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Study finds 82% of Thais “confident” in reopening tourism sector

Jack Burton

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Study finds 82% of Thais “confident” in reopening tourism sector | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Jack
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As Thailand gradually reopens its borders, new findings from a global study suggests that 82% of Thais are confident that Thailand is well prepared to reopen its tourism and leisure activities, the highest globally. The study also found that tourists from Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and India are all targeting Thailand as their first destination when their countries’ borders reopen.

Jointly conducted by leading social research agency Blackbox Research, data provider Dynata, and language partner Language Connect, “Unravel Travel: Fear & Possibilities in a Post Coronavirus (Covid-19) World” examined the sentiments, preferences, and expectations of 10,195 people across 17 countries regarding travel in a post-Covid-19 world.

Thailand’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism, with foreign tourist revenue contributing around 11% to the national economy. The vast majority (93%) of Thais recognise the importance of the tourism sector to the local economy. In fact, 22% of Thais agree that there is an urgent need for tourism boards, including their own, to promote tourism for economic reasons – the highest globally.

Saurabh Sardana, CEO of Blackbox Research, says that both regional interest and citizen sentiment toward restarting local tourism have been encouraging, especially given the country’s phased approach in reopening to business and medical tourists. Sardana notes that establishing traveller’s trust in health and safety protocols is key, and that Thailand needs to capitalise on its success in containing the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It is evident from our findings the immense value tourism contributes to Thailand’s economy. As Thailand progressively opens its borders to international visitors, its immediate priority will be to regain traveller confidence, through reinforcing how Thailand has in place strict health and safety measures, keeping everyone safe.

“In turn, businesses and the Tourism Authority of Thailand need to work collaboratively and ensure full compliance with these measures, and effectively communicate their efforts through the right channels. Only through stringent health protocols and regular public communication can the tourism industry successfully revitalise itself.

“With Thailand’s currently low rate of coronavirus infections, and its strong public health system which played a key role in its tackling of the pandemic, the country is well placed to be recognised on the regional and global stage as a trusted destination.”

Amongst Southeast Asian countries, Thailand has the strongest domestic appeal. 91% of Thais are keen to support local travel attractions in the next 12 months – a positive sign given Thailand’s recent investment of 22.4 billion baht (US$720 million) to stimulate its domestic tourism, of which partial financial aid will be provided to local tourists for selected hotels and restaurants throughout the country.

Sardana notes that, while the financial aid will definitely play a part in encouraging locals to travel domestically, the government needs to also take into consideration how travel priorities have shifted in response to the pandemic.

“Our study has found that price is not necessarily the highest priority for their next trip – this applies to all the key areas such as transport, accommodation, and attraction. Instead, visitor safety measures overwhelmingly ranked top of the list for most Thai travellers.

“To complement these stimulus measures, both the government and tourism operators need to work together to ensure safety and cleanliness protocols are met at all times, giving travellers a sense of security as domestic tourism demand begins to kick in. Establishing confidence amongst locals will also help tell the story of trust to a wider international audience.”

“What the study has shown us is that the pandemic has unequivocally shifted how we see travel. In order for travel industry players to stay relevant, they need to change the way they approach every aspect and touchpoint in the traveller experience, emphasising safety and rebuilding trust.”

For more information, please contact:

Chris Koh – Head of Communications
Blackbox Research
Telephone: +65 9765 4388
Email: chris@blackbox.com.sg

Sharon Tan – Account Manager
Baldwin Boyle Group
Telephone: +65 9793 1532
Email: sharon.tan@baldwinboyle.com

Terence Ong – Account Executive
Baldwin Boyle Group
Telephone: +65 9128 1898
Email: terence.ong@baldwinboyle.com

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    August 13, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    So… What are they selling?
    …and how does this article square the circle of the one about an indefinite flight ban?!

    • Avatar

      Roy Rogers

      August 13, 2020 at 5:04 pm

      It doesn’t. Thailand just wants attention.

  2. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    August 13, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    These articles contradict each other.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    August 13, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Now they just have to convince this ban happy government to be confident of allowing tourists into Thailand.

  4. Avatar

    ThomasW

    August 13, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No… wtf, make your mind up. You can’t cherry pick all the time.

  5. Avatar

    Farang

    August 13, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    Shhhhhhhhh. Thai smarter than farang. If farang no visit, we setup currency transfer for farang virtual tours! Farang pay, Farang get picture of Thai’s visiting beaches and temples. Just like farang here! Hehehehehehehe.

  6. Avatar

    Krishan

    August 14, 2020 at 12:18 am

    Hi I would like to recommend every country should open flight but in numbers either India or Thailand.govt should confirm that from India daily 2 numbers of flight will get down in Bangkok..but all the passengers should get done with prior medical certificate..so here once they get down easily can enter in country…

  7. Avatar

    TingTong

    August 16, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Thailand has had 58 deaths, if they’re not prepared to take on a bit of risk and open to tourism soon then it implies they won’t do it until there’s a vaccine available which is crazy as that will be 2021.

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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.

Business

Thai Vietjet introduce new “Deluxe” product for domestic routes in Thailand

Maya Taylor

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Thai Vietjet introduce new “Deluxe” product for domestic routes in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.vietjetair.com

Thai Vietjet, which currently operates 13 domestic routes within Thailand, is launching a new “Deluxe” product, starting from 999 baht. The “Deluxe” tickets will include 7 kilos of carry-on and 20 kilos of checked luggage (currently an additional charge), as well as seat selection and priority check-in. Date, route and flight changes are also permitted 1 time, free of charge.

