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Foreign Ministry to work with Tourism Authority to speed up entry paperwork for foreigners

PHOTO: Thailand News

Foreign Ministry officials plan to coordinate with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to make the processing of international arrivals more efficient. The Bangkok Post reports that hundreds of foreigners are awaiting approval to enter the Kingdom, whether through the Special Tourist Visa scheme or as Elite Card holders, or one of the other handfuls of visa-type allowed to return to Thailand at this time. Thapanee Kiatphaibool from the TAT says the increased demand (and no doubt, the onerous paperwork involved) is slowing things down.

“Thailand is allowing more groups to cross the border, so more documents need to be approved by the Foreign Ministry to grant a certificate of eligibility to tourists. We will do our best to help facilitate foreigners.”

The Thai penchant for red tape and paperwork is hampering the processing of travellers wishing to come to Thailand at this time.

14 Elite Card members have arrived in Thailand and completed the 14 day quarantine. 34 are still in quarantine. 4 additional members have just been granted their COE and are now waiting for flights. It’s understood none of the current STV applicants have received the certificate of eligibility (despite a week of claims of “imminent arrival” from various spokespeople).

A group of 120 Chinese visitors expected to land at Phuket Airport yesterday have had their visit postponed so as to not clash with the province’s Vegetarian Festival. It’s understood officials did not want to deter anxious Thais from travelling to the festival over fears of a resurgence of Covid-19.

Thapanee says officials are also working on enticing foreign investors to Thailand, with property developers being asked to throw in Elite Card membership as part of real estate sales. Foreigners with a minimum of US$1 million to invest in the Kingdom may also be granted work permits.

Meanwhile, the TAT is hopeful domestic tourism will remain strong for the last quarter of the year. 62 million domestic trips were recorded between January and September. Proudputh Liptapanlop who runs Proud Real Estate, with hotels in Phuket and Hua Hin, says the extra holidays, coupled with the government’s stimulus campaign, have boosted occupancy rates. The 2 Hua Hin hotels operated by the group fared best, recording 50% occupancy, as opposed to the Phuket hotel, which had a 20% occupancy rate.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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19 Comments

19 Comments

    1. Should look to see if you guys can meet somewhere like Cambodia.

      The current administration’s response to COVID-19 has alienated Americans and caused problems for those Americans who work overseas.

      1. Cambodia doesn’t currently let tourists in at all, Percy, only diplomats and “sponsored” businessmen, and even they have to put down a deposit of $2,000 on arrival and have Covid insurance from the one insurance company authorised and self-isolate for 14 days. If one person tests positive on any flight, which apparently happens as often as not, then the whole flight is quarantined in a “state facility” for 14 days, followed by another 14 days of self-quarantine if everyone tests negative at the end of their first 14 days; if one person tests positive again, then the whole process starts again, and its another 14 days in the “state facility”, etc.

        If you think Thailand’s policy is unpleasant, it’s a lot more pleasant, clearer and potentially cheaper than Cambodia’s!

        Why single out Thailand? Japan’s border restrictionbs are just as draconian and more restrictive, as is nearly all SEA.

    2. It would be more convenient, also under an economoy viewpoint, if you meet in another country, for example Turkey. Nice and cheap country, free entry, no test, no quarantine, good food, beautiful landscape. Thailand is not economically viable at the moment to go and to stay.

    3. Buy her a ticket for Istanbul and meet her there. Why do you have to go to Thailand? She can go to the Emirates with a PCR test and a tourist visa. We have done it in August. There are plenty of opportunities to leave Thailand. She might be able to get a Schengen visa.

  1. Lance, my sympathy.

    There should be no differentiation between high and low risk countries – the blanket 14 day quarantine period means there’s no need for it.

    Similarly, I can’t see any reason for charter flights for tourists, but regular flights for businessmen, residents and Thais – that makes no sense to me.

    The rules could certainly do with simplifying, though.

    The restrictions should simply be a test within 72 hours of flying, three tests here (on arrival, and during and on completion of quarantine), 14 days quarantine, and adequate medical insurance.

    All visas should be valid, with the STV as a bonus.

    You want to spend as much time with your g/f as you can here? There should be no reason why she can’t spend your 14 days in quarantine with you.

    Problem solved.

    1. Problem not solved. No insurance companies will deliver an insurance as long as there is a travel advisory for a country. Some countries like Canada have a travel advisory for all travels outside of Canada. Period. Stepping outside of Canada void the insurance automatically.

  2. “domestic tourism will remain strong” – actually, domestic tourism is weak and becoming weaker and weaker since Thai have little appetite to travel and spend their saving when they see everybody being laid off or bankrupt!

    1. I agree with you that it’s weak compared with previous years, which is hardly surprising in view of the global recession and the inevitable affect that’s had on the Thai economy, as well as because of the previous fears of cross-province travel due to Covid, but i’m not so sure it’s “becoming weaker and weaker” – do you have any references for that?

      I’m also a bit dubious about Thais seeing “everybody being laid off or bankrupt” outside of some in the tourism industry. A lot I know working in factories, who make up a lot of the domestic tourism market, have seen their pay drop due to the recession and reduced demand, but very few have been “laid off or bankrupt” and some I know have been taken on at short notice.

      All anecdotal, i know, but again do you have any references or sources for that?

    1. I don’t follow that. The only visas requiring anyone to “invest significant sums of cash”, or even any “sums of cash”, are Elite visas which Thailand’s currently admitting entry to.

      Which visas are you talking about?

