Thailand and Malaysia Relax their Restrictions and the Parties are Heating Up
Thailand's tourism industry is on the rise, with some entry restrictions set to be lifted. According to a report by Thaiger, the Thai government announced on April 25 that 713,183 international visitors had arrived in the country this year, with more than half of them being tourists.
Travel and tourism in Southeast Asia appear to be improving, despite a lag, as the industry seeks to attract more revelers to close the COVID-19 gap.
Thailand's Tourism Authority now appears to be aiming for at least 1 million visitors per month by the end of 2022, when the next high season begins. A million tourists per month would be roughly 30% of the monthly arrivals prior to COVID. Various countries in these regions are popular tourist destinations for Indians, but COVID-19 has effectively halted tourism from this location. As various countries open their doors, consider the following:
Malaysia is attempting to attract Indian tourists, following in the footsteps of Singapore. Prior to the arrival of the COVID, Indians were the fourth most frequent visitors to Malaysia. The Times of India reported that more than a third of them were from India's south.
Flights between India and Malaysia are expected to return to pre-Covid levels in three months.
From May 1, 2022, the RT-PCR test will no longer be required for fully vaccinated Indian travelers traveling to Malaysia, according to K Saravanan, Malaysia's consul general for South India, speaking at a press conference in Chennai on Friday.
"We receive 800-1000 applications for e-visas every day." He predicted that it would rise.
According to Manoharan Periasamy, senior director, international promotion division, Asia/Africa, Tourism Malaysia, 7.6 lakh Indian tourists visited Malaysia in 2019, but no leisure travelers have visited since the outbreak of COVID-19, according to the report.
"By the end of 2022, we should be able to attract 25-30 percent of pre-pandemic tourists from India, totaling approximately one lakh travelers," he added, noting that inquiries from India had been encouraging since Malaysia eased sanctions on its borders on April 1. He was also quoted in the report as saying that as the number of flights increases, airfares will decrease.
Flights to Singapore Rise After Lifting Restrictions
Flight reservations to Singapore increased to 68 percent of pre-virus levels in the week of March 23, when the government announced that most pandemic-related restrictions would be lifted, according to ForwardKeys, according to a Bloomberg Quint report.This is an increase from the previous week's figure of 55%.
Singapore's Changi Airport handled 1.14 million passengers in March, the first time the figure climbed above 1 million since the pandemic began, according to the report, after PCR tests were replaced with supervised self-swabs on Feb. 22 and more countries were added to so-called vaccinated travel lanes that allowed quarantine-free entry for the inoculated.
Furthermore, according to BloombergNEF, by the end of May, there will be 307 weekly flights between Malaysia and Singapore, up from 152 at the start of the year. Flights from Indonesia to the island-state will rise from 55 to 222 in early 2022, while flights from India will rise from 100 to 190.
Indonesia is becoming more open as well.
In March, Indonesia reopened its visa-on-arrival program for visitors from 23 countries, including Australia, the United States, Japan, and Germany, as the virus's spread slowed. According to a Nikkei Asia report, Indonesia granted visa-on-arrival to travelers from 43 countries on April 5. This year, Indonesia hopes to attract 1.8 million to 3.6 million foreign tourists.
The government expects 1.4 million Australian tourists, the majority of whom will visit Bali. In 2021, Indonesia will welcome 1.56 million foreign tourists, down from 4.02 million in 2020, COVID's first year.
Before arriving in Indonesia, foreign visitors will need to download PeduliLindungi, a tracking app, so that authorities can keep an eye on the infection. In Bali, anyone who does not cover up in public will be fined 100,000 rupiahs. According to the report, venue owners who fail to enforce mask-wearing will be fined one million rupiahs.
While entering the country, foreign tourists will be required to provide a negative PCR result from a test performed prior to departure. Non-vaccinated travelers must stay in quarantine for five days and pass two PCR tests.
SOURCE: News 18