On 1st December 2021, 12.00 hrs, Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports presided over the Lunch Talk on Reopening Thailand Tourism Is This the Light at The End of The Tunnel, at the Ball Room, Anantara Siam Hotel, Bangkok.
           Mr. Phiphat stated that I am glad and honoured to participate in this Lunch Talk hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand on the topic of Reopening Thailand Tourism Is This The Light at The End of The Tunnel convened to strengthen the understanding among members of the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand about the goals and strategies on tourism after the country's reopening for both short and long term. It is also aimed to be a platform of exchanging knowledge and best practices between business owners in the tourism industry and concerned public authorities in order to sustainably optimize the industry development and Thailand's tourism. It is to my assurance that Thailand's efforts to restore the tourism industry has been universally aware of and that the industry has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The halted tourism and its consequences have brought attention to Thailand to review and shift its tourism paradigm to be compatible with the New Normal lifestyle. In the effort to be resilient with all abnormalities, Thailand is among the first nations that have decided to revitalise the tourism industry through the Sandbox initiative, a pilot project implemented in Phuket, to welcome foreign tourists coming into Thailand under certain conditions and new public health measures. During this crisis that its ending is yet to unfold, a glimpse of hope is still in sight as the success story of establishing the Phuket Sandbox has ignited the lights of hope for the global tourism industry and also urged Thailand to extend this practice at the national level to welcome tourists from low-risk countries. From 1st November 2021 onwards, over 1000,000 tourists have entered the country. This illustrates the evidence of success of Thailand's reopening as well as reiterating that Thailand has implemented the due policies for recovering the tourism industry. Even though Thailand's and the global tourism industry are confronting with constant challenges resulting from uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the changing lifestyle and needs of the people, revitalising the tourism industry is of necessity as it will help move forward economies of many countries. Realising such fact, Thailand is ready to tackle the challenges to sustainably drive the tourism industry to a better position. In 2022, Thailand, led by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, is going to transform the Thai tourism into a new initial chapter through the concept of Amazing Thailand, Amazing New Chapters which will shift the operation of the tourism business. It aims to attract tourists by allowing them to experience Thailand in a new way through new storytelling along with applying technologies as these elements will sufficiently serve all needs of tourists under the public health conditions. However, such implementation responding to the New Normal tourism would not be able to execute unless cooperation from all stakeholders is also in place. This Talk, therefore, is a timely opportunity to exchange views and experiences among experts in tourism from both public agencies from Thailand and the private sector from the United Kingdom to direct the Thai tourism industry and achieve the qualitative goals of both strengthening safety and sustainability to the economy, community, society and environment. It is also to strengthen the establishment of further cooperation in tourism in different dimensions between Thailand and the United Kingdom.