guides, should get a booster shot to protect them from infection.

Hotels, restaurants and tour operators must also strictly comply with Safety and Health Administration (SHA) standards, he said. The number of China tourists is expected to rise after Beijing reopens its borders next Sunday.

Between Jan 1-Dec 12, 2022, over 10.3 million foreign tourists arrived in Thailand, exceeding the target of 10 million, he said.

He said the government has also set a target of recovering at least 80% of tourism revenue gained before Covid-19 and at least 50% of tourist numbers previously recorded.

Prompted by the expected arrivals from China, the TAT revised up this year's target for overall foreign arrivals from 20 million to 25 million, but anticipated revenue from tourism will remain unchanged at 2.4 trillion baht.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said on Sunday Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Tourism and Sports Ministry and the Public Health Ministry to come up with measures to ensure the health and safety of the public as foreign arrivals swell this year.

About 300,000 tourists from China are expected to arrive in the first quarter of this year as the country reopens its borders, the spokesman said.

The National Committee for Communicable Diseases had previously said that on-site screening at airports for arrivals from China won't be required for the time being, as the risk is still manageable.

However, the committee now says visitors arriving from China will need to produce a Covid-19 vaccine certificate and proof of health insurance.

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