Thailand’s government has launched a new option for travelers who decide to visit the country following the COVID-19 measures: a two-week quarantine on a yacht.
The initiative is part of their efforts to revive the tourism industry.
Authorities expect this new plan to generate around 1.8 billion baht in yacht tourism revenue and boost the tourism sector, which accounts for a large part of the country’s economy and has been affected by the pandemic.
The quarantine yacht announcement comes just over a month after Thailand authorized visitors to spend their quarantine on a golf course.
The nation relies heavily on tourism revenue but banned foreign travel last year to prevent the virus from spreading in the territory. Since then, it has developed strategies to attract tourists with travel bubbles and special quarantines.
The Thai government’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) announced the yacht quarantine plan on Monday.
Under this program, visitors will be able to spend the quarantine period on board a yacht or small cruise ship in Phuket if they get a negative coronavirus test. Phuket is a popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia, but the pandemic caused its number of tourists to plummet from 40,000 to 50,000 a day to just hundreds.
In the first phase, the program has already started accepting yachters for a trial run.
Authorities said they expect about 100 yachts to participate once it gets off the ground. They also explained that travelers would also have to meet other requirements and comply with some restrictions, including wearing a smart bracelet that monitors vital signs, such as temperature and blood pressure, and tracks the user’s location via GPS.
According to the government, the device can transmit information in a radius of 10 km, even at sea.
Thailand hopes to continue reopening its borders to tourists progressively. Last week, Thailand’s tourism minister said he would propose a plan for quarantine in spas and other popular tourist areas.
It was also recently announced that the country could reduce the quarantine period for visitors who have received the vaccine.