      If you’re referring to Permanent Residence applications, that’s even more confusing.

      1. Perhaps I should’ve used “until recently”, not “currently” to describe the hoards of people actively trying to gain entry on their expensive Elite visas, and focused on the 50 that have been allowed in after 6 months.

        Thank you for picking up on my mistake – I’ll try to do better next time. I’ll try to be better. ?

  3. There will be no real tourists under current requirements. We usually spend several months in Thailand but visa runs are impossible and STV is nonsense – not going to do this quarantine on principle. Turkey is doing it the right way.

  4. When on earth are those foreigners who hold retiree visas let return .. many like myself have invested in an expensive property, have private insurance and transfer large sums of money every month to a local bank account; I have been separated from my husband now since over
    2 months; we are both European, and I can’t return not even with quarantine .. it’s insane what’s going on … many of us will sell up and leave when this is over, as it will be one day!

      1. … and get rid of the corruption, the immigration system, the army and the police. Another major hurdle is to teach Thai people to respect and treat foreigners as benefactors and not as second class human beings. That’s a lot of conditions.

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

19 Comments

    1. Should look to see if you guys can meet somewhere like Cambodia.

      The current administration’s response to COVID-19 has alienated Americans and caused problems for those Americans who work overseas.

      1. Cambodia doesn’t currently let tourists in at all, Percy, only diplomats and “sponsored” businessmen, and even they have to put down a deposit of $2,000 on arrival and have Covid insurance from the one insurance company authorised and self-isolate for 14 days. If one person tests positive on any flight, which apparently happens as often as not, then the whole flight is quarantined in a “state facility” for 14 days, followed by another 14 days of self-quarantine if everyone tests negative at the end of their first 14 days; if one person tests positive again, then the whole process starts again, and its another 14 days in the “state facility”, etc.

        If you think Thailand’s policy is unpleasant, it’s a lot more pleasant, clearer and potentially cheaper than Cambodia’s!

        Why single out Thailand? Japan’s border restrictionbs are just as draconian and more restrictive, as is nearly all SEA.

    2. It would be more convenient, also under an economoy viewpoint, if you meet in another country, for example Turkey. Nice and cheap country, free entry, no test, no quarantine, good food, beautiful landscape. Thailand is not economically viable at the moment to go and to stay.

    3. Buy her a ticket for Istanbul and meet her there. Why do you have to go to Thailand? She can go to the Emirates with a PCR test and a tourist visa. We have done it in August. There are plenty of opportunities to leave Thailand. She might be able to get a Schengen visa.

  1. Lance, my sympathy.

    There should be no differentiation between high and low risk countries – the blanket 14 day quarantine period means there’s no need for it.

    Similarly, I can’t see any reason for charter flights for tourists, but regular flights for businessmen, residents and Thais – that makes no sense to me.

    The rules could certainly do with simplifying, though.

    The restrictions should simply be a test within 72 hours of flying, three tests here (on arrival, and during and on completion of quarantine), 14 days quarantine, and adequate medical insurance.

    All visas should be valid, with the STV as a bonus.

    You want to spend as much time with your g/f as you can here? There should be no reason why she can’t spend your 14 days in quarantine with you.

    Problem solved.

    1. Problem not solved. No insurance companies will deliver an insurance as long as there is a travel advisory for a country. Some countries like Canada have a travel advisory for all travels outside of Canada. Period. Stepping outside of Canada void the insurance automatically.

  2. “domestic tourism will remain strong” – actually, domestic tourism is weak and becoming weaker and weaker since Thai have little appetite to travel and spend their saving when they see everybody being laid off or bankrupt!

    1. I agree with you that it’s weak compared with previous years, which is hardly surprising in view of the global recession and the inevitable affect that’s had on the Thai economy, as well as because of the previous fears of cross-province travel due to Covid, but i’m not so sure it’s “becoming weaker and weaker” – do you have any references for that?

      I’m also a bit dubious about Thais seeing “everybody being laid off or bankrupt” outside of some in the tourism industry. A lot I know working in factories, who make up a lot of the domestic tourism market, have seen their pay drop due to the recession and reduced demand, but very few have been “laid off or bankrupt” and some I know have been taken on at short notice.

      All anecdotal, i know, but again do you have any references or sources for that?

    1. I don’t follow that. The only visas requiring anyone to “invest significant sums of cash”, or even any “sums of cash”, are Elite visas which Thailand’s currently admitting entry to.

      Which visas are you talking about?

      If you’re referring to Permanent Residence applications, that’s even more confusing.

      1. Perhaps I should’ve used “until recently”, not “currently” to describe the hoards of people actively trying to gain entry on their expensive Elite visas, and focused on the 50 that have been allowed in after 6 months.

        Thank you for picking up on my mistake – I’ll try to do better next time. I’ll try to be better. ?

  3. There will be no real tourists under current requirements. We usually spend several months in Thailand but visa runs are impossible and STV is nonsense – not going to do this quarantine on principle. Turkey is doing it the right way.

  4. When on earth are those foreigners who hold retiree visas let return .. many like myself have invested in an expensive property, have private insurance and transfer large sums of money every month to a local bank account; I have been separated from my husband now since over
    2 months; we are both European, and I can’t return not even with quarantine .. it’s insane what’s going on … many of us will sell up and leave when this is over, as it will be one day!

      1. … and get rid of the corruption, the immigration system, the army and the police. Another major hurdle is to teach Thai people to respect and treat foreigners as benefactors and not as second class human beings. That’s a lot of conditions.

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