USA, UK and Germany top arrivals to Thailand as Covid-19 restrictions ease

Footage shows tourists arriving at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on Tuesday morning, November 9 as it emerged that visitors from the USA, UK and Germany have topped the number of arrivals in Thailand following the country’s relaxation of Covid-19 entry rules.

Ministers allowed fully-vaccinated travellers who test negative to enter the capital with just one day or quarantine from November 1 onwards. They can then travel freely throughout the country.

In the first week since restrictions eased, there were 2,465 people who flew from the United States while 2,334 were from Germany and 1,376 from the United Kingdom.

A further 1,250 travellers came from Japan, 906 from South Korea and 905 from Russia. Switzerland, Sweden, France and a country in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates, pulled up the rear.

Officials said that only 15 people among the total 20,092 arrivals in the first week were infected with the respiratory virus Covid-19.

Despite holidaymakers starting to return, economists have warned that it could still be another five years before the country’s tourism industry returns to pre-pandemic levels. 

Two years ago tourism made up an estimated 21 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, generating 1.8 trillion baht in revenue. However, the country’s National Economic and Social Development Council predicted that it could be another five years before similar numbers are seen. 

Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.