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Chinese travellers CAN depart China and travel to Thailand on the STV

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PHOTO: First tourists before departure at Shanghai Pudong

Another day and another day of confusing news and discussion about the Special Tourist Visa and, specifically, the Chinese arrivals. BKK Post posted this yesterday, without clarification.

Chinese travellers CAN depart China and travel to Thailand on the STV | News by Thaiger

The headline said…

“China says will maintain ban on outbound tours due to virus risk”

The story, whilst not incorrect, confused a lot of readers who thought that meant ALL Chinese travellers and then deduced that the stories about Chinese arrivals on the STV in Bangkok this week must have been ‘bogus’.

The report that outbound Chinese group tours will remain banned by the Chinese Ministry of Culture, due to “concerns around the Covid-19 Coronavirus worldwide”, is true.

But the Chinese have NOT been given special concessions. They are NOT the only people allowed to apply for Thailand’s STV. They are NOT all businessmen coming up to “google up” bargain businesses in Thailand. The arrival of the first Chinese travellers had NOTHING to do with the lifting of the State of Emergency in Bangkok (there was any array of other comments and conspiracy theories offered following the BKK Post article).

To clarify, only Chinese operated and owned tour companies remain banned from organising tour group travel. Individual travellers, tourists or privately organised “groups” by citizens or companies and organisations from other countries are allowed to depart China under the current arrangements.

There is no blanket ban on departure for Chinese citizens, although there are restrictions. During 2019, most Chinese arrivals were FIT (free and independent travellers), not on tour groups. 27% of all international arrivals in 2019 were from China.

Thai officials maintain that the Chinese travellers and tourists are being tested, quarantined and tracked (via and app) whilst they are in Thailand and that they are being given no special dispensations. Most have organised their own bookings, including ASQ (quarantine) and then around the country. Some have booked onward travel to Phuket and Chiang Mai following their 14 day quarantine in Bangkok.

The first 39 travellers arrived this week from Shanghai, mostly Chinese nationals and some returning Thais. They are the first ‘tourists’ to arrive in Thailand since the borders were closed in March.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. Avatar

    SG666

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 10:31 am

    So..first talking was about 120 tourists…than 41…now 39 from which some were chinese tourists and some returning thais. What a lot of face saving BS.

    • Avatar

      Seattle2k

      Friday, October 23, 2020 at 9:34 pm

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. I remember numbers similar to those,as well.

  2. Avatar

    Tony

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 10:39 am

    LOL – Tourists only from China – why China ?

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      Friday, October 23, 2020 at 11:00 am

      Geez, NOT only from China. There are at least 2 groups arriving from Scandanavian countries in the next 3 weeks.

      • Avatar

        EdwardV

        Friday, October 23, 2020 at 11:53 am

        Which makes you wonder what Thailand considers “very low risk”. I thought you had to have no cases in the last 30 days? Sweden had about 1,300 yesterday and Denmark is going into lockdown. At least Norway is still doing pretty good although neither they nor Finland had zero cases in the last 30 days.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 6:35 am

          Exactly. Not “very low risk” at all, although with a proper 14 day quarantine and tests (with the emphasis on a “proper” quarantine given the Samui post-quarantine case) the risk level shouldn’t actually make any difference.

          Where I think it’ll make a difference is if there’s a temptation to reduce the quarantine period or make it a “7+7” based on no cases during quarantine from “very low risk” countries.

          All very dubious, given any question mark over other passengers on the same plane.

        • Avatar

          Ronz

          Monday, October 26, 2020 at 4:49 am

          Hope Thailand will totally open international tourism with no quarantine

      • Avatar

        Mike Frenchie

        Friday, October 23, 2020 at 1:26 pm

        These guys are returnees – having a condo and/or job and a life in Thailand, not real tourist! Most will never be back to either China or Sweden at the end of the 30 days!
        BTW, the Chinese couple with the three children are NOT tourist (it is school year there)… and anyone going back to China will have another 14 days quarantine.

      • Avatar

        Jack Sombra

        Friday, October 23, 2020 at 3:55 pm

        Where you getting two groups from? According to TAT only yesterday, two from China next week and one from ‘Scandanavian countries’ early next month and no more currently planned.

        And the fiasco and outright lies about the 8th and actual arrival numbers other day was just further evidence how trustworthy TAT is, ie not at all.

