LONDON – Xiamen Airlines Flight MF833 from Xiamen, China carrying 269 passengers landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport today.
Three Thai ministers jointly welcomed the first group of Chinese tourists, arriving at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on momentous day after China relaxes its travel rules post pandemic.
The airport welcome ceremony was arranged for Xiamen Airlines Flight MF833 from Xiamen, China carrying 269 passengers landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 12.19 Hrs.
Throughout today (9 January), there will be a total of 15 flights from China, carrying 3,465 passengers in total.
The Airports of Thailand (AOT) expects some 7-10 million travellers from China to travel through all its airports throughout 2023. Prior to COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, AOT airports saw about 20.5 million Chinese tourists.
Thailand – open to tourism
Since the pandemic, Thailand has gradually reopened to international tourism starting in July 2021 with the Phuket Sandbox, Samui Plus, and 7+7 Extension programmes. This was followed by a four-phase reopening timeline from October 2021 to January 2022.
The kingdom entered the stage of fully reopening from 1 July, 2022, with the removal of the Thailand Pass registration scheme. Foreign nationals only be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative ATK test result within 72 hours of travel – this took effect from 1 October, 2022, onwards.
Earlier today, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) officially clarified that Thailand continues to welcome all international tourists under the fully-reopen-to-tourism policy that was introduced on 1 October, 2022.
Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, H.E. Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, said “International travellers arriving in Thailand are not required to show proof of vaccination.”
In addition, foreign tourists are not required to show ATK or RT-PCR test results. As part of the full reopening to tourism, Thailand is also offering a longer period of stay for visitors.
Effective through to 31 March, 2023, the period of stay is extended to 45 days (from 30 days) for tourists from countries/territories entitled for visa exemption, and to 30 days (from 15 days) for those eligible for a Visa on Arrival (VOA).
However, while Thailand is welcoming all visitors, travellers may be subject to requirements on the return journey. Some nations may require incoming visitors including their own nationals returning home to have a negative PCR result.
Thus, Thailand is aiming to correspond with rules of these countries – among them are China and India. Therefore, passengers from a country that has requirements for RT-PCR test must have health insurance covering treatment of COVID-19 in Thailand.