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Phuket proposes to welcome tourists by November

Jack Burton

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Phuket proposes to welcome tourists by November | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Willy Thuan/phuket101.net
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PHOTO: Willy Thuan

Phuket business owners are pressing forward with a proposal to turn around province’s tourism industry by allowing long-stay tourists to resume visits to the southern resort island as early as November. Under the “4T” model put forward at a meeting of the provincial disease control committee, long-stay visitors have been identified as having the best potential to be welcomed. 4T, which stands for Target, Testing, Tracing and Treatment, is designed to balance public health with economic recovery, according to the province’s business community. according to president of the Phuket Tourist Association:

“We should start with a small group of long-stay tourists. Chartered flights will be the answer and we can begin on November 1.”

Under the model, target groups must take a Covid-19 test to ensure they are virus-free before departure. Once they arrive in Phuket, they’ll be tracked to mitigate the risk of transmission while authorities work to ensure public health, preparedness and response.

The president of the Kata Thani Hotel says hotel operators are ready for the proposal, in which visitors will be required to stay at their accommodation for 5 to 14 days before they can go out and explore. He says community health volunteers should be brought in to observe the quarantine process and boost local confidence in disease control measures.

“We shouldn’t let the opportunity go to waste.”

Phuket, whose local economy depends almost entirely on the service sector and tourism, has been one of the provinces hardest hit by the pandemic. Phuket welcomed 14 million tourists last year and tourism revenue was around 400 billion baht. Covid-19 killed the boom: in the first 2 months of the pandemic, the local economy suffered a 20 billion baht loss.

The president of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, says the majority of local people agree with the proposal to open the province, but are concerned about a fresh wave of infections. He noted too that some 500 foreign students are waiting to return.

“We can take it step by step and make Phuket the model.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    August 15, 2020 at 11:29 am

    It will depend on the cost. If the hotels take advantage and charge treble, and the charter flights are $2000, no tourist will arrive.
    The Thais forget other countries in the area want tourist money also, and they will undercut Phuket to have them.

    • Avatar

      Rinky Stingpiece

      August 15, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      Not all Thais are oblivious to this, but true not enough are really switched on about the fatigue with various moneygrabbing behaviours.

  2. Avatar

    David Sanders

    August 15, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    They should include O-A retirement visa holders who got stuck outside of Thailand.

  3. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    August 15, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    There needs to be some sort of flight + hotel package deal that’s financially attractive to interested tourists. I like other places too and can just as easily see what other options are available and go there.

  4. Avatar

    HongKong er

    August 15, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Cost of air ticket, hotel and time, money on virus check before departure.
    Plus 5 to 14 days stay on hotel, jail on hotel room, who will think that is holiday and who will go Thai on this situation?
    Thai government is too optimistic.

  5. Avatar

    Robert

    August 15, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Can your Thai girlfriend from elsewhere in Thailand join you.?

  6. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    August 15, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    The idea is unclear… 5 days or 14 days quarantine in the hotel?
    You do not sell something so vague… what is not vague is the 400 billion THB that Phuket is not collecting on a yearly basis.
    Expect massive number of bankrupties when the debt moratorium expires next October 1st!
    Something serious and credible must happen or the country will have to bail out the tourism sector at an unbelievable cost!

  7. Avatar

    Chris johansen

    August 15, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    No one is going to come when confined to your hotel for 14 days. They must be joking.
    I myself have family and house in Bangkok and want to return to see/stay with my family. Lived in Thailand for 20 years, but going to cost $2K us to quarantine at a hotel. Why can’t I quarantine at my house?

  8. Avatar

    Ron

    August 16, 2020 at 6:29 am

    Well I mean if it isn’t too much trouble. I mean I wouldn’t want to put anybody out. FOOLS

  9. Avatar

    Chich

    August 16, 2020 at 8:47 am

    November? Government wants to kill us to death, this is not even help.

  10. Avatar

    Michael

    August 16, 2020 at 9:24 am

    The biggest issue to entry as I understand it is the required insurance. So far I have been getting quotes between 40,000 – 50,000 baht for one year Covid insurance. This is only viable for long stay and even then is a massive hit when one is already paying insurance outside of Thailand.

  11. Avatar

    james

    August 16, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Over the last few years, there have been fewer and fewer Western farangs here on holiday, the vast majority of tourists are now (pre Virus of course) from China followed by the surrounding countries such as Malaysia, Korea etc.

    Many Western-style restaurants have closed down and massive new market type open-air eating areas have replaced them which are used by the tourists from China etc.

    The good news is many of the seedy areas (bars etc) have also closed down due to lack of requirements as Chineses tourists do not use them, that is a good outcome.

    Most of the farangs in Phuket now live here, they do not spend much compared to the tourists of course as many are on pensions.

  12. Avatar

    Ron

    August 18, 2020 at 8:57 am

    Apply a 100-300 baht insurance surcharge to every arrival, even Thais, to be put into an insurance scheme to pay for any Covid health issues.

  13. Avatar

    bura

    August 22, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Does Thailand want tourists?
    Must go back to 30 years ago!
    affordable cost of holidays.
    . Airfare ~ 500 usd R / Trip (by THAI AIRWAYS and BKK AIR)
    . devaluation of the currency around 50 / 55thb x usd.
    . hotel prices -50%
    . and the most important 3 months visa upon arrival FREE as a possible renewal of another 3 months.
    . medical certificate issued on departure by government officials
    . monitoring and testing from non-private government hospitals (crazy price), Wachira or PPH, all FREE.

