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More arrivals from India expected as country waives COVID tests for returnees

More arrivals from India expected as country waives COVID tests for returnees

NEW DELHI: All air passengers coming to India from Thailand, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan will not have to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test from Feb 13. The decision eliminates what was believed to be own of the factors limiting the numbers of Indians travelling to Thailand and Phuket in 2023.

By The Phuket News

Friday 10 February 2023, 02:57PM

The waiver was approved by the Ministry of Health of India amid dropping infection numbers, reports The Times of India.

Yet, the random testing of 2% of all travellers landing in India will continue.

The Ministry of Health returned mandatory PCR tests from Jan 1 after China amid infections in China which had just abolished its zero-tolerance policy.

The testing requirement caused a number of Indian tourists to postpone or cancel trips to Thailand, hoteliers in Pattaya said last month, says Bangkok Post.

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In 2022, Thailand recorded over 11 million foreign visitors. Of these, almost 1 million were from India, making it the second largest source of tourist markets for Thailand after Malaysia and the largest group of travellers arriving by air.

Indian tourists stayed on average 7.23 nights in Thailand, with trip expenditure averaging at 35,240 Baht per person, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

India is and has always been a significant and primary tourism market for Thailand. We would like to express our sincere thanks to all our industry partners in India for helping to strengthen the positive image of Thailand as a popular destination for Indian travellers,” Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said at a ’Thank you’ reception in New Delhi on Feb 9.

India remains the second largest tourist market for Phuket. From Nov 1 through Feb 8 the island welcomed 94,105 air passengers from India, according to Phuket Airport Immigration.

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