Coronavirus (Covid-19)ThailandTourism

Hotel operators blame government’s faulty tracking apps for Israeli tourist escape

PHOTO: thailand.prd.go.th

The recent case of an Israeli tourist who fled his hotel before he’d received the results of his PCR test can be blamed on faulty tracking apps. So says Angkana Tanetvisetkul from Phuket’s Kata Karon Hotel Association. According to a Bangkok Post report, she believes the current entry requirements involve too many apps that don’t work together – sometimes they don’t even work alone.

“The recent case of the Israeli tourist who ran away from a Bangkok hotel should be a case study for our preventive measures. The authorities should be able to track his real-time location without having to call hotels to determine if a tracking app is working.”

According to Angkana, over 80% of foreign arrivals have been unable to download the Mor Chana app, the government’s main contact-tracing tool. She says that in addition to Mor Chana, there is the Thailand Pass app, which is supposed to synchronise with COSTE, which hotels are required to use for guest bookings and guest-related information. However, if the wrong name or passport number is entered, the apps won’t synchronise, meaning the passenger in question cannot download the Mor Chana app.

Angkana says the COSTE system is also unable to authenticate hotel bookings, unlike the SHA Plus Booking Authentication System, which was designed by Phuket hotels for the launch of the sandbox programme in July. That system could differentiate between real and fake bookings.

“As the Omicron variant poses a new threat, state agencies responsible for these apps must urgently fix the system so the apps synchronise to strengthen safety measures.”

Suksit Suvunditkul from the Thai Hotels Association’s southern chapter agrees. In addition to the risk of tourists becoming untraceable, he says hotel staff are also having to spend time helping guests who have malfunctioning apps. This slows down the check-in process and also puts staff at increased risk of infection.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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