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Expats should get travel stimulus deals, Thai Hotels president says

Caitlin Ashworth

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Expats should get travel stimulus deals, Thai Hotels president says | Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Katie Musial

Expats might be included in the next wave of tourism incentives, at least that’s what the new president of Thai Hotels Association is pushing for. Those who live and pay taxes in Thailand should have equal rights as Thai nationals, the association’s president Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi says.

Thai nationals have been able get deals on travel through the domestic tourism stimulus package since mid-July. Those who registered for the package receive discounts on hotels and restaurants as well as rebates on flight tickets.

The plan isn’t working out as well as hoped and locals have been slow to take advantage of the travel incentives. Occupancy levels at hotels remain low and locals seem to want to save their money rather than spend it on a holiday. Nunbhakdi says allowing expats to take part in hotel deals can help fill the rooms.

“We need to treat expatriates who live and pay tax here the same way we treat locals.”

The next wave of the tourism scheme might have more privileges to help boost the economy. Nunbhakdi recommends a tax deduction on tourism spending. She also says the subsidy for accommodation spending should be increased from 40% to 50%. With some hotels struggling to stay open after the coronavirus outbreak, Nunbhakdi says she’s seeking financial support to help save them from closing.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Oh now that special deals for Thais only is not being taken, they want the felangs to have these deals, where they were refused for felangs before.
    Will these special deals enable felangs to pay the same fees as Thais to enter national parks?
    I doubt it.
    Naw, you cannot be racist yesterday, and when it proves to be to your disadvantage change you mind, and not be racist today.
    Starve Thais. Your nasty, selfish, racist, attitude is emptying your pockets.

    • Avatar

      Jack

      Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 1:43 pm

      You’re on here every day bitching about Thailand, I seriously hope you don’t live here because you need to GTFO, or STFU.

  2. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Expats don’t want be anybody’s backup or option 2! They didn’t get an invitation but because no one showed up, you now want to invite them and expect to be able to charge the same price.

    I can’t go for that
    No can do

  3. Avatar

    RametinNonta

    Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Are Farangs still forbidden to ride inter-provincial buses? Are Farangs still refused admittance to Wat Po? You have to go-along to get-along.

  4. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 3:22 am

    “stimilus” lol

  5. Avatar

    Christopher Bela.

    Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    I can’t see Marisa keeping her job for long. Treating foreigners equally or fairly is simply not the norm in Asia.

    • Avatar

      Tim

      Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 2:09 pm

      That’s only your view according to your own experience.
      In Europe, museum access if free for all young european travellers, not from people outside Europe.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Tourism

Pattaya tourism remains open without quarantine, for now anyway

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Pattaya tourism remains open without quarantine, for now anyway | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Pattaya welcomes tourists.

As province after province closes down more sectors, imposing stricter regulations, administers mandatory Covid-19 testing, and enacts quarantines for domestic travellers (in some cases), Pattaya is taking a different approach: heartily welcoming tourists to their city.

Colourful Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome spoke yesterday saying that everyone from everywhere is welcome in Pattaya, and will not be required to quarantine or self-quarantine for 2 weeks. The lack of isolation may encourage travellers depressed over cancelled Songkran holiday festivities and trips.

But the decision os not his The Governor of Chin Buri will be making the call whether to impose additional restrictions for people coming to Pattaya, especially from the 3 hot zone districts in Bangkok.

But he maintains, rather than shutting down completely, the city of Pattaya had called upon all of its employees to work together to create an environment safe for tourists. The staff are deployed throughout the city to implement and enforce Covid-19 safety protocols and monitor them to make sure locals and tourists follow regulations and keep Pattaya safe from Coronavirus spread.

While bars, nightclubs, and massage shops remain necessarily closed by order of the CCSA, Pattaya city officials are working hard to keep popular tourism areas like Koh Larn and Pattaya Beach Road open to travellers to enjoy. City hall is working with volunteers and local police and enacting measures like allowing parking on both sides of the beach roads to try to help tourists and vendors in Pattaya to have a safe and enjoyable Songkran holiday.

This alternative approach stands in stark contrast to most of the rest of the nation where Songkran celebrations were cancelled and semi-lockdowns are in place. 2 days ago 37 Thai provinces imposed a 14 day quarantine on travellers from Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathum and Samut Prakan – areas around Bangkok that are now considered a Red Zone for Covid-19 infections.

Phuket is currently another holdout, with minimal restrictions on tourists visiting, for the time being anyway.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Hotel blog suggests Phuket should push ahead with July reopening despite Covid surge

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Hotel blog suggests Phuket should push ahead with July reopening despite Covid surge | Thaiger
PHOTO: Hotels and other tourism business are hoping the July 1st reopening goal can still be achieved.

A hotel information blog is claiming that, despite growing Covid-19 numbers, Phuket should stick to its schedule in reopening to travellers without quarantine in July. That’s only 2 and a half months away.

In an interview with the Director of Travel and Tourism Consulting at GlobalData, they stressed that while it is crucial to rein in the spread of Covid-19 and the B117 strain now menacing Thailand, the risk must not overshadow the need to push forward with vaccinations and the march towards eliminating the quarantine by July in order to save the tourism industry and all those dependent on it.

“The Phuket pilot program is essential in creating a path towards economic recovery for Thailand, a country heavily dependent on tourism. More than 17% of Thailand’s gross domestic product is attributed to tourism and the Covid-19 pandemic has lead to the worst economic free-fall in over 20 years”

The blog acknowledges the inherent risk and possible appearance of foolishness to prioritise the plans to reopen and carry on with the same rollout schedule. But they urge Thai authorities to consider that July 1 is still 2 and a half months away, leaving ample time to recover and make progress towards the approaching Phuket reopening. A vital aspect of the reopening plan lies in vaccinating over 70% of Phuket’s provincial residents, a sizable task, but one that brings great benefit with or without the scheduled reopening.

“Pushing ahead to achieve this goal puts Phuket on track to welcome back tourists, perhaps in a “bio-bubble”, and restart the economy. The economy is desperate with household debt growing, pushing the government to enact emergency decrees to provide relief. These households need the return of tourism and the influx of cash international tourists will bring.”

The blog hopes that Thai authorities can balance the necessary Covid-19 safety measures in Phuket to protect the Thai population with the economic need to bring back tourism. They believe that with sufficient measures in place, vaccinated locals could welcome vaccinated international tourists back to Phuket reopening safely in July.

SOURCE: Hotel News Resource

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Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Tim Newton

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

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