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Tourism sector pin hopes on “Safe and Sealed” scheme to lure international visitors

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Indochina Tours

In the latest plan to bolster Thailand’s withering tourism industry, business operators are proposing a new inbound tourism plan called “Safe and Sealed”, to replace the delayed “travel bubbles” scheme and prevent Thailand realising the worst-case revenue scenario of only 675 billion baht next year, down from 3 trillion in 2019. At a joint meeting yesterday of the Tourism and Sports Ministry and the private sector, tourism-related groups proposed letting inbound tourists restart trips to Thailand in the fourth quarter of 2020 with safer screening and more flexibility for many countries than the bilateral travel bubble scheme would have allowed.

The president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents says while Thailand has begun welcoming certain limited groups of foreigners, the total will be fewer than 100,000 visitors and cannot prevent many tourism-related businesses from going bankrupt. The new inbound plan is expected to draw at least 500,000 tourists to Thailand and generate 50 billion baht in revenue. The cost of the package would be around 100,000 baht per person, twice the average price of 50,000 baht before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the scheme is the last bid to enable the majority of tourism businesses to survive and avoid layoffs in the fourth quarter if Thailand continues to keep its borders closed to international tourists.

“Safe means we will select only guests from cities with a record of no infections for at least 30 days, and they can travel under the sealed conditions provided by tour operators in designated hotels and provinces that agree to welcome those tourists.”

Other necessary screening processes would also required, such as an infection-free certificate issued no more than 72 hours before a flight, as well as insurance and swab tests.

Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn says Phiphat will forward the proposal to related agencies, and include the idea of setting up a tourism fund to provide soft loans to the industry, which has struggled to secure loans from commercial banks. Tourism businesses want the government to help start the fund with a 100 billion baht budget.

Yuthasak says employment in the tourism sector stood at some 4 million workers before the outbreak. But as most operators have had no revenue in the past 6 months, unemployment in the sector could grow as high as 2.5 million as businesses cannot bear more losses. Other estimates put the figures even higher.

The TAT also shared its 2021 tourism scenario with representatives from the private sector: the worst case sees Thailand earning just 675 billion baht in revenue, down 9% from this year, which is likely to close at 742 billion baht, down 75% from 2019’s 3 trillion baht. If Thailand can build momentum by receiving at least some international tourists, the best case shows that tourism revenue could climb to 50% of 2019 levels, or 1.5 trillion baht.

The National Economic and Social Development Council previously set the tourism revenue goal at 3.9 trillion baht for 2021. Yuthasak now says that goal has become far-fetched unless a vaccine is found.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Chiang Rai Times

 

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Avatar

    RS

    Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Excellent idea. I’m sure hundreds of thousands of hopeful selectees from around the world will be applying for your so called sealed & safe package deal. Will it include individual shirt stickers and someone with a flag herding them around? Fantastic! Well done sir.

  2. Avatar

    Geoff

    Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 11:12 am

    Nobody is giving Covid cover travel insurance. If you want visitors, you will have to get around this. The other things are inconveniences that are easily overcome.

    • Avatar

      Luigi

      Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 12:55 pm

      holins insurance covers covid risks. Doofficile is to have a covid test 3 days before leaving and then find a plane ticket in these three days. in my city we had no Covid cases

  3. Avatar

    Glenn

    Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 11:45 am

    the article content was truly funny, unfortunately it’s about real people needing real incomes and real jobs. the idea that quality (rich) tourists will come vacation in a bubble (at the point of threats/fines/expulsion) is comical.

    regrettably thailand believes the propaganda and fear of a virus (flu) with a worldwide fatality rate of just 0.0091% is a danger (and that number includes a lot of deaths due to co-morbitities attributed to CV). until the govt here admits CV is not a dangerous, deadly, fearsome disease and is just a flu, kiss the entire travel and tourism sector goodbye along with all the other supporting businesses.

    There is much more behind this cv scam than health.

    • Avatar

      Bobby m

      Friday, August 7, 2020 at 4:00 am

      Here here.

