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“Open the borders, safely”, Bill Heinecke, Minor International interview – VIDEO

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“Open the borders, safely”, Bill Heinecke, Minor International interview – VIDEO | The Thaiger
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Bill Heinecke speaks to Bill Barnett. The two heavy-hitters of Thailand’s hotel and hospitality sector, mull over the current Covid situation and the reopening of Thailand’s borders to some form of tourism. Bill Heinecke is the Chairman and Founder of Minor International.

Bill Barnett is the Managing Director of c9hotelworks.com

Now the Thai government has approved the special long-term tourist visa scheme (STV), hoteliers are remaining skeptical about reopening due to the lack of clarity in the recent announcement, which will reportedly take effect next month. The president of the Thai Hotels Association’s southern chapter says more hoteliers will consider reopening if the government gives further information about the plan in terms of prospective markets, arrival dates, origin countries, and flights.

Such details would allow hotels to prepare themselves ahead of time to offer services as alternative state quarantine premises as at least 60 hotels in Phuket are awaiting approval to operate such facilities.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jason

    October 19, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    I have to say that I think this will go nowhere. No International Tourist is going to spend half or all of their holiday in quarantine. I do hope these gentlemen aren’t pinning their hopes on anything happening soon, the way the Thai Government is talking. The real game changer here isn’t a vaccine.. The real hope is a rapid test. The WHO (World Health Organisation) has approved a rapid test that gives a result in 15-30 minutes. The “elephant in the room” is the fact that the overwhelming majority of people, don’t have the virus! So if you can determine who has it and who doesn’t quickly, tourists in larger numbers can travel again. It takes more than that though. It takes governments talking to each other to establish mutually recognised testing methods to ensure departing tourists have been tested negative by the government of their home country and are tested on arrival by government officials on arrival. Think about it !

    • Avatar

      RG

      October 19, 2020 at 4:20 pm

      I must agree with you that proper testing is a must, however, one other thing is a absolute must, education of the Thais with regards to this virus. Educate on what the WHO, CDC and the ECDC have to say and their guidelines. The Thai press has the responsibility to put this information out, not just some ‘the sky is falling’ Thai doctor that’s trying to get his name in the press, or a politician like Trump.

      • Avatar

        Mel Burn

        October 19, 2020 at 8:36 pm

        Trump has been saying that economy comes first and the virus is not the end of the world.

  2. Avatar

    Jason

    October 19, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    If what I have said is news to you, you should be surprised you haven’t heard this already. It should be on the front page of every news service in Thailand!

  3. Avatar

    Thomas

    October 19, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    It is now almost November and nothing has happened. They can take this high season and forget about it. To much talk, no decision making, no balls. They forget another thing, most tourists need to isolate themselves than they come back home. I don’t know many people who can afford up to 4 weeks in quarantine just for an overseas holiday. This ship has already sunk and they still try to put more holes in it. Once again, Thailand you never stop amazing us.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 20, 2020 at 12:29 am

      “Once again, Thailand you never stop amazing us.”

      … and Cambodia, presumably?

      … and Vietnam …

      … and Bali …

      … and Taiwan … and Japan …

      … amazing that none want to go the way of the West … how dare they think for themselves and put their own interests above that of Western tourists …

      • Avatar

        Don R

        October 20, 2020 at 10:46 am

        For Cambodia, Laos, or Myanmar, the benefits of opening to tourists would far outweigh the small risk from covid. They really oughta jump on this once in a lifetime opportunity. But I suppose people are more afraid of a tiny risk of death from covid than they are of a dramatically shorter life from poverty…

      • Avatar

        EdwardV

        October 20, 2020 at 11:04 am

        John, to be fair Bali has been wanting to reopen (to put it mildly). Unfortunately it’s not up to them or otherwise they would already be open. There was an article yesterday about how they are POed at Australia because they won’t allow their citizens to travel to Bali.

