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Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent

Bill Barnett

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Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent | The Thaiger
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Bill Barnett from c9hotelworks.com continues to follow the difficult journey of the Thai hospitality industry. Traditionally, now would be the start of the country’s highly profitable high season for the tourism industry. But not this year. Thai hotels find themselves in the middle of an existential crisis – either still closed, only partly open, or one of the few converted to limited ASQ traffic. The situation is dire, when you consider that between 15-20% of Thailand’s GDP is linked to tourism.

In a speech this week Thailand’s Prime Minster Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke clearly that only when a vaccine is approved, produced, and implemented, would the country open to substantial tourism. Given the current timelines and forecasts, this may not be likely until mid-2021 at the earliest, though subject to advancement if the process could be accelerated, which is unlikely.

For tourism and hotel stakeholders, the writing is on the wall that 2021, for the most part, will see a continued reliance on domestic travellers, and only in 2022 will there be a large-scale return in numbers of overseas visitors.

Given the winter spike in Asia, Europe, and North America of Covid-19, Thailand is not alone in relying on the vaccine to return tourism but the process will not be instant and the re-openings of borders will most certainly be staged.

HERE’s a list of 113 Alternative State Quarantine hotels.

The business reality for Phuket and across Thailand is to plan for the worst in the coming six months and only expect 2022 to see a notable uptick.

Currently, the hotel sector continues to advocate to the Thai government and Central Bank for debt and financing relief measures and assistance in a social security supplement to retain staff.

While it’s negative news, it at least allows for hotels to understand the challenges ahead, plan and adjust their operating models going forward. ‘Survive the downturn’ is the new mantra.

No vaccine, no entry. Read more HERE.

No vaccine, no flight. Read more HERE.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mike

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Theirs a vaccine becoming available in Dubai come December

    • The Thaiger

      The Thaiger

      Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 10:45 am

      Which of the vaccines will be rolled out? Are there any officially approved as yet?

      • Avatar

        Mike Frenchie

        Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 7:35 pm

        You bet it will take them six months or more (q3 – 2021 min.) to “certify” vaccines that will be certified by people (US – EU) way more qualified and with way more resources? Anyone with a brain will use the CDC certification and open the doors to anyone vaccinated…

      • Avatar

        Kalim

        Monday, November 30, 2020 at 2:13 am

        There is speculation in Ireland that Dubai is getting vaccine from Russia, you can look up pod cast on pat Kenny show on newstalk radio.
        A doctor gives updates on the virus and vaccines

  2. Avatar

    Peter

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 10:29 am

    I’m surprised anyone thought it would be any different, I very much doubt boarders will be open by then without some form of quarantine.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 10:42 am

      I’m not “surprised” – I’m absolutely amazed!!!

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 11:19 am

    “… the hotel sector continues to advocate to the Thai government and Central Bank for debt and financing relief measures and assistance in a social security supplement to retain staff.”

    … and how about “a social security supplement” for all those who planted rubber trees who are making a fraction of what they were a few years ago when things were booming?

    … and help for all the factories who’ve had to reduce production as demand’s dropped but they want “to retain staff” they’ve trained?

    To hear all the weeping and wailing and tearing of hair-shirts from the ‘hospitality industry’ (globally, not just in Thailand) you’d think they’d been running a not-for-profit charity rather than a business that relied on exploiting cheap labour with staff who depended on customers’ tips so the owners could make handsome profits.

    You want a solution so you can “retain staff” and “survive the downturn”?
    How about investing some of your previous profits in your staff instead of yourself and your business, and making them shareholders in a co-operative?

    Somehow pleading for debt relief and a social security supplement seems a much more palatable option …..

  4. Avatar

    David

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Makes sense, BUT, if the Tourist is Vaccinated, but Thailand is behind Vaccinating itself internally, the Tourist should not be penalized by prohibiting entry. The Tourist will not bring the Virus.

    Side comment – where/what restaurant in the headline photo?

    ?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, November 30, 2020 at 9:46 am

      There’s no indication as yet that vaccines prevent transmission – it certainly looks as if the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines don’t, in which case those vaccinated can “bring the virus” just as much as those not vaccinated.

    • Avatar

      Paul

      Monday, November 30, 2020 at 9:58 am

      It’s called Koh Thai Kitchen and located at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui.

      • Avatar

        David

        Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 6:54 am

        ?