      Come on Thailand, Get real.

      Read what Glen is telling you and try to understand it. This virus is not going anywhere anytime soon. Live with it, learn to control it the best you can and treat people that get sick. Even if you do it for free, it will cost you less than the damage is costing your economy.

      As he says, it is a flu virus and flu viruses kill many hundreds of people every year. It’s also worth noting that all viruses mutate, so don’t bank on a vaccine solving all the problems for you.

      • Avatar

        Patrick

        Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 6:10 pm

        Exactly agreed!!

  4. Avatar

    Matthew Crampton

    Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    I for one welcome any inactive that will allow travel from safe countries. At least Thailand has a plan to open borders unlike my country of residence that appears to have no plan at all.Well done to TAT for at least being proactive. I sincerely hope I will be able to travel back to Thailand in the near future.

  5. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    This is not the way Westerners typically travel and 100,000 THB per person plus the cost of expenses once you get there is ridiculous.

    It’s becoming more clear who the preferred visitors are.

  6. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    The TAT seems to imagine there’s some kind of queue of people trying to get in for a holiday like this, they’re really not. Most people will go somewhere nearer and simpler, with fewer restrictions, e.g.: Europeans going to Iberia; Americans going to the Caribbean; Asians probably staying within their own countries.
    What’s going to have to happen is a biometric yellow fever book type solution once virus testing and inoculation is in place. However, the epidemiology of this thing isn’t fully understood yet, meanwhile most governments are skittish, and as noted – most insurance companies aren’t covering it because they can’t evaluate a risk assessment with likelihood and hazard so high.
    What’s next? “virtual tourism”? Isn’t that what most people do every day on their smartphones?!

  7. Avatar

    Khaja Sarfaraj Mansur

    Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    Funny, impractical, illogical……….. I agree with Rinky….. Thai Govt. are imagining that tourist are dying to travel Thailand. Actually tourism is a golden goose for Thailand. They are targeting rich people but why would rich people travel Thailand with so much uncertainty and unfriendliness attitude of Thai Govt.

  8. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    “to lure international visitors”????
    Naw, not alluring enough.
    Not with all the restrictions.
    Die Thailand tourism industry. The government killed you.

    • Avatar

      John

      Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 10:33 pm

      Thai people had full herd immunity by February with a heavy influx of Chinese tourists Nov-Feb before the mask nonsense. THEY HAD FULL HERD IMMUNITY! Thai doctors even announced a cure back then! Only 58 deaths in 10 months from Covid compared to 5,000 deaths per month from normal flu. They should never have listened to the WHO/CDC in March. Those agencies have been thoroughly discredited. Thai people are immune and do not need masks but the media frightened them. Thailand is the “land of masks.”

  9. Avatar

    Simon

    Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    This is hilarious. You could go literally anywhere else in the World and spend less. Who the hell does Thailand think it is? The last holiday destination on Earth? Hahaha

  10. Avatar

    Ron

    Friday, August 7, 2020 at 10:16 am

    The current worldwide travel restrictions prevent ANY tourism. The 500,000 number is a dream and will never happen. The vast majority of the past tourist were budget minded and won’t jump through any hoops to come here or anyplace else. My thought, along with a CoVid test, is for the government to impose a 200-300baht per head travel CoVid insurance tax to be tacked on to any visa, any arrival, to cover any CoVid related treatment in a Government Hospital/treatment facility.

  11. Avatar

    Spain

    Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    100.000 baths for 2 weeks in Thailand? PCR 72 hours before ( some fly around 18hours ) a covid insurance worldwide? Where do you sell the approved? safe city? and how to control it you can move easily. really rich tourism for the beaches that thailand offers? have you investigated even in google the beaches that exist in other places? the person in charge of thailand has no idea how to reactivate tourism, so I’ll tell him: take a test phuket, equip it with 3 large mobile hospitals, control the border end phang-nga with a prepared border (pcr, heat detectors , etc) and open all the hotels (let in all Thais who voluntarily want to work) and do not let anyone out without analysis. you already have the tourist economy reactivated and safe!

