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Minister says lack of foreign visitors will have knock-on effect for domestic tourism

Maya Taylor

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Minister says lack of foreign visitors will have knock-on effect for domestic tourism | The Thaiger
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The Tourism Minister says Thailand can expect a significant drop in domestic tourism unless international tourism is revived. According to a Bangkok Post report, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says local tourism figures are 40% of what they were in 2019, and are expected to drop further once the domestic travel stimulus scheme ends at the end of the year. The scheme has gone through multiple extensions since its introduction in July, with recent calls to extend it to December 2021.

Phiphat says a tough year lies ahead and that Thailand’s recovery will be more challenging than after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, due to the broader economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. He adds that the return of foreign tourists is essential to economic recovery and says that, while the Special Tourist Visa is a start, it is not enough.

“We have a precarious year for domestic tourism waiting for us in 2021, with the number of trips and receipts possibly going down to 15% of 2019. We shouldn’t expect big things from the STV, but it can prepare local communities for a return of international arrivals and pave the way for further relaxation of restrictions in the next phase.”

The minister says that during trips to 5 or 6 provinces, local business operators told him they fear for their survival if the current situation continues. The Tourism Ministry has agreed a recovery fund worth 50 -100 billion baht in order to help, which has been submitted to the Finance Ministry for approval.

“At least 50% of tourism-related businesses will permanently close if they cannot receive any effective measures from the government until the middle of next year. But we cannot let them disappear, because Thailand will be short on businesses that can accommodate tourists when things hopefully pick up.”

The government had been considering reducing quarantine from 14 days to 10, for arrivals from “low-risk” countries, but that proposal has now been shelved. Last week, it was reported that officials are planning talks with China regarding the formation of a no-quarantine travel bubble between both countries. Phiphat says it’s hoped the scheme can be put in place in time for Chinese New Year in February.

“Now, we need every segment of the tourism industry to help bring about a recovery. But this will depend on how each country lets their citizens easily fly back and forth.”

It’s understood talks are also planned with officials in Japan, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand, although the latter 2 have strict restrictions on overseas travel at this time. The South Korean embassy says golfers will be permitted to travel to Thailand for training, provided they quarantine. The Thai government is considering a proposal to use golf courses with hotel accommodation as alternative local state quarantine facilities.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    November 12, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Of course it will.
    When an entertainment is duel priced, the entertainment relies of foreigners prices to make money.
    The money from Thais is just a little extra.
    If there are no foreigners, the entertainment closes, and Thais are denied the entertainment.
    It is foreigners that are subsidising the entertainment that the Thais use at a cheap price.
    In Bang San, a water park was charging foreigners more. The foreigners stopped going and the water park closed.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 13, 2020 at 8:51 pm

      In Pattaya, very probably. In the rest of Thailand, even Phuket outside the farang zones, dream on.

    • Avatar

      David

      November 14, 2020 at 3:07 am

      Yes you are right. Thai people’s goes to their own selective pubs and bars, if you just talking about Bangkok, you can see all over Sukhumvit Soi Nana (soi 1) to Bangna ( upper sukhumvit), Silom area ( patpong), Kaosan Road area and other spotted in all over Bangkok- at least 90% pubs, clubs and bars are depends on foreign customers.
      We can see the present situation (without foreigners), expats (foreign) lives in here are now keeps alive some venues, that’s about 3 to 4% likely.

      Keeping zero local infection record is useless hence economy is going shrinking.
      Thailand has a strong medical facilities, so providing covid treatment will be satisfactorily alright.

      Time and Tide wait for none.
      Without tourists the season will also go on.
      But The right time will come.
      The infrastructure will gone.

    • Avatar

      J West

      November 16, 2020 at 5:01 pm

      Thailand:

      “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”.

  2. Avatar

    murika

    November 12, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    it’s all part of the plan, the 1% richest are now buying hotels and bars for 30% of it’s value, and they don’t mind to wait a bit more to reopen the country and win the jackpot, Comment from foreigners are saying that thai are stupid to destroy their tourist industry, while they had order from the rich to make it happened

  3. Avatar

    Khun plastic

    November 12, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    Very true, fire sales are cheap and cash is king,since when did the rich any place give a stuff about the poor.