Deluxe fares are available for travel between October 6 and December 31, excluding public holidays, on all domestic routes operated by the carrier. The 999 baht price tag does not include taxes and fees. Thai Vietjet is adding a number of new routes to its current network, including Chiang Rai to Hat Yai from November 1, and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Hat Yai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ubon Ratchathani, and Surat Thani from November 4.

The airline’s full network of domestic routes can be viewed at www.vietjetair.com. It also operates a number of international routes between Thailand and Vietnam and between Thailand and China, but not at the moment.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Economy

Vietnam’s booming manufacturing sector reduced to a trickle as world pandemic kills demand

The Thaiger

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Vietnam’s booming manufacturing sector reduced to a trickle as world pandemic kills demand | The Thaiger

Vietnamese finance officials are downgrading expectations for a recovery of the south east Asian nation’s economy in 2021. The normally fast-growing gross domestic product in 2020 has stalled due to a huge drop in local and global demand, and the absence of international tourism. The booming economy, growing at an average of 6% per year since 2012, will struggle to reach a growth rate of 2% this year.

Fuelled by manufactured exports, the Vietnam economy has dropped back to a trickle. The Asian Development Bank estimates that this year’s GDP growth could be as low as 1.8%. The Vietnamese factories, that usually crank out shoes, garments, furniture and cheap electronics, are seeing dropping demand as the world’s consumer confidence drops dramatically.

Stay-at-home rules in Europe and America are keeping are keeping people away from retail stores. And despite the acceleration of online retail, many of the consumers are emerging from the Covid Spring and Summer with vastly reduced spending power.

The headaches of 2020 are also challenging Vietnam to maintain its reputation as south east Asia’s manufacturing hotspot. Rising costs and xenophobic foreign policy have put China ‘on the nose’ with some governments, complicating factory work in China, whilst other south east Asian countries lack infrastructure and are incurring higher wage costs.

One Vietnamese factory operated by Taiwan-based Pou Chen Group, which produces footwear for top international brands, has laid off 150 workers earlier this year. There are hundreds more examples of the impact of falling demand in the bustling Vietnamese manufacturing economy.

Vietnam’s border closure is also preventing investors from making trips, setting up meetings and pushing projects forward. Those projects in turn create jobs, fostering Vietnam’s growing middle class. Tourism has also been badly affected by the restrictions on travel. “International tourism is dead,” says Jack Nguyen, a partner at Mazars in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Inbound tourism usually makes up 6% of the economy.”

“Things will only pick up only when the borders are open and there’s no quarantine requirements. Who knows when that’s going to be.”

A mid-year COVID-19 outbreak in the coastal resort city Danang followed by the start of the school year has reduced domestic travel, analysts say. Some of the country’s hotels are up for sale as a result.

“Recovery could take 4 years.”

The Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment is now warning that global post-pandemic recovery could take as long as 4 years, perhaps more.

Not that foreign investors in the country are pulling out. Indeed, many are tainge a long-term view that Vietnam’s underlying strengths will outlive Covid-19. Vietnam reports just 1,069 coronavirus cases overall.

SOURCE: VOA News

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Thailand

Thai Air Asia returns to Suvarnabhumi in addition to its Don Mueang hub

The Thaiger

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Thai Air Asia returns to Suvarnabhumi in addition to its Don Mueang hub | The Thaiger

Thai AirAsia is spreading its Bangkok wings and opening up a secondary hub at the main Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK), to help broaden its attraction and bolster its bottomline. Thai Air Asia was the first airline to head back to the moth-balled Don Mueang in 2012 to re-establish the older airport after all the airlines moved across to the new Suvarnabhumi and discount airlines were seeking a lower-cost base.

Although Thai Air Asia carried 22.15 million passengers last year, this year’s total will fall a long way short, just 6 million for 2020 up to date. Under the new set up, Thai AirAsia will have resumed nearly 90% of its pre-Covid domestic services, a total of 109 daily flights to 39 destinations. There will be 97 flights from Don Mueang Airport and 12 from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

With only a handful of international traffic, Suvarnabhumi officials are keen to re-kindle revenue for the massive airport and have struck a deal with Thai Air Asia to trial operations from BKK. They will be the only domestic carrier to operate flights from the two airports.

If the 2 month trial at Suvarnabhumi is successful, Thai AirAsia plans to add another plane to the BKK fleet by the end of the year. At this stage the trial is only approved up to the end of November.

Thai Air Asia have been concentrating on their ‘bus’ model to ferry passengers from the terminals to their aircraft waiting on remote airport aprons, and visa versa, to avoid some of the landing charges and using the sky-bridges. Some passengers have been complaining about the long trips in crowded buses, wild rides and over-enthusiastic air conditioning, whilst being told to strictly adhere to social distancing.

This week the Malaysian parent company Air Asia, announced the introduction of a ‘super app’, in an attempt to off-set the significant financial losses brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The mobile application shuffles Air Asia’s model as a flight and accommodation provider, to a broader platform of complimentary services. The app will offer users a variety of options, including digital payment services, delivery services, and an e-commerce platform. Air Asia Chief Executive and founder, Tony Fernandes, says the idea for the app was floated prior to the pandemic, but Covid-19 hastened its development.

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