Thailand is set to reopen to international tourists from next month. It is likely that higher local vaccination rates could help attract more foreign visitors and boost an economy that has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Beach resorts in Pattaya, Hua Hin and Cha-Aam are also preparing to reopen to tourists. Referring to this, tourism ministry officials said that the reopening would be modeled after the sandbox initiative to bring back vaccinated tourists to Phuket.

Officials further added that more destinations, such as Koh Chang, Chiang Rai and Koh Kood, will fully reopen to visitors from mid-October, with travel bubbles that have been planned.

More than 27000 international travelers have visited Thailand under the said initiative, which allows vaccinated tourists to gain entry to Phuket and other cities, as long as they stay in hotels approved by the tourism authority. 

Officials associated with the plan said that all approved hotels have been thoroughly checked, and there is also a guarantee that at least 70 percent of their employees have been vaccinated.

The length of stay in Phuket was also reduced from 14 days to 7 days in August, meaning tourists were able to choose their travel destinations after a week. Tourism officials also pointed out that travel bubbles are being planned with neighboring countries, which will not exist until 2022 at the earliest.

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