Thailand launches new tourism portal to make visiting the Land of Smiles easier
The Tourism Ministry has launched a new online portal it hopes will make visiting Thailand easier for the 8 15 million tourists currently expected next year. According to a Bangkok Post report, the website, called Entry Thailand, has been allocated a budget of 49.6 million baht for its first phase.
The portal lists the information and documents travellers need to provide before arrival, along with links to third party providers of Covid-19 insurance and SHA+ accredited hotels. It also provides a link to the Thailand Pass registration site and the Mor Chana contact-tracing app. In addition, there is information on arrival procedures, applying for tax refunds, and how to contact the Tourist Police.
Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the portal is part of his ministry’s e-service roadmap planned for 2022 2024, aimed at helping tourists navigate Thailand’s complex entry requirements as a result of Covid-19.
“The pile of paperwork and several organisations tourists have to deal with are inconvenient. The ministry wants this platform to help reduce their difficulties when planning trips to Thailand.”
The Bangkok Post reports that Phiphat is optimistic about the re-opening of borders with Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar, adding that this should provide tourist numbers of between 8 and 15 million next year. The minister predicts that those numbers should generate revenue of between 1.3 and 1.8 trillion baht for the Thai economy.
Phiphat adds that all going well, Thailand can expect 20 million tourists during 2023, which means the country needs to have a system in place that can cope with such a surge in demand. He believes the Entry Thailand portal will help bring all the required information into one central repository, including information on tourist attractions, getting around, and where to eat.
The minister says phase 2 of the project will encourage other state agencies to include their services on the portal and there is potential for start-up companies to use Entry Thailand to offer their products and services to visitors.