Tourists trickle into Thailand as borders reopen

Thai tourists. Photo: The Nation. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

BANGKOK, Nov 7, 2021, ST. The streets of Bangkok are buzzing with start-stop traffic and thronging crowds as Thailand rounds off its first week of relaxed border controls that waive quarantine for travellers from more than 60 countries and territories, The Straits Times reported.

Tourist attractions, merchants and restaurants that had been shuttered for a good part of the year are now cracking open their doors again, cautiously optimistic for a revival in a sector that in 2019 brought in more than 1.91 trillion baht (S$77.6 billion).

The nation’s reopening on Nov 1 and Bangkok’s hot weather lured sports teacher Christian Schubert, 40, to escape the chill of Germany’s autumn.

“The world has waited long enough for Covid-19 to be under control, and I feel like it’s finally time to travel,” said Mr Schubert, who was wandering in the complex of Bangkok’s Grand Palace barely 24 hours after touching down on Wednesday (Nov 3).

“It’s a good time to come before the crowd of mass tourism returns.”

Already, about 16,000 foreign arrivals have entered Thailand through the various travel schemes that were expanded since Nov 1, with most coming from the United States, Germany, Britain and Japan, said the authorities.

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