  5. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    France is now subsidizing restaurants, hotels up to 200.000 EUR per month (per company) to keep them alive… this is absolutely massive to support the touristic/leisure sector. This plus soft loans, banks delaying payments… (like Thailand)
    For Thailand, nobody may reach Q4 2021… according to my calculations (at least not without diluting massively their equity or reaching a crazy level of debts)

  6. Avatar

    James

    Sunday, November 29, 2020 at 10:18 pm

    It will work both ways, countries such as England which will have its own vaccine (Oxford University) within a few weeks will be many months ahead of countries such as Thailand and we will not want to visit countries that have not vaccinated their own population.

    The Oxford vaccine unlike the other two candidates is much easier to transport and store as it only has to be kept at fridge temperature and not in freezers like the other two.

    Thailand does not have a vaccine of its own and so will have to join the vaccine queue just like the other few billion people in the world.

    I know, we can sell it to farangs in Thailand for $1 a shot and to Thais for $100 a shot, that would re-balance the two-tier prices which exist in Thailand, to qualify for a $1 shot you will have to produce a non-Thai passport or ID card.

    I know Thailand has said it has a contract to produce the Oxford vaccine but they have also been saying they have contracts with countries regarding tens of thousands of tourists but that has not happened after six months of claims.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, November 30, 2020 at 10:04 am

      How many times does it have to be repeated?

      The AstraZeneca factory which will be producing their vaccine for distribution in Asia is in Thailand.

      “England” doesn’t have “it’s own vaccine (Oxford University)” which “within a few weeks will be many months ahead of countries such as Thailand”.

      Thailand hasn’t “also been saying they have contracts with countries regarding tens of thousands of tourists but that has not happened after six months of claims.”

      … and why would anyone who’s already been vaccinated and thinks they’re protected “not want to visit countries that have not vaccinated their own population”???

  7. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 12:47 am

    3 and 4 star hotels don’t break even at 30% capacity, globally. At 10%-20% projected capacity they will choose to remain closed. So the only way to survive another year, or a few months actually, is to have their bank loans extended and payments postponed. Or, more conveniently, go into bankruptcy. The small 1 and 2 star hotels that are family-owned and employ 3-4 staff may survive. The likes of Airbnb will be the biggest winners though, if there’s no government crackdown that is, and that’s a big “if”.

  8. Avatar

    Johnny Dee

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 6:04 am

    The vaccine is coming guys it’s on it’s way hopefully sooner than we think the normality will resume in Pattaya for all of us GOOD GUYS!!

  9. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Friday, December 4, 2020 at 12:01 am

    The vaccine is coming but will not be the answer to your prayers unfortunately. Covid will be around for years and I’m still waiting for regulations from Thailand that are not some sort of joke.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Bill Barnett has over 30 years of experience in the Asian hospitality and property markets. He is considered to be a leading authority on real estate trends across Asia, and has sat at almost every seat around the hospitality and real estate table. Bill promotes industry insight through regular conference speaking engagements and is continually gathering market intelligence. Over the past few years he has released four books on Asian property topics.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Patong, Phuket Town to fund residents’ vaccines

The Thaiger

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Patong, Phuket Town to fund residents’ vaccines | The Thaiger

Patong and Phuket Town are planning to fund registered residents’ Covid-19 vaccines, Thai and foreign, with the hope to speed up the inoculation process without waiting for the national government. The mayors of both cities say they have already allocated the funds to move forward with purchasing the vaccines after the government approves which ones may be used.

Like any other municipality in Thailand, the Covid-19 vaccine must be acquired from the Ministry of Public Health. Thanit Sermkaew, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office, says his office had yet to receive the news on how many doses of the vaccine Phuket could receive or in which order to vaccinate people.

“I don’t want to wait in the queue to get the vaccine budget. Chalong people deserve to receive vaccines. They do not need to pay.”

Mayor Samran of Chalong confirmed that the Covid vaccines will be freely available to all people registered as living in Chalong Subdistrict, regardless whether the resident is Thai or foreign.

“There are about 20,000 to 30,000 people in Chalong. This includes everyone: Thais, migrant workers and other foreigners registered as living in Chalong, such as retirees and foreigners staying here for other reasons. They will all receive the vaccine.”

Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana has also confirmed that Phuket City Municipality will also administer free vaccines to the over 79,000 people living in Phuket Town. But he says only people who were registered as living in the city limits at the end of December would be eligible to receive the free vaccines. Chalermluck Kebsup, Mayor of Patong, is also following suit by offering free vaccines to registered residents.

“We deserve to get the vaccine quickly because Phuket is a tourism province, our people depend on tourism.”

It has been 26 days since Phuket had any positive cases of Covid-19, but Chalermluck says a vaccine will curb worries of Covid spreading.

