|In 2020, Thailand's tourism revenue slumped to 332 billion baht (US$10.94 billion) from 1.91 trillion baht a year earlier, as visitor numbers plunged by 83 percent. (File photo by=AFP)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Thailand's prime minister said on Tuesday (Mar 2) he has commissioned a study to look into issuing COVID-19 vaccination certificates for international travelers, as the country seeks to revive tourism industry battered by coronavirus curbs.
Reuters cited that the nation thought of the idea of so-called "vaccine passports", but no target date was set and tourism operators complained about lost revenue. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said Thailand will proceed with caution, waiting to see how effective vaccines are first in preventing the spread of COVID-19. "I have already ordered the study so we can be prepared, but it's also important that we proceed in line with other countries," Prayut said in a post on Facebook on Tuesday.
People in Thailand who are vaccinated would be given certificates, which could be used for international travel, he said. Thai authorities will meet next week to discuss procedures to obtain such certificates and quarantine arrangements for tourists with "vaccine passports" entering Thailand. Previously, officials have said vaccinated visitors could have mandatory quarantine cut from two weeks to three days or waived entirely. The global vaccine rollout gave hope to the pandemic-hit tourism industry, which makes up about 11 percent of Southeast Asia's second-largest economy.