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Bangkok and Phuket in top 15 list of places people most want to visit when travel re-opens

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok and Phuket in top 15 list of places people most want to visit when travel re-opens | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Planetware

The Thai capital, Bangkok, and the southern island of Phuket have come in at number 8 and number 14 respectively, in TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards 2021. The awards list the most popular worldwide destinations prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and the places people most want to return to once travel opens up again.

According to a press release from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the awards look at the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings on TripAdvisor, when determining who makes the grade. Reviews of accommodation, restaurants, and attractions are all taken into consideration. For the 2021 awards, TripAdvisor looked at reviews and ratings from December 1, 2019 to November 30, 2020. As well as looking at where people travelled to while they still could, the awards also take into consideration the places people dreamed of visiting while the pandemic prevented them from doing so.

Bangkok still remains popular, combining the modern with the historic, with improved public transport networks making it easier to travel to the markets and temples of the Old Town. A new extension to the Blue Line underground takes passengers to Rattanakosin Island, home to the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, while the capital also boasts an increasing number of Michelin-starred restaurants in addition to its famous street food.

Meanwhile, Phuket’s beaches remain a draw for many international tourists who dream of returning. The TAT points out that the island has over 30 sandy beaches to choose from, with a huge selection of hotels and other accommodation providers. Its tourism industry has been decimated by the ongoing pandemic, but it seems travellers still have the island in their sights once travel re-opens.

SOURCE: TAT News

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 11:38 am

    If that is true above,,, the holidays in the kingdom will just skyrocket in price. Even for a single traveller’better be cashed up…..

  2. Avatar

    Andy W

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    TAT should be disappointed because TripAdvisor isn’t used by millionaires, and definitely not by Chinese millionaires. So Thailand will have loads of relativity low spending travellers taking all the space TAT believe the millionaires will want…

  3. Avatar

    Jason

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Without widespread vaccination, Thailand won’t open it’s doors anyway, so being higher on the list is nice…but closed borders and 14 days quarantine? No way !!! I’ll go to the Seychelles before I go to Thailand again.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 4:05 pm

      Enjoy it … given the take up in the Seychelles so far, you’ll have the place to yourself.

      • Avatar

        Aart

        Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 4:20 pm

        Ij good to see you back. I was afraid you were involved in a buffalo colission.

    • Avatar

      Don jones

      Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 6:22 pm

      Plenty of the usual suspects leaving quarantine daily.Desperate men

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    In that case there’s no need to worry about everyone going somewhere else …..

  5. Avatar

    Yogibaer

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    The Return of the Back Packers.
    Khao San will BE Happy

    • Avatar

      Don jones

      Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 6:28 pm

      Yep known in the trade as dead wood

  6. Avatar

    Tom

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    It really doesn’t matter who wants to visit where and when becuase by the time things do open again countless businesses will have closed permanantly… so even when you do arrive there’ll be a lot less places to eat and try the wonderful food, there’ll be a lot less bar and clubs to go and sit and have a drink or 2 and watch the world go by, and unfortunately the places that are open will maybe have put up their prices to try and pay back what will maybe be quite large loans taken out just to stay afloat, and from what I hear from friends in Bkk and Pattaya quite a few less hotels to choose from as well. From March last year until say Oct this year and that’s if things go well, how many companies both big and small not including all the small solo traders and street vendors can last 19 months or MORE with no mjor foreign tourist influx??

    SO for those that do arrive as soon as things “get better” you’ll have beaches and the sights and then you’ll have to wait until new people come in the start those businesses from the ground up and attract tourists

  7. Avatar

    Ben

    Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    People ultimately go places to experience the culture, people and natural beauty of the country. That’ll still be there.

    You’d be surprised how quickly tour operators, hotels and restaurants will regenerate once there is money to be made. Unfortunately many that are there now won’t survive but there’ll be others to step up quickly and take their place.

