Connect with us

Tourism

Plan on the table to allow Europe’s ‘snowbirds’ into Thailand for up to 9 months

Thaiger

Published 

 on 

Plan on the table to allow Europe’s ‘snowbirds’ into Thailand for up to 9 months | Thaiger

Another day, another ‘plan’ flown up the pole to see if it will catch some wind. This time a prominent health provider claims the government is developing a new ‘visa’ for sunseekers. If adopted it could allow foreigners to stay in Thailand on a long-stay visa for up to 9 months. Nothing has been finalised as yet but Boon Vanasin, the chairman of Thonburi Healthcare Group, says the special visa would help reboot the country’s devastated tourism industry.

Although Thailand has allowed domestic travel, and provided stimulus packages to encourage Thais to travel, there is currently no plan in place to allow foreign tourists back into the country.

Thonburi Healthcare Group is the country’s third largest private hospital firm, which runs hospitals and retirement homes.

In this development of the original “Phuket Plan”, long-term visitors would start their ‘holiday’ with the mandatory 14 day quarantine, plus testing, in Phuket. Then they’d be clear to roam around the island for their third week. After 3 weeks on the island the visitors would be free to travel to other parts of Thailand. Dr Boon says he has “direct knowledge of the government’s plan”. He said members of the government were keen to start the program before the northern winter kicks in.

Dr. Boon has good reason to hope the government plan is approved – around 90% of the Thonburi Healthcare Group’s customers before the Covid-19 border closures were international.

The ‘longer’ short-term visa would offer a partial lease of life to the country’s tourism and hospitality industries – both almost obliterated after 5 months without any foreign visitors. Thailand, which last year attracted nearly 40 million foreign visits, has attracted zero tourists since the borders were closed in early April. Tourist magnets like Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui have watched their economies almost vanish despite the government’s best efforts to promote domestic tourism.

The new plan being studied in Thailand would, in theory, make it possible for millions of ‘snowbirds’ from Europe’s northern climates, who usually spend their winters in warmer Mediterranean and Caribbean climates, to look at “safe” Thailand as an alternative this year.

Dr. Boon claimed his company had been contacted by European retirement communities that could realise up to 50,000 seniors heading to Thailand for the coming northern winter. He says the government should target the retirees and high-income earners who could value-add during the visit to the country.

“Many seniors don’t want to spend their time in a cold harsh winter. They want tropical weather.”

Thai Airways International said it would operate at least two such flights a month starting in late November to connect Phuket with countries including Denmark, Germany and the UK.

But it’s unclear if the government either intends to allow so many foreigners into Thailand at this stage, or even if they have the capacity to handle the numbers safely and ensure that registered hotels are able to track the guests. The week the CCSA announced they were considering plans to lift the border gate to allow long-stay visitors and foreigners who own property in Thailand. But they acknowledged that this would only be “hundreds” of people and not solve the country’s tourism woes.

More than 6.7 million Europeans visited Thailand in 2019 , contributing some 461 billion baht to the economy. The European contingent made up 17% of Thailand’s total foreign visits and 24% of foreign spending. The expedition to places like Phuket and Koh Samui became a regular ‘winter’ break lasting 2 weeks to several months for the Northern European visitors.

Plan on the table to allow Europe's 'snowbirds' into Thailand for up to 9 months | News by Thaiger

The Thai PM has acknowledged the parlous situation for the country’s tourism destinations and the millions of people that are not only unemployed but now running out of savings as well. Whilst there appears to be some urgency to officially announce some sort of pilot scheme, no firm details have been announced about any of these travel bubble or limited-access plans.

HERE‘s all the latest FAQs about coming back into Thailand.

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    All about $.

  2. Avatar

    barry

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Interesting – why not offer foreigners currently in Thailand, who want to stay there and have the means to the chance of getting such a visa?

    At the moment all such people in Thailand are scrambling and paying up to 70,000 THB to try to get onto non-O and non-ED visas, which is distorting their original purpose since the main motivation is simply to stay in Thailand and paralegal since there has been no clear indication from the Thai government of allowing such onshore changes.

    – Why not also create a paying longterm visa (6 months?) like Indonesia’s B211 Social Visa, allowing people to renew for a 6 month stay.

