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Tourism sector prepares to resume business

Jack Burton

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Tourism sector prepares to resume business | The Thaiger
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Businesses that have been battered by the Covid-19 outbreak, especially those in the Eastern Economic Corridor (straddling Chonburi, Rayong, and Chachoengsao provinces) that rely mainly on tourism, are in desperate need of support. But the vice chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce says it’s still too early to predict when tourism will recover, as it largely relies on arrivals from China.

He says even after the government lifts travel restrictions there are likely to be fewer tourists, as countries are still struggling with the pandemic and restricting overseas travel to curb contagion.

“After the tourism business is unlocked, there will only be some stranded Thais returning and maybe some groups arriving to hold seminars. This may help some businesses, but will not be able to stimulate recovery, especially since this region fully relies on foreign tourists.”

The private sector is devising tourism stimulus measures to propose to the government, focusing on domestic travel to help businesses survive, before preparations can be made to accept foreign tourists once the outbreak ends.

The chairman of the Chonburi Chamber of Commerce says the agency is discussing Phase 2 of the relaxation of measures with the provincial authorities, and may soon lift restrictions on golf courses, parks, hotels, resorts, restaurants and tourist attractions in the province.

Tourism has been the hardest hit by the outbreak, with nearly all tourists disappearing and operators losing 80-90% of their income.

The Chonburi and EEC Tourism Development Plan, (which does not cover Pattaya City and Bangsaen), was created to promote other attractions in the province, such as the Hundred Pillar House, or Ban Roi Sao.

“We expect the Covid-19 outbreak to end by the beginning of next year and travel should once again begin once a vaccine is found. The tourism sector in Chonburi should return to normal by the second quarter of next year.”

The vice president of the Tourism Council of Thailand says the eastern region is suffering the most and little can be done as it relies mainly on foreign arrivals.

Currently all borders to Thailand are closed and no tourists are allowed to enter. It’s believed that Thai nationals may be allowed to travel overseas by the beginning of July, and the government may allow interprovincial travel as soon as Sunday if the number of new Covid-19 cases remains low.

Most foreign nationals will not be allowed to enter Thailand for most of the remainder of this year, though it’s thought that Chinese tourists may be allowed in by July, as the number of infections in their country is under control. Operators believe there will be a large influx of Chinese tourists because they are not able or allowed to travel anywhere else.

“TCT predicts that the number of tourists in 2021 will match the number in 2019. Hence, it is important for operators in the tourism sector to start preparing for the influx.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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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.

Thailand

Government in control of Mor Chana app, says user data will be kept private

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Government in control of Mor Chana app, says user data will be kept private | The Thaiger
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The Thai government is taking full control of the Mor Chana application, which is used to trace Covid-19 infections and alert users if they are in a high risk area. The Digital Economy and Society Minister says the government will still be working closely with the app developers, adding that users can be assured that their data will be kept private.

The Mor Chana Volunteer Team, the app developer, made a post on their Facebook page saying the Mor Chana contact tracing application will be 100% under government management and control from now. The team will be responsible only for the open source programme development. The post has prompted public comments about the reason behind the application handover to the government.

Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta says the government will take full responsibility for the application management and control measures, but the collaboration with the app developers will continue. The developer team’s announcement is just to inform the public about the app.

He also says some app functions will be redesigned and adjusted to be more friendly to use and won’t violate users’ data privacy. Personal information such as users’ names and mobile numbers for registration won’t be required anymore.

SOURCE: Post Today

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Visitors to Phuket from “highest risk” areas must show Covid-19 test results

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Visitors to Phuket from “highest risk” areas must show Covid-19 test results | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

People arriving Phuket from the “highest risk” areas are required to take a swab test by the staff at emergency operation centres (EOC) or show the test result document endorsed by the EOC staff made within 72 hours of their arrival. The revised order is effective from now until January 31, according to the Phuket Governor.

Those people who are on a brief business trip to Phuket need to show certificates from their employers describing the reason and necessity of their trips. If they want to leave their accommodations, they have to make a request to the EOC and clearly explain the reason as well as the time and destination. Visitors are also asked to avoid going to the community areas to avoid crowded gatherings.

It is noted that the revised order by the governor has not been officially promoted by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department. However, all visitors are still asked to register online via the Mor Chana contact tracing application and via www.gophuget.com according to the order re-issued on Friday.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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High demand for health insurance due to Covid-19 worries, premiums expected to rise

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High demand for health insurance due to Covid-19 worries, premiums expected to rise | The Thaiger
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With the increasing demands for health insurance due to people’s worries over Covid-19, health insurance premiums are expected to grow 1.59% this year, according to the Insurance Commission.

Commission secretary-general Suthipol Taweechaikarn says total premiums will see 101 billion baht revenues this year, an increase from 99 billion baht last year. He adds that the Covid-19 situation is a major factor in higher demand for health insurance policies as medical expenses are likely to increase every year.

Some insurance companies in Thailand have also found an increasing demand for health coverage policies among their customers, especially those with high purchasing power.

Deputy CEO of Tokio Marine Life Insurance Thailand says the company will offer annual premiums starting at 15,000 baht.

“The company aims to increase health insurance premiums to 50% this year from 40% last year.”

Cigna Insurance CEO says the company will use digital technology for product and service development to meet customers’ demands in the new normal lifestyle.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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