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The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO

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The Thai Government, flushed with the success of their containment of Covid-19, decided to market the Land of Smiles to the world as the safe place to travel. With the annual wet season starting to weaken the tourists would flock back to the S E Asian country that had such a remarkable success containing, then almost eradicating itself, of the coronavirus.

Then they came up with the STV – the special tourist visa which would have the world’s eager travellers packing their sun cream for up to 270 days of Thai tourism.

There were promises of plane loads of tourists and even published flights and carriers. A few flights arrived, most didn’t.

In fact, since the start of the STV, the Special Tourist Visa, with its long list of restrictions and requirements, was floated, along with a re-vamped Tourist Visa, less than 400 people have arrived per month, on average, since the end of October. In the October and November of the year before more than 3 million people arrived in Thailand. Even the government’s limit of 1,200 new tourist arrivals per month was even slightly tested.

The government had bought all the streamers and a pretty new dress for the party but no one came.

What went wrong?

Where was the much-anticipated pent-up demand and people banging on the doors of the world’s Thai embassies?

It was the European winter and the ‘snowbirds’ would surely be back to soak in some Thai sun rays. But no.

The first problem was there wasn’t much for them to come back to. They would have the beaches of the islands all to themselves, they wouldn’t have to wait in line for anything, the domestic airlines were still selling low fares to Tavel anywhere around the country.

But otherwise there wasn’t a lot for them to do. The tourism magnets were a shadow of their former selves. Walking Street, Bangla Road, tours and tour boats, all the tourist strip restaurants. The buzz of the crowds was gone and more than 90% of the tourist-related business had closed up.

Their staff, their families, their bank loans, their stock and investments – all on hold and forced to find come other means to make ends meet. 931 of some of the larger official tourism operators have now gone out of business, according to Bloomberg News. There would be thousands of the smaller family operations that have also been swept aside by the Thai government’s responses to the world pandemic.

 

 

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bill Fischer

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    Nailed it! Thailand has seemingly always taken tourists for granted and thought that tourists would always flock to the LOS… wrong. There is a limit to how much crap tourists will put up with and the current government has done a wonderful job of exposing that limit. I know several people who used to visit Thailand every year. They’ve all gone elsewhere. It won’t be easy to lure people back once they’ve experienced more user-friendly countries.

    • Avatar

      Matteo

      Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 12:51 am

      I came to in Mexico, where I was allowed with a negative PCR test, cautious but reasonable social distancing measures, and cheerful attitude.

      The personnel at the Thai consulate in UK had become outright abusive in reaction to my enquiries on STV and timeframes. And of course, no clear info was ever offered.

      Everyone who lived in Thailand has had the experience of being shouted at for struggling to understand abstruse bureaucratic requirements:
      I am very relived, here in Puerto Vallarta, to be in a place where expats are treated with kindness.

      • Avatar

        Latecomer

        Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 2:45 pm

        Dubai is about the same. Only PCR was necessary and thats it. Crowded with tourists, no panic. Masks for metro and some indoor spaces. Everything open except nightclubs. But hotel bars work as usual, including drinking, smoking and no masks

  2. Avatar

    zig

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    The TAT won’t admit it but most tourists are fed up with the BS and double standards they are subjected to..Its going to be a very long time..if at all…that they will see tourist numbers like they had before…kiss them goodbye and figure out another industry if you can

  3. Avatar

    Alan Lockhart

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    The worst part about the stv the quarantine the insurance its all a money grab from the govt and now 350 baht on entry they sure know how to stop tourists coming as fir getting them back take away all your greedy money grabbing bs and open the country test 24 hours prior to flying then test on arrival quarantine for 24 hours till the result is in if you are not carrying the virus free to go makes more sense

    • Avatar

      Edwin Leahy

      Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 12:04 am

      if they did would you suggested I would be back there in a heartbeat as of now who’s willing to wait 14 days in a hotel with all the rest of the night since you have to go through the hotel for 14 days is that going to prison not that I know what that’s all about but I can imagine

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 9:49 am

      I read there is also a B10000 agent’s fee to arrange everything.

