What is required to travel to Thailand? Just one Covid document now

Travelers wondering what it’s like to visit Thailand now may be interested to know that the country is “allowing almost everything” again.

This is according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the government body responsible for promoting tourism in the country.

Masks are no longer required, and the country’s color-coded system — which imposed restrictions that varied by province on dining activities, gatherings and travel — is also a thing of the past, according to TAT.

It’s also much easier to get into Thailand now too.

What is needed

Masks, which were once required on the beach, are no longer mandatory in Thailand.

Lillian Suwanrumpha | Afp | Getty Images

Unvaccinated travelers who show up in Thailand without a negative test result, received within 72 hours of travel, will be required to pay for and take a Covid-19 test in the country, according to TAT. Passengers who test positive must also pay their medical expenses, according to a TAT representative.

Foreign travelers must still show passports and visas, if necessary, to enter.

‘Thailand Pass’ is no longer required

Travelers no longer need to apply for a Thailand Pass to enter. Introduced in May, it required travelers to submit proof of vaccination, medical insurance and other documents before departure.

We expect the momentum to continue… [now that] the Thai government lifted the final restrictions on international travelers.

Michael Marshall

CCO of Small Hotels

Fewer rules, more tourists

It didn’t take long for tourists to react to Thailand’s relaxed travel rules.

A day after the “Thailand Pass” was abolished, tourist arrivals rose by 20% at Phuket International Airport, with about 9,000 people arriving on Friday, according to a report published by the Thai Public Broadcasting Service.

That same day, the number of people crossing into Thailand at various checkpoints along the border with Malaysia and Laos also increased, according to the article.

Indian nationals led the rise in travelers flying to Phuket last weekend, according to the Thai Public Broadcasting Service.

Mladen Antonov | Afp | Getty Images

Number of internet searches Hotel bookings also picked up starting July 1, said Michael Marshall, chief commercial officer of Thailand-based hotel operator Minor Hotels.

“Although it is early days since all restrictions have been lifted, we have seen close to 10,000 new searches on our website for Thailand destinations from various markets collectively since July 1, which is a very encouraging sign of things that will come.”

Even before the rule change, Thailand’s tourism industry was gaining steam.

International arrivals almost quadrupled from January to May this year, according to Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports. More than 1.3 million foreigners arrived during this time, compared to fewer than 35,000 during the same period in 2021, according to ministry statistics.

From January to May 2022, 43% of Thailand’s visitors came from Asia, followed by 38% from Europe, according to Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Alex Ogle | Afp | Getty Images

“We expect the momentum to continue… [now that] the Thai government lifted the final restrictions on international travelers,” Marshall said.

Tourism arrivals grew the most this year in Phuket, Koh Samui and areas in northern Thailand, he said.

The road to recovery

Thailand’s tourism recovery may be heading in the right direction, but the road to recovery is expected to be long as inflation, rising travel costs and rising Covid rates rattle global travelers. Losing travelers from its biggest source market, China, won’t help matters this year either.

Given these headwinds, Thai officials are forecasting between five and 15 million international arrivals this year – a big increase from last year’s 428,000 foreign arrivals, but a far cry from the nearly 40 million tourists who arrived in 2019. according to Reuters.

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