“More room and less crowds” for visitors to reopened Thailand right now: TAT’s Santi Sawangcharoen

“More room and less crowds” for visitors to reopened Thailand right now: TAT’s Santi Sawangcharoen

TORONTO — Thailand recently lifted its pre-arrival and arrival testing requirement for international visitors, and that’s put the popular destination back on the map for many Canadian travellers.

Upon arrival in Thailand, fully vaccinated international travellers are now allowed to enter the country and are free to go anywhere in the kingdom without testing requirements during the entirety of their trip.

In later stages of the pandemic, Thailand’s unique and effective approach to gradually reopening travel included marketing favourites like Phuket as a ‘Sandbox’, allowing fully vaccinated visitors to vacation in select destinations.

While the Sandbox concept was a hit, the full reopening is welcome news, for anyone travelling to Thailand – or selling it.

Travelweek caught up with Santi Sawangcharoen, Director of the TAT New York Office and Acting Director of the TAT Toronto Office, to find out more about travelling to Thailand in the months to come.

“More room and less crowds” for visitors to reopened Thailand right now: TAT’s Santi Sawangcharoen

Santi Sawangcharoen, Director of the TAT New York Office and Acting Director of the TAT Toronto Office

Travelweek: It’s great that Thailand has reopened! What can Canadians visiting Thailand expect?

Sawangcharoen: “Many businesses, cultural sites, and markets have reopened within Thailand for visitors to enjoy. Contrary to ‘normal’ times before the pandemic, there’s currently more room and less crowds for venturing within Thailand’s most popular destinations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Ko Samui and Krabi. What hasn’t changed is the country’s rich tapestry of exotic architecture, natural wonders, cultural marvels, unforgettable cuisine, unique traditions and, of course, endless adventure.”

Travelweek: Are there any COVID requirements or restrictions for international air travellers arriving in Thailand?

Sawangcharoen: “As of June 1, international air travellers only need to apply for a Thailand Pass via https://tp.consular.go.th. Vaccinated travellers are no longer required to show proof of pre-arrival or arrival COVID-19 tests, and are only required to provide passport details, COVID-19 vaccination certification, and a minimum of $10,000 health insurance policy to obtain a Thailand Pass QR code which will be issued automatically without a waiting time.

“Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated travellers who are able to upload proof of negative RT-PCR or professional ATK test within 72 hours of travel via the Thailand Pass system will also be allowed to enter and are free to go anywhere in the kingdom.”

Travelweek: How important are travel advisors to Thailand’s recovery post-pandemic?

Sawangcharoen: “Travel agents undoubtedly play a major role in reigniting an interest for international travel amongst Canadian consumers once again.

“Agents have proven crucial thus far in communicating important changes in travel regulations to help ease the process for travellers. We will continue to rely on them to let people know that the current process is far less demanding than it has been.”

Travelweek: Now that travel has resumed from Canada, what’s selling particularly well right now?

Sawangcharoen: “Travel with the intention of wellness and self-rejuvenation has picked up significantly in recent months. Thailand caters well to this growing market with a culture entrenched in wellbeing that translates to its many luxury resorts and spas. Travellers can harness the healing powers of nature in pursuit of wellness, with experiences rooted in connection to the natural world around us. From therapeutic Thai massage and pampering spas that offer unlimited treatments to dietary cleanses and soul-searching meditations, Thailand’s health and wellness retreats offer tourists ample opportunities to revitalize their bodies and minds.”

Travelweek: What important message does Thailand want to get out at this point to Canadian travellers, and Canadian travel agents?

Sawangcharoen: “This is a very exciting time for Thailand as the country is now easier to access than it has been in two years. Canadian travellers who have been longing for the beauty and bounty of Thailand can rest assured that the travel process is simpler than it has been for some time. Travellers and agents can now focus more on planning their itinerary full of exciting and cultural experiences, and less on travel requirements.”

 

More information can be found at the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s site, found here.