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

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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