    The Gov proposal are a nonsense… better another lockdown

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Business

Thai Vietjet introduce new “Deluxe” product for domestic routes in Thailand

Maya Taylor

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Thai Vietjet introduce new “Deluxe” product for domestic routes in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.vietjetair.com

Thai Vietjet, which currently operates 13 domestic routes within Thailand, is launching a new “Deluxe” product, starting from 999 baht. The “Deluxe” tickets will include 7 kilos of carry-on and 20 kilos of checked luggage (currently an additional charge), as well as seat selection and priority check-in. Date, route and flight changes are also permitted 1 time, free of charge.

Deluxe fares are available for travel between October 6 and December 31, excluding public holidays, on all domestic routes operated by the carrier. The 999 baht price tag does not include taxes and fees. Thai Vietjet is adding a number of new routes to its current network, including Chiang Rai to Hat Yai from November 1, and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Hat Yai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ubon Ratchathani, and Surat Thani from November 4.

The airline’s full network of domestic routes can be viewed at www.vietjetair.com. It also operates a number of international routes between Thailand and Vietnam and between Thailand and China, but not at the moment.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Economy

Vietnam’s booming manufacturing sector reduced to a trickle as world pandemic kills demand

The Thaiger

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Vietnam’s booming manufacturing sector reduced to a trickle as world pandemic kills demand | The Thaiger

Vietnamese finance officials are downgrading expectations for a recovery of the south east Asian nation’s economy in 2021. The normally fast-growing gross domestic product in 2020 has stalled due to a huge drop in local and global demand, and the absence of international tourism. The booming economy, growing at an average of 6% per year since 2012, will struggle to reach a growth rate of 2% this year.

Fuelled by manufactured exports, the Vietnam economy has dropped back to a trickle. The Asian Development Bank estimates that this year’s GDP growth could be as low as 1.8%. The Vietnamese factories, that usually crank out shoes, garments, furniture and cheap electronics, are seeing dropping demand as the world’s consumer confidence drops dramatically.

Stay-at-home rules in Europe and America are keeping are keeping people away from retail stores. And despite the acceleration of online retail, many of the consumers are emerging from the Covid Spring and Summer with vastly reduced spending power.

The headaches of 2020 are also challenging Vietnam to maintain its reputation as south east Asia’s manufacturing hotspot. Rising costs and xenophobic foreign policy have put China ‘on the nose’ with some governments, complicating factory work in China, whilst other south east Asian countries lack infrastructure and are incurring higher wage costs.

One Vietnamese factory operated by Taiwan-based Pou Chen Group, which produces footwear for top international brands, has laid off 150 workers earlier this year. There are hundreds more examples of the impact of falling demand in the bustling Vietnamese manufacturing economy.

Vietnam’s border closure is also preventing investors from making trips, setting up meetings and pushing projects forward. Those projects in turn create jobs, fostering Vietnam’s growing middle class. Tourism has also been badly affected by the restrictions on travel. “International tourism is dead,” says Jack Nguyen, a partner at Mazars in Ho Chi Minh City.

“Inbound tourism usually makes up 6% of the economy.”

“Things will only pick up only when the borders are open and there’s no quarantine requirements. Who knows when that’s going to be.”

A mid-year COVID-19 outbreak in the coastal resort city Danang followed by the start of the school year has reduced domestic travel, analysts say. Some of the country’s hotels are up for sale as a result.

“Recovery could take 4 years.”

The Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment is now warning that global post-pandemic recovery could take as long as 4 years, perhaps more.

Not that foreign investors in the country are pulling out. Indeed, many are tainge a long-term view that Vietnam’s underlying strengths will outlive Covid-19. Vietnam reports just 1,069 coronavirus cases overall.

SOURCE: VOA News

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Thailand

Thai Air Asia returns to Suvarnabhumi in addition to its Don Mueang hub

The Thaiger

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Thai Air Asia returns to Suvarnabhumi in addition to its Don Mueang hub | The Thaiger

Thai AirAsia is spreading its Bangkok wings and opening up a secondary hub at the main Suvarnabhumi airport (BKK), to help broaden its attraction and bolster its bottomline. Thai Air Asia was the first airline to head back to the moth-balled Don Mueang in 2012 to re-establish the older airport after all the airlines moved across to the new Suvarnabhumi and discount airlines were seeking a lower-cost base.

Although Thai Air Asia carried 22.15 million passengers last year, this year’s total will fall a long way short, just 6 million for 2020 up to date. Under the new set up, Thai AirAsia will have resumed nearly 90% of its pre-Covid domestic services, a total of 109 daily flights to 39 destinations. There will be 97 flights from Don Mueang Airport and 12 from Suvarnabhumi Airport.

With only a handful of international traffic, Suvarnabhumi officials are keen to re-kindle revenue for the massive airport and have struck a deal with Thai Air Asia to trial operations from BKK. They will be the only domestic carrier to operate flights from the two airports.

If the 2 month trial at Suvarnabhumi is successful, Thai AirAsia plans to add another plane to the BKK fleet by the end of the year. At this stage the trial is only approved up to the end of November.

Thai Air Asia have been concentrating on their ‘bus’ model to ferry passengers from the terminals to their aircraft waiting on remote airport aprons, and visa versa, to avoid some of the landing charges and using the sky-bridges. Some passengers have been complaining about the long trips in crowded buses, wild rides and over-enthusiastic air conditioning, whilst being told to strictly adhere to social distancing.

This week the Malaysian parent company Air Asia, announced the introduction of a ‘super app’, in an attempt to off-set the significant financial losses brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The mobile application shuffles Air Asia’s model as a flight and accommodation provider, to a broader platform of complimentary services. The app will offer users a variety of options, including digital payment services, delivery services, and an e-commerce platform. Air Asia Chief Executive and founder, Tony Fernandes, says the idea for the app was floated prior to the pandemic, but Covid-19 hastened its development.

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