Thailand’s Tourism Reopening Now Vaccine-Dependent
In a speech this week Thailand’s Prime Minster spoke clearly that only until a vaccine is approved, produced, and implemented would the country open to substantial tourism.
Furthermore, that this was likely by mid-2021, though subject to advancement in a timeline if the process could be accelerated, which is unlikely.
For tourism and hotel stakeholders, the writing is on the wall that 2021 for the most part will see a continued reliance on domestic travelers, and only in 2022 will there be a large-scale return in numbers of overseas visitors.
Given the winter spike in Asia, Europe, and North America of Covid-19, Thailand is not alone in relying on the vaccine to return tourism but the process will not be instant and most certainly staged.
The business reality for Phuket and across Thailand is to plan for the worst in the coming six months and only expect 2022 to see a notable uptick.
Currently, the hotel sector continues to advocate to the government and Central Bank for debt and financing relief measures and assistance in a social security supplement to retain staff.
While it’s negative news, it at least allows for hotels to understand the challenges ahead, plan and adjust their operating models going forward. Survive the downturn is the new mantra.