    There are still plenty of people with money and a pent up demand for travel and tourism. Stock markets around the world are booming so there’s a lot of money itching to be spent.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 10:23 am

      Exactly, Ben.

      “The culture, people and natural beauty of the country” will still be there, unchanged, as will the infrastructure – improved, if anything, as there has been a break in which to upgrade rather than just maintain (something Thais are doing while farangs are whingeing).

      Some bars, restaurants, and hotels may have gone or changed ownership, but they’ll be replaced in no time by others if the demand’s there.

      If a few people go somewhere else in the meantime, the numbers are minimal and won’t affect mass tourism.

      The problem isn’t whether tourists will return or not – that’s a given, as it’s hibernation not decay.

      The problem is the loss to the economy in the interim, nothing else, and that’s what needs addressing.

    • Avatar

      Don jones

      Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 6:26 pm

      Lol you mean all the single white men currently or being released from quarantine right now ??

  8. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 1:35 am

    The full top 15 list is this (Thaiger should have provided the link, even if TAT didn’t):

    1. Bali
    2. London
    3. Dubai
    4. Rome
    5. Paris
    6. Hanoi
    7. Crete
    8. Bangkok
    9. Barcelona
    10. Istanbul
    11. Hoi An
    12. Siem Reap
    13. Marrakesh
    14. Phuket
    15. New Delhi

    Obviously the list should be taken with a grain of salt, as TA’s ranking methodology is sometimes opaque.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 10:37 am

      Thanks, Leo Z, no surprises except Dubai at #3.

      Zero “culture, people and natural beauty of the country”, unlike the rest, so I wonder if tourists will be as shallow after lockdowns end as they were before … maybe more so … 😮

  9. Avatar

    James R

    Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 2:50 am

    1 Hong Kong Hong Kong 29 million
    2 Bangkok Thailand 25 million
    3 London United Kingdom 19.2 million
    4 Macau China 20.6 million
    5 Singapore Singapore 19,7 million
    6 Paris France 19 million
    7 Dubai UAE 16.3 million
    8 New York City United States 14 million
    9 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 14 million
    10 Istanbul Turkey 13.4 million
    11 Delhi India 12.6 million
    12 Antalya Turkey 12.4 million
    13 Shenzhen China 12.2 million
    14 Mumbai India 10.9 million
    15 Phuket Thailand 10.5 million
    16 Rome Italy 10 million
    17 Tokyo Japan 9.9 million
    18 Pattaya Thailand 9.6 million
    19 Taipei Taiwan 9.5 million
    20 Mecca Saudi Arabia 9.5 million

  10. Avatar

    Amy Sukwan

    Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    I’m perplexed by the methodology of this survey. So were these people who have travelled to these places, say, with the pandemic restrictions? Were these people who had been there prior to the restrictions? Or were these dreamers who have never been to any of these places, and who in all likelihood would come up with a new reason not to travel there even if Thailand opened up and partied like it’s 2019? How many of each of these groups were comprised in the survey? The first category is mostly here: folks like me desperate to make it due to family ties. The second category will likely not come with current restrictions. The third category weren’t coming anyways…

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Thailand

Thailand classified as a “not free” country in Freedom House report

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thailand classified as a “not free” country in Freedom House report | The Thaiger
October protest at the Asok-Sukhumvit intersection in Bangkok / Photo by Caitlin Ashworth

On a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being absolute freedom, Thailand scores at 30, a “not free” country, according to the nonprofit Freedom House. Each year, the organisation reviews the political rights and civil liberties of countries around the world. According to their recent assessment, Thailand has declined in terms of rights and liberties, dropping on the scale from “partly free” to “not free.”

The main reason for the drop on the freedom scale, the organisation says, is “due to the dissolution of a popular opposition party that performed well in the 2019 elections, and the military-dominated government’s crackdown on youth-led protests calling for democratic reforms.”

The Future Forward Party was dissolved in February 2020 after the court found that the founder, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, had made a large donation to the party that exceeded the legal limit. The party’s leaders were then banned from politics for the next decade.