  4. Avatar

    bradlety jameson

    October 19, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    hes making sense to open the borders to the safe SE Asian countries. I don’t know why they haven’t. I think it will take a lot longer for western tourists to get in. But its a start. Judging from the way the west is going. It could use a bit stricter governments and some communism as they play games with all these lockdown levels.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 20, 2020 at 12:38 am

      “… he’s making sense to open the borders to the safe SE Asian countries. I don’t know why they haven’t.”

      For the very simple reason that until recently there haven’t been any “safe SE Asian countries” to open the borders to that would have made any worthwhile difference.

      China is now starting to get control of the situation, and has the numbers to make it worthwhile, but doesn’t suit either of these two hypocrites.

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    October 19, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    I see no reason why Cambodia and Thailand cannot open the borders.
    Total case in Cambodia 283.
    280 recovered.
    No deaths.
    I think Thailand dare not because there will be a mass exit to Cambodia by the foreigners.
    I am here now, plenty of restaurants and bars open. No rules. No lock downs No hysteria.
    Beer 16 baht a draft.

  6. Avatar

    Al

    October 19, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    The whole thing stinks to high heaven. Why not use the available tests out there that other countries are using and simply adopt them? Check out Sweden and Denmark where the levels of the so called malady are down and have been down for some time. (Never mentioned on TV or elsewhere in many countries).

    As for people being made to wear masks in a place where they keep stating that they don’t have the supposed malady actually does not exist, is beyond common logical thought. If there is no sunshine, why wear sun cream?!

    Yes, there is a virus! It’s called a “mind virus”! Perpetrated through a screen near you! ; )

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 20, 2020 at 1:26 am

      “Why not use the available tests out there that other countries are using and simply adopt them?”

      Because, as “other countries” have realised, they’re not accurate enough?

      “Check out Sweden and Denmark where the levels of the so called malady are down and have been down for some time.”

      You mean the Sweden and Denmark that currently don’t let in any foreign visitors from outside the EU, with considerable restrictions even on some EU countries?

      The Sweden that’s had over 6,000 deaths from Covid-19 from a population of only 10 million?

      “As for people being made to wear masks in a place where they keep stating that they don’t have the supposed malady actually does not exist, is beyond common logical thought.”

      I’m not sure what planet you’re on at the moment, but I’m happy to let you know that here in Thailand they’re not.

      • Avatar

        Don R

        October 20, 2020 at 9:57 am

        “The Sweden that’s had over 6,000 deaths from Covid-19 from a population of only 10 million?”

        The Swedes effectively euthanized thousands of elderly patients by giving them morphine and leaving them to die. They *could* have “saved” them, but they have philosophical differences about old age (quality vs quantity).

        Conversely, countries that implemented strict restrictions probably had several thousand excess deaths that aren’t even related to covid.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          October 20, 2020 at 3:41 pm

          …and your source for that outrageous claim is what, exactly?

          A quick google comes up with the most reliable (these things are all comparative) being an article by “Emma Newgarden … Emma is a sophomore from Staten Island, NY, majoring in Classical Studies at Seton Hall University. She is also editor of Seton Hall’s Catholic student journal and a runner on its Cross Country track team.

          Emma hopes through her writing to draw hearts and minds to the universal dignity of human life, and that the world may come to recognize this same truth and beauty in the pro-life movement. When not writing or running, Emma can be found reading old books and coming up with new baking recipes.”

          https://iycoalition.org/pandemic-prompts-euthanasia-in-sweden/

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    October 20, 2020 at 1:03 am

    “… I see no reason why Cambodia and Thailand cannot open the borders …”

    Presumably you mean to each other, since having both been so successful so far both would be stupid to just open their borders without precautions now.

    Maybe because neither has much to gain.

    For Thailand, it would only mean an increased supply of Khmer looking for work as their garment and construction industries have collapsed, and Thailand has little need for extra cheap foreign labour at the moment. Few foreigners would leave Cambodia for Thailand, as Cambodia is the country of choice for kee-nok farangs on a tight budget.