  4. Avatar

    Ray W.

    November 12, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    This is a such an abortion. Every projection was clear that the boarders needed to be open in some meaningful capacity in June to have any chance of preventing a deep decline that will take the better part of a decade to recover from. All we had to do was manage the risk like competent leaders do. But just wait someone will be quick to point out public opinion polls, with flawed methodology, that Thais want to burn the economy to absolute and utter cinders because “COVID bad, COVID very bad, and also I read on Facebook COVID was bad, um, um, also science and if you want to open the boarders you hate life and want people to die, and you think the Earths flat.” Its like a bunch or marginally programmed chat bots have been set loose to ensure economic recovery would be played at the hardest difficult.

    • Avatar

      School hurts

      November 12, 2020 at 11:56 pm

      Do you at all understand what you have written, mate? Do you know who BOARDERS are? Apparently not. Well, they are NOT borders, if that`s what you were trying to convey. You have heard of boarding schools, though, haven`t you? There you`ll find boarders.

    • Avatar

      David Barker

      November 13, 2020 at 1:41 am

      They won’t even let in retirees or people who own homes.
      People won’t forget

      • Avatar

        ray

        November 13, 2020 at 4:19 pm

        In three years I will have my pension and until recently it seemed a good idea to retire in LOS. I have been to the country many times, even worked here for half a year. Since a couple of months I have been reading a lot of the contributions to this site. This gave me another perspective. I certainly won’t buy a property and perhaps even look for another country to retire.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          November 13, 2020 at 8:59 pm

          If you’re basing your plans for the future on what those commenting here write, then maybe you need to read a bit more carefully.

          Most making the adverse comments don’t live here, aren’t here now, and left when their money ran out because they came here when the baht was low and bank interest rates high and they thought that’d last forever.

          Sour grapes, nothing more.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        November 13, 2020 at 8:49 pm

        Actually, they DO let in retirees as long as they have family here, but like most countries in a similar position (AFAIK all) Thailand doesn’t let foreigners in as yet just because they own a flat here or claim to have a Thai girlfriend.

  5. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    November 12, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Foreigners were bringing 2000 billions the per year and they come with schemes worth 5-10% of what is needed. Banks are in deep troubles if companies such as Thai airways close forever (Thai alone is 300 billion thb of debts) or hotel groups like the ones I know very well in Pattaya. No real tourism till end of 2021 or maybe 2022… Someone must chip to keep the hotels alive (what we do in Europe).

  6. Avatar

    luca

    November 12, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    those said by the minister seem wise words, I have often read that tourism for Thailand is worth 10/15% of its GDP but I think it is worth much more because it is the oil that turns the gears, to this is added the recession global affliction that also affects other sectors of the economy.
    Maybe next summer it will be possible to reopen tourism thanks to the vaccine but what will tourists find after the massacre of economic activities? in Thailand most of the wealth is in the hands of a few, for the vast majority of its citizens even more difficult times are coming

  7. Avatar

    Ben

    November 12, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    It’s like a war has hit the country and when it does your only option is to survive to fight another day until the war is over and it’ll eventually end sometime in 2021. The government has the ability to provide stimulus to enable the survival of many of the businesses but some of the weaker (zombie) businesses will die.

    I’m not an economist but my observation is the baht is only getting stronger which will not help their economy come back as fast in 2021. Many countries are printing money to help their economies and weakening their currency which will help their exports in 2021. Thailand doesn’t appear to doing enough of that or using its significant foreign currency reserves to help its economy.

    The result will be the rich Thais coming in and buying businesses for 10 cents on the dollar. Those with cash will wait until the patient is about to expire and swoop in. The rich will get richer.