    • Avatar

      Nu

      Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      Paying 70k for non O visa. Hahaha that’s a really false information.
      Is only 1900 bath for 1 year. Do I miss the catch here? By the way if you
      50 years old you can apply and get one year visa for 1900 bath. If you need
      Help will free to comments here I’ll help you .

      • Avatar

        barry

        Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 10:31 am

        No, not false, it’s what the agents are charging Nu – Look into it.
        Why do people need to use agents rather than go directly to immigration you might ask? Simply because there has been no official amendment to immigration legislation, unlike in Indonesia, for example, to simplify onshore applications. Which means that it is still impossible in quite a few cases.

        The non-O I’m refering to is not a retirement visa, but a non-O volunteer visa, which, along with the non-ED, is what agents are selling to tourists and others foreigner in Thailand who want to stay in the country by getting on a long-stay visa.

        In my case and my wifes,. we’re under 50, and were on a non-B work visa, now expired, like our work permits.
        I would like to stay a few months more in Thailand rather than go back to my passport country in winter given the dire situation there, not work, just a long snowbird holiday if you like.

        Agents are quoting a average of 15000 THB just to get such a visa change processed, which is absolutely grey area and not garanteed since you can’t officially change from non-B to another long stay visa in the country, unfortunately. The only official amendments have been to allow in-country change from tourist to non-B for teaching positions, which is quite specific.

        Now if I was in Indonesia (where I was supposed to be working since May if it wasn’t for the pandemic), similarly on an expired KITAS (+ work+ stay permit), implemented regulation changes would have allowed me to apply for a onshore social visa, valid for up to 6 months (potentially more in the current situation).

        This visa is a long stay with “no strings attached”, ie you do not have to be working, retired, taking a course or volunteering. Tourists can of course also apply for this social budaya 211 visa, and this is all because of the pandemic.

        I wish Thailand would let people who want to stay here during this worldwide pandemic, and have the means to do so, a real working option to apply for a 100% legal visa, rather than grey area arrangements through agents like non-ED or non-O volunteer…

        hope this clarifies the point I was making.

      • Avatar

        barry

        Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 10:33 am

        No, not false, it’s what the agents are charging Nu – Look into it. H
        Why do people need to use agents rather than go directly to immigration you might ask? Simply because there has been no official amendment to immigration legislation, unlike in Indonesia, for example, to simplify onshore applications. Which means that it is still impossible in quite a few cases. This is the catch you’re missing.

        The non-O I’m refering to is not a retirement visa, but a non-O volunteer visa, which, along with the non-ED, is what agents are selling to tourists and others foreigner in Thailand who want to stay in the country by getting on a long-stay visa.

        In my case and my wifes,. we’re under 50, and were on a non-B work visa, now expired, like our work permits.
        I would like to stay a few months more in Thailand rather than go back to my passport country in winter given the dire situation there, not work, just a long snowbird holiday if you like.

        Agents are quoting a average of 15000 THB just to get such a visa change processed, which is absolutely grey area and not garanteed since you can’t officially change from non-B to another long stay visa in the country, unfortunately. The only official amendments have been to allow in-country change from tourist to non-B for teaching positions, which is quite specific.

        Now if I was in Indonesia (where I was supposed to be working since May if it wasn’t for the pandemic), similarly on an expired KITAS (+ work+ stay permit), implemented regulation changes would have allowed me to apply for a onshore social visa, valid for up to 6 months (potentially more in the current situation).

        This visa is a long stay with “no strings attached”, ie you do not have to be working, retired, taking a course or volunteering. Tourists can of course also apply for this social budaya 211 visa, and this is all because of the pandemic.

        I wish Thailand would let people who want to stay here during this worldwide pandemic, and have the means to do so, a real working option to apply for a 100% legal visa, rather than grey area arrangements through agents like non-ED or non-O volunteer…

        hope this clarifies the point I was making.

      • Avatar

        Gabby

        Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 6:41 pm

        How’s that? Are you talking about a retiree visa?

        • Avatar

          barry

          Monday, August 31, 2020 at 7:36 pm

          No Gabby, not a retiree visa as I’m under 50 – Non-ED or Non-O Volunteer is what the agents are offering for somewhat grey-area onshore “conversions”

      • