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Domestic tourism subsidy extended, 200,000 rooms booked in first 12 hours

Maya Taylor

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Domestic tourism subsidy extended, 200,000 rooms booked in first 12 hours | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.santorinidave.com
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The Tourism Authority of Thailand says an extension to the domestic tourism stimulus campaign has led to 200,000 hotel room bookings within the first 12 hours. TAT governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, says average bookings before the extension were around 50,000 – 60,000 a day. Transactions under the scheme are now being closely monitored, following the discovery of fraudulent bookings during the last phase. The discovery led to the scheme’s extension being delayed, with PM Prayut Chan-o-cha threatening to cancel it altogether at one point.

Yuthasak says the spike in bookings following the scheme’s extension has aroused the suspicion of officials, as some of the room reservations were at properties accused of fraud during the first phase. It’s understood the authorities will continue to monitor transactions and investigate further where necessary.

He adds that, with the campaign running until April, people have more time to plan their holiday. He says those who may be concerned about travelling at the moment, as a result of the Covid-19 resurgence, may book to travel in February instead, for the Chinese New Year holiday, or for Songkran, in April.

Meanwhile, the Tourism and Sports Ministry says there were over 78 million domestic trips taken during the first 11 months of this year, down over 49% on last year’s tally. The trips generated 428 billion baht, down more than 56% year-on-year. And although Thailand welcomed over 3,000 foreign tourists last month, total tourism revenue stands at 760 billion baht for the first 11 months of 2020. This equates to a shortfall of over 1.9 trillion baht, compared to 2019.

The Ministry says that, despite November’s foreign arrivals being 2.5 times higher than October’s, it is still tiny compared to the same period last year. Officials say the huge downturn can be attributed to the Covid-19 crisis around the world, as well as Thailand’s mandatory quarantine requirements. According to Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the government hopes to reduce quarantine to 10 days from next year, although this has not yet been officially approved and may be delayed due to the resurgence of the virus within Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Avatar

    J West

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    200,000 in 12 hours? Let’s hope for honesty.

  2. Avatar

    Kim

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Its a pity this country is so rife with corruption. I generally support this scheme and my family and I have got very attractive hotel deals. Unfortunately then the areas which are lacking most tourist, as the likes of Phuket, clearly is not capable of pricing their hotels in line with say Bangkok. Also if you compare the alleged high end restaurants in Phuket with those of Bangkok, then the options and prices in Bangkok are much more attractive. The greed never ends, Thais and foreigners alike. I call it the “Fhu Ket” syndrome.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    Just what’s needed at the moment – an incentive for people to travel.

    Brilliant timing …

    • Avatar

      barry

      Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      Absolutely agree…
      With 2100+ active cases in the country, what we actually need are restrictions on inter-provincial mobility to try and take control of this situation and avoid long and strict national lockdowns….

      Real sad to see the same mistakes made as those made in Japan (GoTo Travel campaign spreading cases around the country from hotspots like Tokyo or in Indonesia, with cases spread to Bali and other areas from Java/Jakarta…).

      I really hope it’s just a bit of lag and that the Thai government will act quickly to impose useful, preemptive restrictions to stop Thailand fron becoming Asia’s next “sick man”.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 4:04 pm

        It really does defy belief.

        On the one hand you’ve got the Covid and health authorities saying that unless people are careful there’ll be 1k to 10k+ cases every day, and Bangkok and other places closing bars, then you’ve got TAT encouraging people to travel so that a tiny minority can profit from it in the very short term, ignoring that the effects could be an economic and social disaster for everyone else.

        Masks, social distancing, and restrictions on travel now, which will be no more than a minor inconvenience for most people, will minimise major problems later – particukarly as these schemes have been found to have next to no real benefit elsewhere, just kicking the can a little bit further down the road.

        Absolute, utter stupidity, TBH.

    • Avatar

      nipral

      Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      sounds like Thailand…

    • Avatar

      Kim

      Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 1:08 am

      Why shouldn’t people be able to travel domestically? Keep social distancing, wear masks etc. Thailand has done much better than most other countries and I’m grateful I’m in Thailand and not UK or US. Foreigners based in Thailand, who complain about how bad Thailand is handling the Chinese virus should just go back home and support your own home country and fellow citizens. Plenty of repatriation flights are available.

  4. Avatar

    Ian

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Guys the lunatics are running the asylum what else would you expect let’s spread the disease everywhere lol idiots and 200,000 in 12 hrs lol im sure a pink elephant just flew past my window haha

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 10:15 pm

      I have to disagree – given the genuine success so far, I expected and hoped for a lot more.

      • Avatar

        Mike Frenchie

        Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 3:24 am

        “we travel together” has been a flop…

  5. Avatar

    Bigsleazypappa

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    It’s sounds about right tbh!!!! Beggars belief… as for the COVID issue everyone knows it’s going to arrive in Thailand at some time like any other country so they should have kept the borders open as normal and let the economy carry on!! Just check everyone coming in SIMPLE as that!!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 10:13 pm

      If only it was.

  6. Avatar

    Waverider

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    200k in 12 hours, yeah right, who doing the counting ?
    Smart Madic.

  7. Avatar

    Bill Fischer

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    I pay a lot of taxes. I’m not overly keen on my taxes subsidizing vacations.

  8. Avatar

    James R

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    It’s a very good idea.

    Encourage people to travel and therefore make more money for the hotel and leisure trade.

    This will spread the virus, cause widespread illness and deaths, private hospitals will make extra money out of this, undertakers, temples, flower sellers will be busy too hence more profit.