  8. Avatar

    Hasse

    November 12, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    Every one talk about corona. But here in Sweden we talk about the government that treat the people like garbage. At my work we are around 10 people with a Thai wife and nobody go back to Thailand before the military dictate stops.
    The PM need to stand down

    • Avatar

      J West

      November 16, 2020 at 5:06 pm

      Tell those bossy outspoken Swedish women I’m on the way!!! I love a woman who can talk back.

  9. Avatar

    west Tiger

    November 13, 2020 at 2:01 am

    Stating the obvious but the longer Thailand leave it to open up to Tourism from the West the longer it will take to recover, as the Tourist from the West are the big spenders when it come to tourism to Thailand

  10. Avatar

    Dave

    November 13, 2020 at 3:40 am

    I have observed the rise of the bath today after the news of the discovery of an effective vaccine for covid, but: Have Thai economists thought about when it will be used globally for the tourism sector in Thailand to recover ??? They are speculating with the real value of their economy to get richer a few, triggering the price of their currency (bath), only achieving that the nominal value exceeds the real value so much that inflation will shoot up in the country, added to the enormous crisis that your society suffers with skyrocketing unemployment, it will bring an economic crisis for the middle and lower class with irreparable damage in many years, get smart, lower your currency and do not speculate with it anymore or you will ruin the country.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 13, 2020 at 9:03 pm

      It’s a free floating currency, and has been for quite a while.

  11. Avatar

    AI

    November 13, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    The people with cash will buy up as much business as they can owned by those who’re closed and going down. It’s as simple as that. Wiping out the lower and most of the middle class, as it is designed to.
    And yet nobody around here or even in govt., has yet to prove the con-vid actually exists!
    If these parasites get their way, they will get as much as they possibly can before they are finished.
    This was all planned way before it happened.
    Start asking the relevant questions and see the so called “leaders” ignore the question or wander off!
    I do genuinely feel sorry for those out there (and their families) in Thailand and elsewhere, who will be hit by all of this fake plandemic.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

“Vaccines are no magic bullet” – World Health Organisation

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“Vaccines are no magic bullet” – World Health Organisation | The Thaiger

“Vaccines will be no magic bullet for the coronavirus crisis as nations gear up for a massive rollout to tackle surging infections.”

The warning of caution comes from the World Health Organisation on the day the US United States recorded a record number of Covid-19 cases for a second day in a row. President-elect Joe Biden is already describing the time ahead as a “dark winter”. The US recorded 235,272 new infections on Friday, the second daily record in a row for the world’s worst-hit nation.

Large-scale public vaccinations are expected to roll out within weeks. But the WHO is warning against ‘vaccine complacency’ saying that exists an erroneous belief that the Covid-19 crisis will be over after people are vaccinated.

WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan, says that not everyone will be able to receive the medicine early next year.

“Vaccination will add a major, powerful tool to the tool kit that we have. But by themselves, they will not do the job. Vaccines do not equal zero Covid.”

The WHO also announced yesterday that 51 candidate vaccines are currently being tested on humans… 13 have reached Phase 3 mass testing and headed towards approval.

Meanwhile in the US, the Centres for Disease Control is now recommending “universal face mask use” indoors for the first time and President-elect says he will “ask all Americans to wear a mask for 100 days”.

Britain became the first Western country to approve a vaccine from the Pfizer/BioNTech candidate, for general use, adding additional pressure for other countries and pharmaceutical giants to swiftly follow suit. Businesses and logistics companies specialising in cold storage and insulating containers are preparing for the Pfizer and BioNTech injection as their vaccine needs to be stored and transported at -70 degrees Celsius.

In the US, Belgium, France and Spain inoculations will begin later this month and January for the most vulnerable, then broader community groups.

In south east Asia, Singapore Airlines will prioritise freight capacity to ship the new vaccines and will conduct test flights soon to trial the transport into south east Asian hubs. The airline says that Boeing 747-400 freighters, and some specially-purposed passenger aircraft, will be ready to boost capacity where needed.

The logistics of a successful vaccine rollout are challenging enough, but the vocal rump of vaccine sceptics, aka. anti-vaxxers, peddling misinformation and mistrust, continue to colour public discourse on the topic. Social media platforms have recently been active in removing much of this misinformation but admit that they will never be able to intervene with all comments.

