After more than two years of severe hardships brought about by Covid-19 outbreaks, tourism-related businesses are seeing a glimpse of hope after the government agreed on Friday to abandon the pre-registration process for foreign visitors and the requirement for face masks to be worn in public.
Bars, pubs and other entertainment venues are allowed to extend their hours beyond the current limit of midnight.
Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said businesses are likely to breathe a sigh of relief as they can resume normal operations after the government announced the relaxations.
The battered tourism sector is expected to recover after the government approved the proposal to scrap the Thailand Pass requirement for overseas tourists. A tourism recovery will help boost the country’s economy in the second half of this year, he said, forecasting more than 6 million foreign arrivals this year.
According to Mr Sanan, the extension of service hours for bars, pubs and karaoke clubs beyond midnight will also be a sign for restaurants, taxis and other businesses to resume their services as normal.
“Income from nighttime businesses across the country is estimated at 30-50 billion baht per month. We expect 200-300 billion baht worth of money circulation will resume in the second half,” he said. “In combination with income from foreign tourists, as much as 500-700 billion baht is estimated to circulate in the economy in the second half, encouraging people to spend more in the remaining months of the year.”
Chaichan Chareonsuk, president of the Thai National Shippers’ Council, said the government’s decision will help resuscitate service and tourism businesses.
“Many countries already eased their strict control…