Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Tourism minister says pandemic provides “opportunity to reset tourism sector”

Jack Burton

Published 

 on 

Tourism minister says pandemic provides “opportunity to reset tourism sector” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakan - Nation Thailand
  • follow us in feedly

Needless to say, Thailand’s tourism sector, considered a lifeline to an already battered economy, has been ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic. Now the government is rethinking its strategy for the Covid era… The new tourism revival strategy is “quality over quantity”, target big spenders seeking privacy and social distancing, rather than try to attract large numbers of visitors.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Thailand’s tourism minister said the pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the sector, which had become reliant on Chinese group tours and backpackers. Once the nation’s borders are reopened and so-called “travel bubbles” are agreed upon, marketing efforts will target wealthier individuals who want holidays with minimal risks.

The minister says the government will initially allow small numbers of arrivals, such as some businesspeople and medical tourists. It’s also working with the travel industry to identify and invite individuals in target demographics, which will most likely include previous visitors to luxury resorts in the islands of Phuket, Samui, Phangan and Phi Phi.

Phuket is “a prototype” because it has all the needed facilities and infrastructure in place. Visitors may have to pass a Covid-19 screenings before travelling and upon arriving, choose a single resort or island and remain for a minimum period of time, presumably 14 days.

The “high-end visitors” will be able to travel freely while they’re on the island and be allowed to leave for home or other destinations in Thailand once the minimum number of days has passed. According to the minister, Thailand plans to court such visitors, possibly during the winter months, when European and American travellers seek out warmer climates.

“One person can easily spend as much as five by staying at the finest hotels. Full and free travel should become a thing of the past.”

Thailand is not the only country grappling with the question of how and when to reopen for visitors. Across south east Asia, one of the most tourism-reliant regions in the world, hotels and travel businesses are slowly reopening as countries that have succeeded in flattening their virus curves ease lockdown restrictions.

The minister says Thailand’s first few travel bubble pacts, probably with nations like as Japan and Australia, probably will not be ready until at least August, and that Thailand also is mulling a program to allow visitors from specific low-risk Chinese cities and provinces.

Thailand’s borders are currently locked to all but repatriation flights and the most essential travel through June 30. Most restrictions on domestic travel were lifted this month. The goal is for Thailand to have 10 million foreign arrivals this year – a quarter of the 2019 tally.

The tourism sector will account for about 6% of GDP in 2020, down from 18% last year, says the minister. The lack of travellers is one reason Thailand’s economy is forecast to contract as much as 6% this year (some estimates are as high as 8.9%).

SOURCE: Bloomberg

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    RORY N KEELAN

    Friday, June 19, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Nice idea on paper – but doubt it would work in practice

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, June 19, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Big spenders are going to object being ordered around by the Thais.
    They have the money to go anywhere and will not be stand being told to stay in a resort for 14 days.
    This government have become used to ordering Thais around. Rich foreigners will not be pushed around.
    As for medical tourists-that is available all over the world now.

    • Avatar

      Larpin

      Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 9:50 am

      Absolutely right !!!This Tourism minister does not have a clue of what high end guests are.

  3. Avatar

    Steve Hopton

    Friday, June 19, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    I have never read anything more rediculas in my life.

  4. Avatar

    Jim

    Friday, June 19, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Are they so stupid as to think this is ever going to work? They really dumbfound me with their logic. Wealthy people for example, don’t come here anyway.

  5. Avatar

    ron

    Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 2:50 am

    Let everybody in but leave the Chinese out. That should be your new slogan

  6. Avatar

    Brian

    Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Who comes up with this stuff!!! What are they going to do, go knocking on rich people’s doors in other countries and ask them to come to Thailand and spend their money. About the only thing that is open here is the shopping malls and golf courses and I don’t see them coming for that. Can’t go to a bar for drinks in the evening and no clubs open. Boggles my mind that they think they are thinking this!!!

