Connect with us

Tourism

Kiss the high season goodbye – Thailand’s long wait continues

Published

 on 

YouTube video

Just as last year’s high season was wrapping up, the Covid-19 pandemic became real and much of the world closed borders back in March. Thailand hoteliers, tour operators and airlines had to endure a very quiet low season, obviously a lot lower than usual. But with the next high season upon us the prospects of a sudden surge of tourists has evaporated with announcements over the past couple of weeks.

Thousands of businesses that were holding out for a bounce back over the traditional busy tourist season will now have to wait even longer.The mandatory 14 day quarantine and copious paperwork, despite all the best intentions, is simply too much of a burden for the vast majority of overseas visitors that still have the capacity and desire to travel to Thailand.

The proof is in the pudding and the uptake of the much-hyped Special Tourist Visa has been dismal. Here’s the problem…The hospitality and tourism industry are demanding ways to re-open the borders and manage the Covid situation into the future. Meanwhile Thai government officials seem to be waiting for the magic pill, the arrival of a viable vaccine, to provide the safety net for a widespread re-opening of Thailand’s borders to occur.

While all this is happening, the Thai government is caught inside a travel bubble of its own making. A travel bubble of ONE.

The local solution for a tourism reboot can only do SO much. Whilst Thais are being stirred out of their provinces with stimulus packages to stay in hotels and eat at restaurants, most aren’t travelling far and the hopes for a domestic-tourism-led recovery are fanciful at best.

Nothing short of a broad re-opening of the borders, along with dropping many of the restrictions and paperwork, will save Thailand tourism. But the country’s health officials are saying the risk is too great, especially as much of the world is now experiencing a major surge in new cases and deaths caused by Covid-19.

And even if they fling open the borders tomorrow, who would be coming? The volume of the world’s travellers has been reduced to a trickle and, around the world, international flights are few, and expensive. Some of Thailand’s larger tour companies and hotel groups will be able to hang in there, surviving on limited re-openings of rooms or just keeping the doors locked and sacking staff. Smaller businesses have either already closed up shop, or will not be able to weather any further extension of the tourist drought.

In Chiang Mai the weather is starting to cool with crisp mornings and evenings making the northern city a popular tourist hot spot through December, January and February. In Phuket, the wet season is over and the skies glow bright blue with cooling breezes and long stretches of clear beaches. In Bangkok the Christmas decorations are already up at shopping malls awaiting the flood of international tourists for the high season.But the fate of this high season is already sealed and the return-to-normal simply isn’t going to happen.

Whilst much of the tourism and hospitality industry thought that this year’s 2020/2021 high season would signal the start of a ‘new beginning’, it’s just turned out to be the beginning of an even longer haul for Thailand’s industry players, and the thousands they employ.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Destination Guide5 hours ago

Best areas to live in Phuket (2022)

Video6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Fears of shenanigans in Mountain B Pub fire investigation

Travel6 hours ago

5 vineyards and wineries in Thailand all wine lovers should know

Sponsored16 hours ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Thailand6 hours ago

Thai neitzens angry at SUV driver using a siren just to use toilet

Thailand7 hours ago

New poll says people from Thailand more relaxed about Covid-19

Thailand7 hours ago

Rama 2 Road guilty of being a repeat accident offender

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand8 hours ago

Body of one teacher found in double suicide pact in SE Thailand

Thailand9 hours ago

Son who tried to starve mother to death dies of TB in NE Thailand

Crime10 hours ago

Mystery 911 emergency service call turns out to be a monkey

Thailand11 hours ago

Hot gran bowled over by Shane Warne before he died in Thailand

Thailand11 hours ago

Soi Dog Foundation pledges to neuter 1 million animals in 2 years

Thailand12 hours ago

EPL praises Thailand for crackdown on illegal footie sites

Pattaya12 hours ago

Sick German man fails in suicide attempt in Pattaya

Video13 hours ago

Thailand approves all time high electricity price | GMT

Economy13 hours ago

Instant noodles, a staple budget food, fighting to increase prices

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending