Thailand Eyes Travel Bubble with China, Malaysia

Thailand plans to hold talks with China and Malaysia for a travel bubble later this month, in an effort to support the recovery of its crucial tourism sector.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha’s administration is set to meet with the Chinese tourism minister soon for a possible bilateral travel deal, and is also preparing for a similar agreement with Malaysian officials, said government spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana on Monday.

China had agreed to the “tourist exchange”, the spokesperson said, adding that the talks would determine the details for the exchange such as number of people allowed and visa protocols.

The plans come a week after Thailand reinstated its quarantine waiver for fully vaccinated arrivals in the country in response to the slowing spread of COVID-19 infections.

The return of Chinese and Malaysian tourists in Thailand will bring back some of the largest sources of tourism revenue for the country. In 2019, visitors from the two countries contributed more than $20 billion in revenue.

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