Dhaka: Thailand's aviation regulator said on June 18 that inbound international travel could resume in July for business purposes, as the country seeks to revive an economy hit hard by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thailand's tourism industry, which accounts for 12 per cent of the economy, has been grounded to a halt by travel bans and health concerns, and projects as few as 14 million visitors this year, down from nearly 40 million in 2019.
"In July, we may open for some groups, but it will not be 100 per cent," said Chula Sukmanop, Director General, Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).
A flight ban for all but repatriation flights is due to expire at the end of this month, but the extent to which the country can reopen depends on the government's Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, Chula said.
Thailand suspended international flights in April to contain the spread of the virus.
Chula said specific groups may be allowed to visit, such as business delegations, but it is possible they may need to be quarantined upon arrival.
Details for travel requirements are still being discussed, such as entry certificates and other conditions before departure and upon arrival, he added.
Thailand has been planning to reopen to foreign visitors by creating so-called travel bubbles with countries that have also contained the virus, though no target date was set.
On June 17, Airports of Thailand said it expects travel to return to normal levels by October 2022.