Statement from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports on the 2019 coronavirus situation in Thailand

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is working in close tandem with the related government offices and private entities, e.g., the Ministry of Public Health, hospitals, healthcare facilities, tourism and sports operators, travel agencies, and tour guides to determine the appropriate guidelines for monitoring and containing the spread of the 2019-nCoV, particularly with operators in the tourism industry, sports, and communities concerned.

To follow up on the latest information and carry out a timely assessment of the impact on tourism, the Social Listening mode is actively engaged to source accurate and up-to-date information from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s domestic and international offices and other reliable sources, e.g., Ministry of Public Health, Immigration Bureau, and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Communications via a Single Message format will be relayed to relevant units inside and outside the Ministry.

Public relations in Thai and English languages are ongoing to focus on and assuage any health concerns and to assure Thais and foreign visitors of travel safety. All media channels are used to provide updates, including press releases, announcements, photos, infographics, videos, and influencers as appropriate. Advice is disseminated to promote regular exercise and other health practices that contribute to avoiding becoming infected and building up resistance to 2019-nCoV infection.

The Tourist Assistance Centre (TAC) and Tourist Police Command are coordinating with the Department of Disease Control (DDC) and Immigration Bureau to assist travellers who need to alert authorities or seek help. Suspected cases of the infections can be reported 24/7 through the Tourist Police hotline 1155. All provinces have been instructed to establish an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) under the command of the respective province’s governor to work with the empowered offices in the area to deal with any emergency in a timely and effective manner. Whenever possible, a One-Stop Service platform will be on hand. The TAC will provide a daily situation report to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Operators in the tourism industry are advised to provide friendly, clean, and healthful services, and to advise visitors to protect themselves by wearing a face mask. As far as possible, germ-killing gel bottles or hand (alcohol) sanitisers should be placed in public spots for people and tourists to use freely in high-risk places; such as airports, bus terminals, and tourist attractions.

Guidelines have been made to advise tourism operators on how to deal with an epidemic scare as is happening now with the 2019-nCoV covering pre-, ongoing and post-emergency stages.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is in the process of initiating support measures to help the tourism industry during this difficult time. TAT submitted an operation plan to the Economic Ministerial Meeting on 31 January 2020. The following decisions have been approved:

Short-term measures: To manage the current crisis affecting the tourism industry by minimising the adverse impact resulting from the 2019-nCoV scare.

Long-term measures: To equip, restore and reinvigorate the supply chain in the tourism industry on a return to normalcy.