“The vaccine is our hope in stopping this fear. If local residents receive the vaccine as quickly as possible, I think people will be more confident in receiving domestic tourists. Then businesses can run.”

Phuket Chamber of Commerce President Thanusak Phungdet is praising the move by local municipalities to plan free vaccinations.

“Provinces that rely on tourism should receive the vaccine before other provinces. For Phuket, it will create more confidence among tourists wanting to travel here. Then businesses can start operating again, and that will help local people earn incomes that they can live on.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

ASQ + Vaccine in Thailand proposal gets the thumbs down

The Thaiger

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ASQ + Vaccine in Thailand proposal gets the thumbs down | The Thaiger

OPINION

A spokesperson from a Thai tourism association came up with the “cunning idea” yesterday to propose a ASQ + Vaccine package to travellers and tourists. So not only do you get your 14 day mandatory quarantine at an expensive hotel in Bangkok, the opportunity to submit copious amounts of paperwork and drill through the red tape. NOW you get a jab of Covid-19 vaccine included. All for the all time low starting price of 150,000 baht. Read the original story HERE.

Bargain!

Of course The Thaiger readers and viewers raced to congratulate the rocket scientist who came up with this brilliant piece of tourist marketing. Suffice to say, it’s dead in the water even before the ambulance arrives…

Ron Rossington
Until the ditch the 14 day quarantine and end the ineffective lockdowns, Thailand will not get the tourist numbers they are in dire need of to stabilize the economy.

k tara
Another brilliant idea for tourists which will be dead on arrival. Do these people live in reality.

rickdangr
Tourism will NOT return until the 14 day quarantine is gone! Get the vaccine out to the Thai people, then start with allowing tourists in without quarantine, that have been vaccinated. This would be a smart way to open, and to get it done by April 1st, before the Songkran holiday.

Paul D
Hello Thaiger Team, the story with regards to vaccinations tagging on with the STV, seems to me as another of Thailands false hope stories. But I am sure the Government powers may have overlooked the strong suggestions many Airlines have voiced, “that no traveller will be allowed on the flight unless they have proof of vaccinations”. Even this is not 100% at this point. Some countries will not even allow their citizens to leave right now. I think the Thai government, even though are doing as much as they can right now, needs to not provide false hope to travellers at this point.

Energy3
another gimmick by thai officials – free vaccine with STV – sounds like you’re getting a happy meal with a free toy
Sai Sai
This is ridiculous!

Tyler Durden
These Thai officials need to wake up. The reason us tourists aren’t coming to Thailand is because of the 2 week quarantine, adding extra vaccination costs on top of an already expensive STV visa ain’t gonna get me over there that’s for sure. If these officials don’t drop the 2 week quarantine, there once popular visitors are going to be popular visitors elsewhere, as already I know many people traveling to South America.

And this gentlemen, J German, who went to all the trouble for little return…

I went to Bangkok in Dec. for the holidays. I did my 2 weeks of ASQ during which the shrimp market outbreak started. By the time I got out of quarantine, I had 4 nights of fun, but it was far from what the scene once was. I had a fun NYE, then it all got shut down. I went there to be in a country that was “safer” and not on lockdown. I lost that bet. Then Taiwan closed to international flights, cancelling my trip home. I got on the next plane to the US, leaving several weeks early so as not to get stuck there with nothing to do. My advice is, don’t waste your money or your time (like I did) until vaccinations are widely distributed and quarantines are over.

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Efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines will drop during mass inoculations: Thai virologist

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Efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines will drop during mass inoculations: Thai virologist | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siam Rath

Thai virologist Dr. Yong Poovorawan from Chulalongkorn University, has spoken about claims that the efficacy of every vaccine available today, including Covid-19 vaccines, tend to lower after being used in mass inoculations, compared to the findings from the laboratory during human testing trials.

He recommends that people should not rely solely on the vaccines alone because uncertainty will remain during the roll out phase of the new inoculations.

“The best way to protect themselves is to practice basic safety standards as we usually do today… wearing face masks all the time when going outside and in crowded venues, regularly washing hands, and maintain social distancing.”

On his Facebook page, Dr. Young cited the case of Hepatitis B vaccines that claimed between 94-95% efficacy. But after use on mass populations, its efficacy dropped to about 80%. He believes this trend will be the same as Covid-19 vaccines.

“Although the manufacturers claim the vaccines’ high efficacy, that is just the laboratory results. In practice, several variables may cause lower effectiveness of the vaccines.”

He also says that the real effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines, both the American from Pfizer and the Chinese from Sinopharm will be known soon after the populations of Israel and UAE have been inoculated in large numbers already.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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