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Hotels reluctant to apply for ASQ status due to government’s cap on tourist arrivals

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Thai PBS World

With the number of foreign arrivals who can enter Thailand on the special tourist visa limited to just 1,200 a month, hotel owners say they’re reluctant to apply for alternative state quarantine status. Hoteliers say a lack of tourists in sufficient numbers, coupled with the number of quarantine facilities already in existence, means the investment required to gain ASQ approval may not be worth it.

Bangkok currently has 103 hotels approved as ASQ properties. A further 30 hotels in Pattaya, Phuket, Prachin Buri, Surat Thani and Buri Ram are ready to operate as alternative local state quarantine facilities.

Centara Hotels and Resorts currently has one Bangkok property which has received approval to operate as an ASQ facility. The Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel is partnered with Piyavate Hospital, with another Centara property in Phuket going through the approval process. However, chief executive Thirayuth Chirathivat says any decision to apply for ASQ status has to be based on a property’s location, the costs involved, and the number of tourists likely to stay.

“As the country is limiting arrivals, we plan to focus on attracting tourists who already cleared mandatory quarantine instead.”

Should the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration agree to admit more tourists in future, Thirayuth says more Centara properties may apply for ASQ status.

Meanwhile, the Accor group has 6 hotels operating as ASQ properties, while a further 12 are going through the application process. Spokesman Patrick Basset says as more hotels apply to join, so demand goes down. Accor’s ASQ hotels in Thailand recorded overall occupancy rates of between 48% – 68% during September.

Basset says Accor also operates 5 quarantine hotels in Vietnam, 2 in the Philippines, 2 in Laos and 1 in Myanmar. In Vietnam, foreign visitors go through a health-screening process on arrival, after which they can choose from a quarantine hotel or quarantine facilities provided by the Vietnamese government, at a cost of US$5 per day for food and other necessary supplies. It’s understood Ho Chi Minh City has 24 quarantine hotels, offering rooms from between $52 to $216 a night, approximately.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Why limit this visa to 1200 a month?
    I would have thought the government would accept all they can get!
    It seems to me this stupid government make rules and regulations up just to show they have the power.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 11:28 pm

      Got to agree with you, Toby, I can’t understand the cap at all or see what the benefit or reason is.

      Surely the only “cap” is the capacity of the ASQs – not that I think many would be that interested anyway.

  2. Avatar

    Johnny Rambo

    Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    How can any people in this world accept to be governed by such a bunch of hopeless r***rds ??? What kind of government drives it’s own people into mass unemployment, mass suicides and starvation just to tackle a joke virus ???

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 1:57 pm

      1. I wonder that about the West, where they don’t just “accept” it, but they choose it.

      2. The Western kind, particularly Western Europe’s, all too evidently.
      Thank God Thailand hasn’t gone down the same route.

      • Avatar

        preesy chepuce

        Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 8:30 pm

        It kind of has… it’s chosen to take a massive hit on the economy, and hope for the best. That choice will have consequences, and further choices to make. It’s premature to criticise any one method of dealing with this situation, because of the high levels of variability of information, and the dynamic nature of the situation. There’s a case to be made for letting the virus rip and cull off the weak members of the herd and leave the strong to survive, and more resources to share, however, given that the old run things, there’s self-interest in doing anything to keep the virus at bay, even it means selling the future of the young to pay for it.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 11:24 pm

          A “massive hit on the economy”, yes, but that’s hardly entirely Thailand’s decision.

          Even if they opened the borders up now, with no restrictions, tourism would still be a fraction of normality and there’d be all the knock on effects.

          The kicker’s going to be exports being hit, at least as badly – down 7% already. It’s not so much “hoping for the best” but hoping for the least worst.

          In the West you can at least give the wrinklies some chance by isolating care homes, but here it’s multi-generational homes, a limited health service which, at best, could only have beds for 2,000 cases, and not enough funds to pay for furlough and sick leave.

          There’s no easy solution, but the idea that tourism could be the answer while playing down the consequences just isn’t realistic.

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