Thai PM suggests opening door ajar to limited tourists for economic survival

26th Aug, 2020 | Tourism Mail Crew

BANGKOK, Aug. 26: Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday suggested that Thailand should open ajar for the entry of tourists from countries with low numbers of COVID-19 infections.

Prayut made the announcement after repeated calls from state and private sectors, stressing the need to "bring cash into the country."

The prime minister also said on Wednesday that he agreed that the Thai skies should open to limited foreign tourist arrivals "as the country needs oxygen to breathe for survival."

He said that state authorities have been working out appropriate measures to deal with tourist arrivals while, at the same time, ensuring public safety and deciding which provinces will open up first.

Prayut assured that his administration will not open the whole country for unlimited or unrestricted foreign arrivals, as there must be several measures put in place first.

"One important thing is that, if we do not do anything now, the economic situation will get worse. Many Thai businesses will shut down, employees will be laid off and the state coffer is drying up. Everyone has a family to look after and debts to pay," Prayut stressed. "The government does not have deep pockets to pay everyone during such financial distress."

He maintained that his government has been doing its utmost to ease the economic hardships.

"So try not to oppose whatever that the Government plans to do to ease the economic impacts," Prayut said.

He reiterated that necessary measures must be put in place to ensure public safety before the door is opened to foreign tourists. More importantly, he said, local people must help, because they are the ones who will benefit from tourist arrivals.

Thailand has surpassed three months without local COVID-19 infections.

However, the Thai economy has plunged as tourism and exports are two main sources of revenue to the country. (Xinhua)