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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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in ‘red’ zones

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ PR Thai government

Covid-19 infections are still high, but PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he wants restrictions to loosen up and businesses to reopen as soon as possible in provinces classified as “red” zones under tight control to combat Covid-19.

The prime minister says he has ordered governors of red zone provinces to look into easing disease control measures. Looking into each province’s Covid-19 situation and the restrictions’ impact on the local economy, governors are told to find a good balance that works well for both the economy and public health.

Spokesperson for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Taweesilp Visanuyothin, says restrictions at restaurants in red zone provinces can be lifted if the situation improves.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in 'red' zones | News by ThaigerPM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in 'red' zones | News by ThaigerSOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

American leaves hospital after being denied Covid treatment in same room as Thai wife

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Photo via The Pattaya News

An American man, who tested positive for Covid-19, is back in the hospital after fleeing when he was denied a shared room with this Thai wife-who was also undergoing Covid treatment. The 51 year old man left the northeastern Amnat Charoen province Chanuman hospital on May 9th after doctors declined to move his bed to that of his wife’s room. The man angrily went home without permission.

He was spotted walking on the road by local residents before being found by police at his home. The medical team convinced him to return to the hospital. But the incident has invoked stress among locals as they fear he could have spread the virus when he left the hospital. Thai social media was flooded with angry posts about the incident, with some calling for his arrest or deportation. In response, the Chanuman district chief has announced they will tighten security at the hospital to prevent any future incidents that are similar in nature.

The man’s name was not given, due to his Covid-19 status, and it has not been announced whether he will face any consequences after his actions.

Meanwhile, Thailand is reporting 1,630 new Covid-19 cases and 22 coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours. There are now 29,376 active Covid-19 cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 85,005 Covid-19 cases and 421 Covid-related deaths.

Out of the 22 deaths, most of the patients had chronic illnesses. Many contracted the virus from family members or close friends.

Most of the new cases were detected in Bangkok, particularly in districts with crowded communities and markets. While cases in Bangkok continue to be high, CCSA spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun says the number of new cases in most other provinces in Thailand is decreasing.

Health officials are rolling out proactive case finding campaigns in several high-risk communities, testing 9,000 to 10,000 per day, Nopakun says, adding that officials are working to provide the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

Those who test positive for Covid-19 and are asymptomatic must stay at an official field hospital for 14 days and then self-isolate at home for another 14 days.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,919 new cases and 31 deaths, provincial totals

Tanutam Thawan

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Deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Natapanu Nopakun / Photo courtesy of the Royal Thai Government

1,919 new Covid-19 cases and 31 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Thailand now has 29,435 active cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 86,924 infections and 452 Covid-related deaths.

At today’s CCSA briefing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun said that while the Covid-19 situation in Thailand may seem like it is stable, with cases decreasing or at zero in many provinces, the number of new infections reported each day is not declining.

“Infections are still concentrated in the hotspot which is Bangkok and the vicinity where several new cases were detected in active case finding.”

Out of the 1,919 new infections reported today, 885 were in Bangkok. Since April 1, more than 20,000 Covid-19 infections have been reported in the capital, first with clusters in the swanky Thong Lor nightlife district and now in the Khlong Toey slum.

Natapanu says that, fortunately, no new clusters were reported in Bangkok over the past day. He says a minor cluster was reported at a wet market in Nonthaburi, a suburb just outside Bangkok.

Out of the recent deaths, many had pre-existing conditions of high blood pressure and diabetes. Many contracted the virus from infected family members.

To prevent the emergence of the Covid-19 variant that was first detected in India, Natapanu says foreign nationals travelling from countries with the widespread transmission of the mutated strain are temporarily barred from entering Thailand. Thai embassies in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, where the Indian variant is spreading, have suspended the issuing of the required Certificate of Entry, or COE.

Covid UPDATE: 1,919 new cases and 31 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Covid UPDATE: 1,919 new cases and 31 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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