The Land of Smiles will be open to tourists again in the next few weeks.
2020 has unfortunately been much less sun, sea, and sand, and more staying inside and socialising through a screen than most of us expected. Anyhow, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world may be offering a solution to those with the travel bug and nowhere to go. Thailand has been off-limits to foreigners since March when they closed their borders – and at the moment only those with work permits, residency, or families in the country can enter. But that’s all about to change as Thailand will be welcoming non-residents to visit freely from October!
The government are introducing a new ‘special tourist visa’ scheme which will permit tourists to roam the country from next month, and it is expected to last until November 2021. The only catch is that you won’t be able to pop over to Thailand for a quick getaway, as the visa is open to long-staying visitors exclusively.
The new visa scheme will allow foreign visitors to stay in the country for 90 days, with the option of extending it twice, or to a maximum of 270 days. However, all tourists will have to quarantine in a state-approved hotel for fourteen days on arrival and provide evidence of their travel plans and itinerary. The good news is that there is an infinite number of beautiful things to see and do in Thailand that will definitely keep you occupied during your stay, from sandy beaches with the clearest blue waters imaginable to mountains, temples and of course, some of the best street food in the world!
This new plan is also an attempt to revive Thailand’s tourism industry, which has greatly suffered due to the pandemic. The industry usually employs over 4 million people each year and contributes 20% of the country’s GDP. So this would really kill two birds with one stone.
And as of yesterday, Thailand is now on England’s travel corridor list (alongside Singapore), meaning that if things don’t change drastically in the next few months, you won’t need to self-isolate when you return. So, if you’re after a long trip away from the place we call home, this might be the destination for you – honestly, Thai and stop me.