Youth-led protests started in February, but the demonstrations were put on pause due to Covid-19 restrictions banning large public gatherings. Protesters gathered in July as restrictions lifted, but some leaders then faced charges for holding a public gathering, which was still banned under emergency orders.

In October, the prime minister imposed what Freedom House calls a “severe” State of Emergency order in Bangkok that banned gatherings of more than 5 people. Some protesters were arrested for violating the order nearly immediately after it was imposed.

With activists pushing for monarchy reform and an end to the military’s involvement in government, raising subjects considered taboo and unprecedented in Thai society, the Thai government has increased its use of the draconian lèse majesté law. Since November, dozens of activists have faced charges for insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

Freedom House scores countries on topics like the electoral process, questioning if politicians and leaders were elected in free and fair elections, as well as freedom of expression and individual rights.

Thailand’s military seized power in 2014 in a bloodless coup. The 2017 constitution was drafted by a committee appointed by the military’s National Council for Peace and Order. In 2019, the country transitioned to what Freedom House calls a “military-dominated, semi-elected” government.

The 2019 elections were overseen by the Election Commission of Thailand, whose members were appointed by the military. All 250 senators were appointed by the military in 2019 to serve 5 year terms.

In 2020, the combination of democratic deterioration and frustrations over the role of the monarchy provoked the country’s largest anti-government demonstrations in a decade. In response to these youth-led protests, the regime resorted to familiar authoritarian tactics, including arbitrary arrests, intimidation, lèse majesté charges, and harassment of activists. Freedom of the press is constrained, due process is not guaranteed, and there is impunity for crimes committed against activists.

SOURCE: Freedom House

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
Protest in Bangkok on February 28 / Photo by Thai News Pix

A riot police officer, who was deployed at the recent pro-democracy protests in Bangkok, has tested positive for Covid-19. His supervisor, chief of Wang Thonglang station Ekapop Tanprayoon, says the officer had visited Samut Sakhon, a coronavirus hotspot.

Riot police who worked closely with the infected officer, Somyot Nuamcharoen, are ordered to quarantine. The Wang Thonglang police station and any items the police officer handled are being disinfected, the chief says.

The officer had met up with friends during a visit to Samut Sakhon, just southwest of Bangkok. He travelled to the coastal province on February 18 and returned to Bangkok the next day.

On the 20th, he was deployed to a protest outside of parliament, just after returning from his trip to the “red zone” province. On Sunday, he deployed the protest outside the military barracks in Bangkok. The demonstration turned violent and numerous people were injured.

On Tuesday, his friend from Samut Sakhon tested positive for the virus. The infected officer was tested for Covid-19 that day and his result came back positive yesterday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Transport

“Sealed route” set at Bangkok airport for international transfers

Caitlin Ashworth

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“Sealed route” set at Bangkok airport for international transfers | The Thaiger
Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok / Photo by Caitlin Ashworth

Thailand is now allowing international transits and transfers at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport by using a so-called “sealed route” arranged at the airport to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has now set guidelines for passengers who have a layover at the Bangkok airport.

Passengers will not be allowed to leave Concourse E. A “sealed route” for the passengers will be set up at Gate E10 and E9, allowing passengers to enter the airport at Gate E10, go through security screening and then either board the transit aircraft at Gate E9 or go on a designated shuttle bus directly to an aircraft.

Social distancing is required for all passengers in waiting areas and a face mask must be worn at all times. The CAAT says food and beverage services will be available at the airport’s “sealed route” waiting area, but there will be “active oversight” on the services. Areas will also be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Passengers must present required documents…

  • A fit-to-fly health certificate
  • Medical certificate declaring a negative Covid-19 result issued no more than 72 hours before departure
  • Travel health insurance that covers Covid-19 treatment expenses up to $100,000 USD

If demand increases, the airport will add Gates E5, E7 and E8 to the sealed route. If Concourse E is under maintenance, then Concourse F will be used under the same plan.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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