  4. Avatar

    disgusted `

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    The only way that Thailand will open again is to vaccinate everyone including foreign people who live and pay taxes here. When are they going to learn that there are no international flights and no one will come here.
    Guess there is no cure for stupidity yet……fail.

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    I have a strange feeling of deja vu …

    The vast majority of Thais outside the tourist sector (which IS the vast majority of Thais) very clearly DON’T want the borders open yet and DON’T want tourists here yet.

    Despite all the protests about everything from the role of the monarchy to LGBT rights and school uniforms, there have been NO protests about wanting tourists back, even in Pattaya and Phuket – NONE.

    Nobody here has “thrown a tourist party”, however much a few blinkered, selfish wannabe foreign tourists and equally selfish, blinkered foreign hoteliers might wish they had, nor, hopefully, will they do so until it’s safe and in the country’s best interests to do so.

    • Avatar

      gosport

      Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 7:59 am

      Any one outside Thailand wants to have a party in Thailand so, they can escape the pandemic in their own localities or because they dont have contact to get vaccinated. No ordinary Thai wants to lift quarantee time. The virus is dangerous and Thai is no fool. I am happy in my coconut plantation with my papaya salad.

    • Avatar

      Joe

      Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 8:51 am

      Issan John the statement that they threw a tourism party is metaphorical, you are not the brightest light bulb are you?

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 9:58 am

        No Isaan John really thought there was a party!
        And I cannot fathom how he could know that the vast majority of Thais do not want the borders open and tourists back.
        I think his forth bottle of Chang told him.

        • Avatar

          Joe

          Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 11:56 am

          He was probably really annoyed that he wasn’t invited, that’s why he keeps on going on about it, poor isaan John again he was not invited.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 7:26 pm

            Why would I be “really annoyed [I] wasn’t invited”?

            I’m already here!

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 7:24 pm

          Hardly surprised you can’t fathom it out, Toby, but what part of ” all the protests about everything from the role of the monarchy to LGBT rights and school uniforms, there have been NO protests about wanting tourists back, even in Pattaya and Phuket – NONE.” did you not understand?

          … and you evidently missed all the surveys too …

        • Avatar

          Far from Chang or Thailand or SEA....

          Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 2:18 pm

          no, actually, madame “Issan John” is a very old lady living in a north european village. With her cats. No kids, never married. Never travelled abroad. But loves internet…..

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 7:21 pm

        “metaphorical” ? No, sorry, it’s a combination of wishful thinking and rubbish.

  6. Avatar

    Jean-Pierre

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    Excellent video, very clear.

  7. Avatar

    Ian

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 12:06 am

    I do believe that even some of the farangs in Thailand don’t want us here it’s so sad to think this but reading the comments on here it is sadly true .well maybe they will go down with the sinking ship but then again they will jump ship and go back to where they came from but then again could they afford to live where they came from as thier wood huts might buy a garage in UK and elsewhere, the wise money as already left Thailand the wiser money never came and the big money will soon be buying up everything at bottom sale prices that’s how it works and the many just have to suffer for the few

  8. Avatar

    SineMetu

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 12:29 am

    Sad to see comments like this… people seem to love giving the hammer to Thailand for some reason… at the the end of the day we are guests in their country and should behave as such.
    If you love you home country more than this one… get on the plane and go home. Leave it all behind and start screaming about your homeland. Personally, having spent ten years of my life here, I love it and want to see nothing but the best for this land and it’s people.

  9. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 1:21 am

    The only country I’m aware of whose government has “thrown a tourist party” is the UAE.

    They can probably afford to rather more than Thailand with a population whose average age is six years younger, with a large number of immigrant workers who are predominantly relatively young, fit and healthy, but they’re now reaping the whirlwind of their “tourist party” with over 3,000 cases per day for the last week from a population of less than 10 million.

    Not quite as “world beating” as the UK’s 45,000 per day for the last week, but hardly a party Thailand has any reason to copy.

    • Avatar

      Chris

      Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 7:25 am

      In UAE the vaccination is ongoing with 2 difference vaccine.