        And why is this entire article unsourced (no one even dared put their name to it) except for the one article its arguing against.

      • Avatar

        Anh Lam

        Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 4:40 pm

        Lets get something straight, organized tours from china, in china are banned from outbound and inbound tours. Ok fine, what is the difference between people on organized tours and the people on individual tours, self organized! Wow, it would be like 10 people on organized chinese tours from the same village as 10 chinese people on this first batch arrived which may come from the same village. No difference, None. Other than the 31 got a so called STV. Sometime stinks.

        • The Thaiger & The Nation

          The Thaiger & The Nation

          Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 4:45 pm

          “what is the difference between people on organized tours and the people on individual tours”. Maths, that’s the difference. 1 or 2 versus a ‘group’.

    • Avatar

      Urs

      Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 4:54 pm

      Die Chinesen haben den Virus in der ganzen Welt verbreitet und dürfen als erste nach Thailand einreisen. Alle anderen Touristen würde ich empfehlen Thailand als Reise ziel zu meiden

  3. Avatar

    ANGELMAN

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 10:49 am

    This image is totally disturbing, no social distance and without mask. This government proves that they just only care how to squeeze money from Chinese, people should complain against this poor behavior.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 7:32 am

      I can only count 28 in the TAT photo … maybe the other eleven were trying to keep their distance …

  4. Avatar

    Malc Thai

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 10:59 am

    Some are coming back because they have businesses and family still living here and the only way they can come back is on a STV.. most Europeans wont come because of the extremely high prices quoted of ฿260,000 upwards for 14 day quarantine costs, let alone the flights.. many people dont have 3 months holiday time from their companies.
    If they lowered the price to a reasonable price for quarantine allow any girlfriends or family to join them with same restrictions while in quarantine and give a standard 90 day visa I think would bring back affordable tourism

    • Avatar

      Maag

      Friday, October 23, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Ridiculous .
      STV program did not cost that much , except if you want to ; like renting a Suite in Oriental or hotel !
      Just get back from europe and spend less than 75.000 B , including fly ticket !

    • Avatar

      Jack Sombra

      Friday, October 23, 2020 at 3:59 pm

      Try 29000 and up.

      260000 is most expensive quarantine option, for entire villa and as on Phuket no one has actually used it as cannot be accessed.

  5. Avatar

    albertone

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 11:00 am

    What a mountain of lies! Thailand is falling into a chasm from which it will be difficult to get out before years and then the deads will be count: not people over seventy years old, but young entrepreneurs and fathers of families who will no longer be able to pay their debts and support their children. And why? For the total inability of the current leaders to manage the emergency in the right way

  6. Avatar

    Maverick

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 11:19 am

    Thanks for the clarification – when I read the conflicting articles I guessed these were FIT’s – got the China haters frothing at the mouth though – I personally am very encouraged by the gradual opening up of borders – small steps but welcome ones .Perhaps the learnings from it will encourage more business’s to offer quarantine facilities and prices will drop accordingly and together with shorter quarantine more arrivals will follow – we can but hope situation is getting desperate for so many Thai’s

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 6:48 am

      At 29,000 baht for 14 nights, covering accommodation and full board as well as full PPE for staff and the considerable amount of extra cleaning and safety precautions required, how can prices possibly “drop accordingly”?

      How can any further savings be made while maintaining the same level of quarantine?

      It simply isn’t possible, so you then enter the farcical realms of UK-style “self-quarantine” which is meaningless.

  7. Avatar

    Anh Lam

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Like I said before, THE RIGHT HAND does not know what LEFT HAND is doing. When will PG and crew leave the safety of their income and Government House!

  8. Avatar

    Bobby m

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Got to say, they look super rich, I wonder who is paying for everything………..

  9. Avatar

    Jitendra Bahubali

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    This government totally deserves the protest and needs to be thrown out.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 6:57 am

      Yawn … the protests are not about border closures or Covid-19.

      The issues aren’t connected.

      Protesters have included LGBT, Women’s Rights, and a myriad of other causes but NOT border restrictions and tourism.

      You can hypothesise about cause and effect and draw whatever links you like, but the simple reality is that no protesters have raised the issue.

  10. Avatar

    Remo

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Organised package tour groups are banned from China, India and Russia.

    These groups gave about 70-80% of all tourist arrivals in Thailand last year, so even if the country was open, the number of tourist arrivals would be some 10% of last year anyway.