  7. Avatar

    Louu

    Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Big Joke, are they paid to say such non sense? What will they do with millions of staff jobless following this ridiculous dreamed piece of crasyness. Why dont the responsibles talk with tourism professionals before setting such empty words ? If they look for the real rich, in no way he can yet find the level of wide quality service he is expecting in Thailand. May be in 10 years. The rich buy its own property here and come seldom. Forget 99.5% of the supposed to be 5* hotels. They just bought the names. Y have over 30.000 licenced htls in Thailand,probably 200.000+ without proper one nor required norms. May be 20 of them reaching the quality required. Mostly in Bkk for business people not much for tourists.

  8. Avatar

    Jeff

    Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    Why would you ever let in the Chinese? They are the ones that brought this plague upon the world, and caused your economy to contract by at least 6%. Oh, I forgot – the Chinese are bribing you by financing your infrastructure projects. Got to hand it to the Chinese, they sure know how to buy themselves out of trouble. I’ll hold my breath for the moment they come back to claim that, ‘favor.’ BTW, good luck with those rich people you’re looking to court. They go to real luxury destinations like the Maldives or Fiji, not Thailand to be bossed around and extorted by the Bib.

  9. Avatar

    Paul

    Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    I am reasonably well off and I do travel to Thailand quite frequently but I wont be told what to do, the more I see the more Thailand becomes unappealing to the point I have positioned all my travel plans to European countries for the next 12 months. Then from that point onward I will re assess the situation but if Thailand keeps up with these kind of views they will be left with no one.

  10. Avatar

    K Fex

    Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    I like the “certain Chinese cities” bit. How are they going to be sure that someone who flies in from one of their “safe” cities hasn’t already flown there from a different city.
    This plan has one main objective, to enrich the rich and clear out the poor. Who is seriously going to pay top dollar to visit a resort where 3/4 of the premises are boarded up because they have gone bust or are not allowed to open?

  11. Avatar

    RS

    Monday, June 22, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    a really dumb idea sir. Nobody,NOBODY! comes to Thailand or anywhere in Asia to jog in place for weeks in so called luxury digs in a scam ridden beach town. And spend two weeks in quarantine? Monte Carlo,Euro Ski Resorts,US ski resorts, Italian Villas, Caribbean Islands, Private yachts, the Hamptons? The name Phuket dosen’t fit with those desinations-never has,never will. The tourists come here for a cheap breezy holiday-to travel around freely and experience the colorful Thai culture, mingle with freindly locals,play golf, hit the beaches, sample the great Thai cuisine, bargain for souvies. Get real sir

  12. Avatar

    Horizon202

    Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 10:42 am

    A rich or a poor will not pay to be locked in a golden cage, what the government do with their own people would not be accepted from paying guests.

  13. Avatar

    Nelly

    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 11:38 am

    The elephant in the room is that they are too reliant on tourism, partly because it doesn’t require a lot of training or high level of skills investment in the people.

    If they invested more in STEM training, and quality and compliance, they might be able to reduce their dependency on tourism. Chances are they won’t, and the large numbers of unemployed will return to the countryside.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



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

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Thailand

PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues

Avatar

Published

on

PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is postponing his inaugural Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment. According to Khaosod English, the vaccine shipment was sent to Thailand last Wednesday from South Korea, but was missing the additional required paperwork.

Prayut was supposed to receive the vaccine tomorrow, but the highly‐publicised event will not be happening. According to Khaosod English, an official at the Secretariat of the Prime Minister has also confirmed the news of the postponement without citing a reason.

Although the Sinovac vaccine is also being administered in Thailand, healthcare officials say Prayut is too old to receive it as its age limit is 60. Prayut is 66 years old, which is well over the oldest age that can receive the vaccine.

The Sinovac vaccine drive is set to commence on Monday, 2 weeks behind schedule. Those frontline health workers, hospitality workers and vulnerable groups will receive the vaccines first.