    For Cambodia, there is equally little to gain as the last thing they need is an influx of kee-nok rejects from Thailand, however happy Thailand was / would be to see the back of them.

  8. Avatar

    Franky Hilton

    October 20, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    The two heavy-hitters of Thailand’s hotel and hospitality sector

    Yes and both with heavy vested interests in trying to talk up the prospects for the battered tourism industry in Thailand.

    Bill Barnett is notorious for it.

  9. Avatar

    Al

    October 20, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    John –
    Your assumptions regarding what I stated about Sweden and Denmark are flawed. I never said anything about “travelling” to those countries at all, did I?. I said that whatever they are doing there IS working. And yet other places are ignoring what they have done to bring about some sanity in a world gone mad.
    “Related illnesses? Respiratory and other such ailments? I am well aware of this because my own Father died in April this year, and yet calls made from medical sources to my Mother (twice) who asked whether or not they would like to have her husband labelled as being that he died from co-vid. No, he had been sick since last September and nothing at all to do with the dreaded malady…
    Even her, a senior citizen in her 80’s got cheesed off with the second call regarding all of this palaver. They wanted numbers John, numbers to help scare the bejeezus out of good people.
    As to the wearing of masks, I was relating to the fact that everyone in markets, shops, malls people here are wearing the dreaded muzzle/nappy/diaper because of something which is broadly trumpetly being claimed by the guv. Like I said, would you sir, wear sunscreen on a day when it’s raining/cloudy/snow?
    Am not sure what planet you’re on at the moment mate, but certainly you’re on a different “reality zone” to mine! ; )

  10. Avatar

    R. Bancroft

    October 21, 2020 at 2:55 am

    These two have a vested interest in the tourism sector, so they have a bias. Unfortunately, they are oblivious to the reality of what is underway outside of Thailand in the markets from where Thailand draws its tourists: Covid19 is rampaging through India, Russia, the EU and North America. The wealthy Gulf states and Northern Asia countries are dealing with outbreaks. Even China which says that it has the pandemic contained has results which suggest otherwise. These countries have travel bans or restrictive self isolation requirements that discourage foreign travel. What do they think will happen when Thailand opens its doors to everyone? These two do not understand that there are different strains of the infection and that Thailand was spared the variant now ravaging the EU and North America. If it enters Thailand, the country will have the same outcome as elsewhere. The Thai government deserves mpraise for its resolve in keeping the infection out. Now is not the time to give up. Tourism can resume in 6 months. Think of the good of the rest of the country and not a small number of wealthy people. The reality before the pandemic was that Thailand had a labour shortage. Now those jobs can be filled. This is an opportunity to invest in infrastructure and Intellectual assets. Thailand won’t sufferif a few marginal hospitality sector operations close and there is a consolidation of assets. This is an opportunity to reset and to alter the hospitality strategy.

  11. Avatar

    HENRY HARRIS

    October 22, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Heinecke has made his millions (billions?) from Thailand already – is this just a greedy capitalist speaking or does he genuinely care about the tens of thousands of workers who have no jobs in his industry? There is a lot he personally could do to help, but then that may cost him some of his vast fortune, and surely no-one wants to see that happen.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand to start Covid-19 vaccinations in May 2021

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thailand to start Covid-19 vaccinations in May 2021 | The Thaiger

A possible end to the pandemic is in sight. Thailand will start Covid-19 vaccinations in May 2021, according to the Department of Disease Control. The department released a plan on administering the vaccine produced by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

Thailand recently signed a 6 billion baht deal to buy 26 million doses of the vaccine which would be enough to vaccinate 13 million people. The company Siam Bioscience lined up to receive technology developed by Oxford University to produce the vaccine in Thailand. Siam Bioscience has the capacity to produce 180 million to 200 million doses per year, enough to distribute throughout Southeast Asia.