    Let’s get people moving.

  9. Avatar

    Ian

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    I’m so laughing James but it’s so true and so much misery will come from this once again this government so so outa touch with reality the idea is good but the logic is what happens after but hey they’ll come up with another crazy idea I’m sure to sort it and I’m just curious where is all this money coming from for people to have all these vaccations oh I forgot they are all selling thier gold

    • Avatar

      James R

      Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 4:21 am

      Ian

      Be careful Ian as Issan John will be after you, he hates it when anyone writes anything truthful against Thailand.

  10. Avatar

    the golden sabre

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Don’t get your panties in a knot gals. It’s everywhere and has been since Thailand allowed half of Wuhan here for the 3 months other countries were doing lockdowns. But don’t sweat it most carriers are asymptomatic and unless you are a beer guzzling, chain smoking bar stool hero you have nothing to worry about:)

  11. Avatar

    Ian

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    I’ve already had his responses james many a time he can’t let anybody have a say without commenting and mostly disagreeing he is so blinkered now he lives in the land of scam we can see both worlds he lives in his issan world he needs to get out more but wow he can’t cos he’s vulnerable and will catch covid oh dear looks like we are gonna get lots of his messages on hear help thaiger lol

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Thailand

More than a third of Thai tourism-related businesses closed down

The Thaiger

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More than a third of Thai tourism-related businesses closed down | The Thaiger

A Tourism Authority of Thailand survey, conducted between January 10 – 12, indicates that more than a third of the country’s tourism-related businesses has already shut up shop and gone out of business. An enormous majority were begging for TAT and government assistance fearing that they are unable to hand on much longer.

1,884 tourism businesses in Thailand were surveyed about their situations and how they were coping with the long-term closure of the Thai borders and the local restrictions on travel.

The businesses were in the areas of accommodation, travel firms, restaurants, car and bike rentals and public transport businesses.

34.7% said they had already shut down or gone out of business.

That the TAT admit that more than a third of their front-line organisations have gone to the wall already is a big turn-around from the perennially optimistic tone and often cringe-worthy predictions. The TAT and the Thai Minister of Tourism and ports are now staring down the barrel of an industry, not only diminished, but changed forever after decades of stunning growth.

At the start of the week the Tourism and Sports Minister claimed that 10 million tourists would start arriving on Thailand’s shores from the middle of this year for the rest of 2021. Just 3 months ago he also predicted that domestic tourists would undertake some 10 million trips a month during the forthcoming high season (December to February).

With only hope to back up his speculative predictions, the Minister was hopeful the stimulus measures approved by Cabinet will boost tourism numbers and help off-set some of the economic devastation caused by the closure of Thailand’s international borders.

This week’s prediction was that tourists, foreign and local, would be spending 1.2 Trillion baht on the battered tourist industry during 2021. He failed to provide details about where these tourists would come from or where they would visit during their stays – stays that still have to begin with a 14 day mandatory quarantine.

The only good news is a further 65% of businesses that continue to struggle on, waiting to see how 2021 unfolds and the effect of the roll out of Covid-19 vaccines, that will allow countries to open borders and a greater level of travel freedoms once again.

The break out of a cluster of infections in the Samut Sakhon province, just south west of Bangkok, and now spread to the majority of other Thai provinces, on December 20, forced the government to restrict inter provincial travel. The not-quite-a-lockdown that followed severely dampened the travel plans of locals and foreigners inside Thailand over the traditional December/January holiday season. This week the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority loosened some of the earlier restrictions and allowed some formerly closed businesses to re-open.

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Border districts screening cars for smuggling illegal migrants

The Thaiger

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Border districts screening cars for smuggling illegal migrants | The Thaiger

Security officers in Thailand’s 3 border districts are under strict orders to screen all cars at security checkpoints for illegal migrant smuggling. The orders come after the arrests of 3 Thais who allegedly smuggled illegal migrants into the country using their own cars, with all cases being linked to each other.

The smugglers tried to escape being detected by authorities as they used their own cars instead of the typical trucks that have historically alarmed police. One of the 3 drivers arrested was 44 year old Sasiphen Sillapachai, the wife of a tambon administration organisation official in Sangkhla Buri. 38 year old Prawit Kaewdam and 40 year old Atchara Chinsoranan were the others arrested.

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The order applies to checkpoints in Sangkhla Buri, Thong Pha Phum and Sai Yok districts, and is focusing in particularly on the Ban Namkerk and Rantee bridge checkpoints in Sangkhla Buri.

Such smuggling of illegal migrant workers from Myanmar, where nearly 140,000 Covid-19 cases have been reported, has been blamed for setting off a 2nd wave of infections in Thailand, which has seen infections more than triple over the past five weeks since the pandemic began last year.

Smuggling gangs in Kanchanaburi and other border provinces have been aided by corrupt police, local officials and military officials who look the other way. But the Covid pandemic has forced the government of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to admit that the country has a serious problem that must be addressed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Opposition to provide evidence against government in upcoming debate

The Thaiger

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Opposition to provide evidence against government in upcoming debate | The Thaiger

Thailand’s opposition party members are preparing to provide evidence to back the charges being made against the government in an upcoming censure debate. The government is accused of policy-oriented corruption and of playing a part in structural conflicts. The allowance of illegal immigrants into the country and illegal gambling dens is expected to be discussed as it has been attributed to the 2nd wave of Covid-19 sweeping the nation.

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SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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