Meanwhile, Phuket is waiting for the green lightto start administering vaccines and has already held a vaccine administration rehearsal overseen by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

The government pandemic center reported 72 new confirmed infections on Friday, after first only reporting 45 new cases. 37 of those cases were locally-transmitted, and one 6 year old Thai girl returning from the UK was found to have tested positive for the virus. Samut Sakhon, again, reported over half of the new cases yesterday, as it remains the epicentre of Thailand’s second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

The total virus tally in Thailand sits at 25,764, with 83 fatalities. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has not yet announced the amount of new cases for today.

There is no word yet on when PM Prayut will be rescheduled to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light

Avatar

Published

on

Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light | The Thaiger

Phuket is rehearsing procedures to ready themselves for the Covid‐19 vaccine administration green light. A rehearsal at Vachira Hospital’s Lan Muang Khao open area was held late yesterday to iron out any kinks in the administration process. Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong watched over the procedures along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

“The government recognises the importance of the affected areas of the economy where the epidemic situation of COVID-19 must be stopped and has allocated the COVID-19 vaccine to Phuket Province to build herd immunity, restore the economy, return a smile to Thailand.”

“We are preparing to COVID-19 mass vaccination to build confidence among the people that they will receive a quality, safe vaccine and to receive follow-up care after it has been administered.”

Pichet says Phuket’s first target groups to receive the vaccine include medical and public health personnel, with others on the frontlines to come next.

Then, workers aged 18-59 years old, people with underlying diseases including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity will follow.

“People with severe neurological conditions and pregnant women should be wary of taking the vaccine, as well as women who are breastfeeding and people with immunodeficiency.”

The procedure to get vaccinated starts by recipients undergoing screening by having their temperatures taken, and then sanitising their hands before entering the administration area. Then, they will move their way through a series of steps, detailed below:

Step 1: Register

Step 2: Record weight and blood pressure

Step 3: Pass the screening process by have their medical history and risk assessment recorded and then signing a consent to receive the vaccine

Step 4: Wait for vaccination

Step 5: Vaccination

Step 6: Rest for 30 minutes, while being observed for symptoms. Then scan the official Line account “หมอพร้อม” (“Doctor Ready”)

Step 7: Pass a final check before receiving a document confirming vaccination

Pichet says health workers will follow up with vaccine recipients after 1,7, and 30 days from being vaccinated to monitor any adverse reactions.

Those who are set to receive their second jab will have appointments made for them. Those who receive the Sinovac vaccine will be scheduled to have their second doses 2 to 4 weeks after the first. AstraZeneca vaccine receivers will be scheduled for their second doses 10 to 12 weeks after the first.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM to receive AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday

Maya Taylor

Published

on

PM to receive AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha will receive the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday, while Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul will receive the Chinese jab. According to a Bangkok Post report, Sopon Mekthon from the sub-committee on vaccine management says both politicians will receive their vaccines at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute. On Monday, the vaccination of priority groups in specific provinces will get underway.

Speaking about the arrival of the long-awaited vaccines yesterday, Anutin said the first batch would be distributed free of charge, with costs covered by the government.

“The vaccines are for Thais and those living in the country. Anyone who charges for the vaccine will face legal action.”

Thailand has taken delivery of 200,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac jab and 117,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The arrival of the AstraZeneca jab took many by surprise, with no mention of its imminent arrival, unlike the PR hoopla surrounding the arrival of its Chinese counterpart. Another 800,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine are expected next month, followed by a further 1 million in April. After that, the rest of Thailand’s vaccines will be from AstraZeneca, with 26 million locally-manufactured doses expected to be available from May to June and another 35 million after that.

Nakorn Premsri from the National Vaccine Institute says the AstraZeneca vaccines arrived this week as a result of a commitment by the pharmaceutical giant to ensure equal access to Covid-19 vaccines.

“The AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived in Thailand must receive a lot release certificate from the Department of Medical Sciences before distribution to priority groups designated by the Department of Disease Control.”

Meanwhile, Thares Karasnairaviwong from the Department of Health Service Support says over 1.5 million village health volunteers are educating local residents about the importance of vaccination and establishing how many people fall into the priority groups who will be first to be inoculated.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism4 days ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 days ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism4 days ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending