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Expats should be able to share in the government’s tourism incentive programs

Tanutam Thawan



by Expat Life

Newly elected President of the Thailand Hotels Association and Vice President of Sukosol Hotels, Marisa Sukosol, was asked what her thoughts were about the Thailand Together government travel stimulus campaign. Although close to 5 million people have registered, only 600,000 hotel rooms have been booked at this stage, well below initial estimates.

“The project would have more bookings if it allowed expats to utilise the privilege as well. There are up to 500,000 expat residents in Thailand. More bookings will benefit the hotels naturally. Instead of travelling abroad or to neighbouring destinations, Thailand has a host of second-tier destinations that can offer a variety of unique experiences”.

“There are also certain conditions in the Thailand Together campaign that can be changed such as 3 days advance booking rules. Domestic and even short-haul travellers book at the very last-minute.”

Bangkok Post reported recently that expats spend significantly more per head than Thai travellers whilst on holiday in Thailand.

“As you are aware, most hotels have “Thai Resident Packages” and rates that are available to not just for Thais but all residents. There are great deals in the market now, as hotels need income. Most have closed since March and only 40-50% have reopened, running at less than 10% occupancy.”

“May I offer some thoughts on the hotel sector at this time. The hotel industry cannot persist much longer without opening our borders to travellers. Less than 50% of all hotels have reopened, most are running at single digit occupancies. Some are considering re-closing because of low demand.”

“So, it is imperative that we start to allow general tourists to travel into Thailand, albeit with restrictions and strict guidelines. Protecting the health and wellbeing of communities needs to be our government’s prime concern. While doing this, we also have to change people’s sentiment toward foreign travellers.”

“The chance of anyone carrying the virus will be extremely slim, not everyone has the virus and all have been screened before travelling into the country and also tested after arrival. Social distancing and hygiene measures need to be reinforced and containment of the spread, if detected, has to be managed. I have the highest confidence that the Thai government and Thailand has been extremely successful at managing the outbreak, but we also have to realise that realistically, we cannot have zero risk. There will always be risk and error. We just need to manage and keep those at a minimum.”

“With regards to the Safe and Sealed area, I fully agree. The government can open up islands, or certain zones within an island where travellers can be quarantined in a resort, and be provided access to the pool or the beach on a rotation basis. The private sector has had the opportunity to share our thoughts regarding unlocking travel at several forums.”

“The government has been very inclusive in this process. I think that no matter what the restrictions will be, we have to start somewhere. Travellers are poised to travel to Thailand, October will be a good time to begin.”

“THA’s biggest concern now is helping SMEs survive during the crisis. Hotels are still a viable business. We are just setback temporarily by the pandemic. What can we do to help owners keep employees and survive financially through this tough period. Banks need to be ease restrictions for soft loan financing. Perhaps the government can set up a fund to assist the hotel sector with short-term financing.”

Expats should be able to share in the government's tourism incentive programs | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: President of the Thailand Hotels Association and VP of Sukosol Hotels, Marisa Sukosol – Issuu

SOURCE: Expat Life


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  1. Avatar

    Bjørn Kåre Martinsen Lande

    Monday, August 24, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    I have heard from returning expats that chose to utilize “5 star hotels” that they have been served rice soup for breakfast. If I would choose to spend 75-100.000 baht for 14 nights in quarantine I would expect at least one meal with red imported meat and a minimum of 10 beer on the house every day if I want to enjoy. Furthermore English speaking channels in the room is a must. Thailand is pricing themself out of the market I am afraid. Even in Arabic countries travellers are better cared for.
    Ofcourse, this is Thailand and I understand and even appreciate the patriotism and nationalism they show, however at this point it feels downright hostile to even embark on such a venture during these times. The so called quarantine hotels need to check on western standards before putting up any form of quality stamp related to stars as well as suggesting changes to how quarantine is managed. I do not care about the pool in quarantine, I care about not being treated as a prisoner.

    • Avatar

      Perceville Smithers

      Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 6:58 am

      Better cared for in Arab countries?! BS! I’ve had residency in 2 GCC countries and visted another on a few occasions.

  2. Avatar


    Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Being a boutique htl GM in Samui, I can confirm that I am deeply in line with k. Marisa Sukosol over each of her suggestions. Not improving the market help the various ways she ask for, will see the definite closing of thousands of hotels pretty soon. We are all strangled to death at this time. Thai people should be helped to sort out from their mind the collective hysteria & paranoia about the virus to let millions start to get back to normal life and fight pragmactically against it like in many countries now. During a war you cannot expect 0 casualty to save millions of people and a country to lose freedom.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    I doubt than any foreigners will be allowed the deal described above as Thais.
    This would go against years of mindset that compels Thais to be racist against any other race.
    Foreigners will not be allowed any money off hotels equivalent to Thais.
    Ever seen a Thai giving back a deposit to a foreigner? There will be tears in the Thai’s eyes – it breaks their hearts. lol
    If they cannot make a foreigner pay more, they will cut down on the quality, or quantity that they will give to a Thai.

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