To counter this President-elect Joe Biden, WHO director-general Tedros and former US presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton, have all said they will be inoculated publicly to help build confidence. Other world leaders are throwing their support behind positive promotions of the new vaccines offering their arms for the first jabs in their countries.

SOURCES: AP | Reuters | WHO

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Chiang Mai man tests positive for Covid-19 after illegal crossing from Myanmar

Maya Taylor

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Chiang Mai man tests positive for Covid-19 after illegal crossing from Myanmar | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Rath

A 32 year old Chiang Mai man who was employed at the now notorious 1G1-7 Hotel in Myanmar has tested positive for Covid-19 after sneaking across the border into Thailand. The man worked as a DJ at the hotel and entertainment complex in Tachileik until he returned to the Kingdom via an illegal crossing at the Chiang Rai border on November 30.

The Pattaya News reports that the man was experiencing symptoms that included loss of smell and a stuffy nose at the time. He checked in to a hotel in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai for one night, then stayed the next night in the Muang district of the city, before travelling to Chiang Mai by motorbike on Wednesday.

On Thursday, he visited Nakornping Hospital to report his symptoms and request a Covid-19 test. Following the positive result, he is now being treated in isolation.

Health officials say the man was alone on his journey from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai. In Chiang Mai, he visited a 7-Eleven and a nearby market to buy takeaway food, which he took back to his hotel room. It’s understood he was wearing a mask the entire time he was outside his room. Chiang Mai Public Health Chief, Chatuchai Maneerat, says only 5 people are believed to have come in contact with the man, and they are considered low-to-very-low risk, but will be tested for the virus.

Meanwhile, officials are calling on those who were at Singha Park in Chiang Rai on November 29 between 7.30pm and 11pm to come forward for testing. Passengers on Nok Air flight DD8717 from Chiang Rai to Bangkok on November 28 and Thai Lion Air flight SL533 from Chiang Rai to Bangkok on November 29 are also being asked to contact their local public health office for advice on self-isolating and to be tested for Covid-19.

Health officials say there is no need for the general public to panic, but that they should continue to follow the usual health measures of mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Covid-infected Thai returnees: Myanmar hotel in the spotlight

Maya Taylor

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Covid-infected Thai returnees: Myanmar hotel in the spotlight | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Coconuts

With the news that at least 10 Covid-infected Thai women working in Myanmar bypassed health checks and quarantine on their return to the Kingdom, all eyes have turned to their place of work. Interest in the 1G1-7 Hotel has grown as a result of a resident in the border town of Tachileik claiming it is used as a centre for prostitution. The luxury, 100 room, 4 storey hotel is only 1.5 kilometres from the border checkpoint in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.

The hotel is operated as a high class brothel for Burmese generals from Yangon and other high-end business men from around Myanmar.

The Bangkok Post reports that it’s been operational for 4 – 5 years and is one of the largest entertainment complexes in Tachileik. According to a local source, its clients are high-end guests, with room rates going from 1,200 baht to 10,000 baht a night. The hotel has a pub, bar, and disco on the ground floor, with over 20 VIP karaoke rooms on the second floor. The cost of hiring a karaoke room ranges from 500 to 2,000 baht an hour.

The hotel is a joint venture between Thai, Burmese, and Chinese investors. It’s understood one investor from China has the largest stake in the entertainment complex.

The venue is reported to have at least 180 Thais working there, with reports that Thai women are very popular with its clientele, who are described by the Tachileik resident as, “fat military generals from Yangon”.

However, with Covid-19 cases escalating in the town, many of the workers fled, sneaking back into Thailand at various points along the porous border, bypassing health checks and quarantine. All returnees have since tested positive for Covid-19 and are now in quarantine, while officials trace hundreds of people who came into contact with them. One of those contacts, a Chiang Rai man, apparently a DJ working in the hotel’s party areas, has also tested positive for the virus.

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