Vaccination centres are planned to be set up in more than 10,000 sub districts which will prevent overcrowding at hospitals. Medical staff, young children, elderly people and vulnerable groups will be first in line for the injections. The vaccinations will be free of charge at government facilities while private hospitals can purchase their own supply, according to DDC director-general Opas Karnkawinpong.

Opas says the vaccine will go through safety and quality checks by the Thai Food and Drug Administration as well as the Public Health Ministry’s Department of Medical Sciences before it’s administered.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Health officials say hundreds came into contact with Covid-19 infected women

Caitlin Ashworth

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Health officials say hundreds came into contact with Covid-19 infected women | The Thaiger
PHOTO: INN News

Health officials are trying to track down hundreds of people who may have come in contact with any of the 10 Thai women who tested positive for Covid-19 after returning to Thailand from Myanmar’s border town Tachileik. The women evaded the mandatory 14 day quarantine for returnees and media reports claim they “sneaked” back in the country.

More than 600 people may have been in contact with the women, according to the Disease Control Department’s director general Opas Karnkawinpong. The women all entered the country over the past week, crossing the border to Chiang Rai. Some then travelled to Chiang Mai, Phayao, Phichit, Ratchaburi and Bangkok before testing positive for the coronavirus.

The women worked at entertainment venues and hotels in the Tachileik border town before returning to Thailand. Some of the woman are linked to the 1G1 hotel and entertainment venue. Opas says authorities are investigating to see if anyone else crossed the border illegally.

The original patient, a 29 year old woman, put 108 people at high risk and 224 at low risk after she travelled from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai on November 25.

A 25 year old put 9 people at high risk and 11 people at low risk after she entered Chiang Rai on November 26 and checked in to a hotel in the Mae Sai district.

2 of the women, ages 26 and 23, put 4 people at high risk and 24 people at low risk after they entered Chiang Rai on November 28.

3 of the women, ages 28, 25 and 23, put 14 people at high risk and 7 people at low risk after they entered Chiang Rai and travelled to Phayao around November 27 to 30.

3 other women, ages 21, 25 and 36, put 298 people at risk with 40 of them at a very high risk after they entered Thailand and travelled to Bangkok, Phichit and Ratchaburi.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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7 new Covid-19 cases detected in quarantine

Caitlin Ashworth

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7 new Covid-19 cases detected in quarantine | The Thaiger

7 new Covid-19 cases were detected in quarantine, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. Thailand’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is raised to 4,039 with 3,882 recoveries and 60 deaths. 147 people are currently receiving medical treatment for the coronavirus.

  • A 35 year old Indian man tested positive for Covid-19. He arrived on November 11 and tested positive 12 days later at a quarantine hotel in Bangkok.
  • A 31 year old Thai woman travelling from the United States with a layover in South Korea tested positive for Covid-19. She arrived on November 19 and tested positive 11 days later while at a quarantine hotel in Bangkok.
  • A 46 year old woman travelling from Mexico with a layover in the Netherlands tested positive for Covid-19. She arrived on November 28 and tested positive 3 days later while at a state quarantine hotel in Chon Buri.
  • A 32 year old Egyptian woman travelling from Sweden with a layover in Dubai tested positive for Covid-19. She arrived on November 29 and tested positive the next day while at a quarantine hotel in Bangkok.
  • A 37 year old Pakistani man tested positive for Covid-19. He arrived on November 26 and tested positive for 5 days later while at an alternative state quarantine facility in Samut Prakan.
  • 2 Thai women travelling from the Netherlands tested positive for Covid-19. The women, ages 42 and 49, arrived on November 28 and tested positive 3 days later while at alternative state quarantine hotels in Bangkok and Chon Buri.
7 new Covid-19 cases detected in quarantine | News by The Thaiger

Daily new Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of December 2, according to Worldometers.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post| Nation Thailand

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