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Asia Minute: Thailand’s Tourism Planning

AP photo/Wally Santana
Passengers ride a ferry to the island of Koh Chang seen in the distance, Oct. 20, 2018, in southern Thailand.

Hawaii is not the only tourist destination preparing for the eventual return of visitors. Thailand is moving ahead with plans to accept visitors, but very gradually.

Thailand is starting to clear the way for some international travelers to visit. The country’s Minister of Tourism and Sports says two charter flights of tourists from China will be arriving in Thailand next month.

The first group of 150 will be traveling from Guangzhou to Phuket a week from Thursday — while a second group of Chinese travelers will arrive in Thailand later in the month.

All of these travelers will need a special visa and will be tested for COVID-19 before they leave, and after they arrive.  They will also need to spend 14 days in quarantine, most likely at a resort.

If all goes well with the first two groups, tourism officials say the quarantine could be cut to a week by November — when a group of travelers is scheduled to arrive from Europe.

And there will be other visitors from the sports world.

A bicycle race including foreigners will take place in early October, and Thailand’s national coronavirus task force has approved in principle the country’s bid tohost a tour event of the World Badminton Federation in January.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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