BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) - The Thai tourism agency is pursuing a plan to allow foreigners from countries with low coronavirus infection risks to visit the South-east Asian nation without a mandatory quarantine in a bid to rescue its ailing tourism sector.
The quarantine waiver will be aimed at Asian travellers who usually don't stay for more than two weeks, Thai language newspaper Khaosod reported, citing Mr Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
The proposal will need a government approval and negotiations with countries from where tourists are targeted under the plan, Mr Yuthasak told the newspaper.
Thailand, one of Asia's most tourism-reliant economies, is considering several plans to re-open its borders for some visitors.
But unlike the state agency's plan, other proposals require a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a hotel after the arrival.
Next week, the agency will seek approval from the Cabinet for a special tourist visa for long-term visitors, who can stay in the country for up to 270 days.
The Thai hospitality and tourism sectors are counting on the return of international visitors, who contributed to two-thirds of tourism income before the pandemic, to reverse a slump in business and save millions of jobs.
The government and businesses are weighing the cost between curbing infection risks and limiting damage to the economy, which is on track for a record contraction of 8.5 per cent this year.