      And in Thailand ? nothing…

    • Avatar

      "whirlwind of....cases"

      Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 5:31 pm

      No spike in cases, nor hospitalisations nor deaths. None.
      I am already more than a month in Dubai and its great. Absolutely no panic, no rise in cases, nothing extraordinary happenning. Only nightclubs out of business, but nothing else. No problems whatsoever….on the contrary.
      P. S. Madame “Issan John”, Please, you can continue your usual daily walks with your cats and dogs by the lovely Baltic sea. Have a relaxing tea, relax, forget about this site and internet altogether…

  10. Avatar

    Brian McSkimming

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 2:02 am

    Firstly I must commend the Thai government on controlling the virus and the low number of deaths.
    I would be visiting Thailand now for 3 months if it wasn’t for the 2 week quarantine period and the costs involved. Two weeks in a hotel room would drive me crazy.
    If you have a fit to fly certificate, get tested on arrival then quarantine in your destination until the results surely this encourage more tourists?

  11. Avatar

    Rahul kamble

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 7:34 am

    Let’s keep tourist a side, I work here since last 6 years and since October 2019 I have not been out of Thailand.

    Recently I had visited to dentist for my wife but 2 Clinic which I have visited said, we are not treating Foreigners due to Covid.

    What is the logic?
    You can check my passport arrivval date and then decide that make sense but this is all illogical stuff.

    If any tourist comes and if they need emergency treatment that means Thailand will say same things?

    What is the point then coming as a tourist.
    They have set far too many rules and anyone will not be interested in.

  12. Avatar

    Giovanni Riccella

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 8:19 am

    No one is going to Thailand until the 14day quarantine is dropped!! Why not let people into Thailand after they prove both Neg Covid test AND Vaccines? That seems to be a reasonably safe way to let tourists back into Thailand without having to quarantine for half a month!

  13. Avatar

    Joe

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Right from the beginning, that is 6 years ago, this government has been detrimental for the tourism industry, the first thing they did was remove all the beach chairs and umbrellas, yes there were way too many but did they have to move every single one of them?, most tourists are unable to sit out in the full sun especially the older ones,the removal of food and drinks at the beach was also not appreciated, what had happened to the relaxing atmosphere on the beach? then to give the lucrative retiree market another kick in the nuts they only allowed a 3 month visa and made it almost impossible to get the 6 month one, this meant that the retirees could no longer spend the full 6 month western winter months here, no your money is not wanted here, you can go somewhere else.Once tourists have decided to leave they are very unlikely to ever come back again, in the end Phuket will have tourists but they will be Chinese and like most Asians most of them like to travel in tour groups which means that few people will benefit.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 7:30 pm

      WTF are you talking about?

      The “retirement” (extension of stay) is unchanged. That’s the only “retirement” visa and always has been.

      • Avatar

        Joe

        Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 9:38 pm

        I am not talking about the retirement visa, not everybody wants to put 800,000 in an account here, I am talking about normal tourist visas ie a double entry one, 3 plus 3 =6,you you understanding yes?

  14. Avatar

    Rahul kamble

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 4:07 pm

    Forget about tourist people who are already here they are pushing us with unwanted rules.
    I am working here since last 6 years and didn’t travel to any country since Oct 2019.

    This time when my wife wanted to visit a dentist they denied us saying due to COVID we are not
    Taking foreigners , that means once any outsider is here you won’t look after them you will accept locals same time.

    How is this logically correct?
    Check passport and arrival date in country take make sense this is something unwanted rules for any outsider here.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 12:57 am

      They are racist b—sterds Rahul.

  15. Avatar

    westaussie

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    I love the way you pronounce STV. Almost sounds like STD (Standardised Thai{Gov’t Disfunction}.

  16. Avatar

    Tourist

    Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 10:18 pm

    Hi, help me out please. If you test positive, you are sent to a hospital for a minimum of 10 days. What are your rights in the hospital? Can they force treatments (medicine) or examinations like x-rays, CT scans on you against your will?

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