    I think the government is aware of this, and it is obvoius that they dont want to take the risk of opening the country for this 10%.

    It wouldnt save the Thai tourism industry anyway.

    • Avatar

      EdwardV

      Friday, October 23, 2020 at 10:55 pm

      Your numbers are slight off the mark. Those three countries equal 14.5M travelers in 2019, while Thailand had almost 40M total. China had 11M, India 2M, and Russia 1.5M. They make up a sizably chunk, but no where near 70%.

    • Avatar

      Tony

      Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 1:01 am

      Why only Chinese, the covid started from China and now you will see the spread will increase in Thailand. Other countries spend more then china

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 7:01 am

      When I was at school, some time ago, “70-80%” left a balance of 20-30% not “some 10%”.

      Have things changed?

  11. Avatar

    James

    Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 12:17 am

    “The report that outbound Chinese group tours will remain banned by the Chinese Ministry of Culture, due to “concerns around the Covid-19 Coronavirus worldwide”, is true.”

    Most of Thailand’s tourists come from China and so it means not many will be able to come due to the ban above.

    I say this because most of the Chinese tourists I have seen walk down the streets in large tour groups following a person with a flag while forcing all other people to the side of the road or street.

    They don’t seem to be capable of walking alone, going to restaurants alone so a few tourists might trickle into Thailand on their own but most of the tourists are still banned due to the ban on organized tours.

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 7:47 am

      Your view of Chinese tourism seems stuck in 2000. Most Chinese tourists that visited Thailand in 2019 were FITs (free and independent travellers) and did most of the hotel and flight bookings themselves and booked tours by themselves. The ‘flag’ thing is a bit of an old cliché.

      • Avatar

        James

        Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at 2:35 am

        I was in Thailand from 2018 to 2019 for a year.

        Then in 2020, I was in Thailand for seven months.

        Previous to that I was a regular visitor to Thailand for 30 years spending just a few months a year there.

        Do they all fly independently and then meet up and form large crowds following a bloke with a flag as that is what I have seen in Pattaya and Phuket just before the virus broke?

        In 2020 there were not that many Chineses compared to recently, there were a lot more farang tourists but they have been driven away over the last few years by mass Chinese groups taking over the pavements, the restaurants where they shout at each other instead of talking while eating in a messy manner and push everyone else out of the way at the breakfast buffet in hotels.

  12. Avatar

    James

    Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 12:19 am

    I see the Chinese are good at inventing things as the masks they are all wearing in the photograph above look just like real faces.

  13. Avatar

    Harmacy

    Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 2:24 am

    That photo is not at BKK airport, it is at Shanghai Pudong and probably shouldn’t be credited to the TAT

  14. Avatar

    Noneya Bidnizz

    Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 2:27 am

    Well , No masks , no social distance , all standing around the main airport building before quarantine . — That should make the average paranoid Thai scamdemic believers lose their minds —

    Looks like the government doesnt believe all the Hype & Lies either !

  15. Avatar

    Mel Burn

    Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 4:25 am

    So glad that I did not buy a condo in Thailand!

  16. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 7:23 am

    “The first 39 travellers arrived this week from Shanghai, mostly Chinese nationals and some returning Thais.”

    I’m a bit confused by this, Thaiger.

    If “some” (eight?) were “returning Thais” then why did they need ST Visas’s?

    If they were “returning Thais” surely they weren’t “‘tourists'” who needed visas but were … well … “returning Thais”?

    I also can’t help wondering that as there were only 39 STV tourists on the flight from Shanghai (or maybe only 31 plus eight Thai returnees), who else was on the flight?

  17. Avatar

    Robert MacLevey

    Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    I don’t understand how this makes sense, it was said that most would only be staying for 30 days or less than returning to China. Upon returning they will have to undergo another 14-day quarantine in China. So for a couple of weeks visiting Thailand, they are undergoing 28 days of quarantine, 14 upon arriving in Thailand, and 14 upon returning to China, hardly seems worth it.

    • Avatar

      James Cooks

      Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 7:20 pm

      I my personal opinion the group of 39 pax. I don’t think they are genuine tourists but the staff of some companies in China belong to Thai coming to visit thier head office or invited by some organizations. Request Tiger to check with TAT.
      Normally Chinese tourists coming to Thailand if stay on 3 or 4 star hotels they don’t pay anything at all – zero tour fare

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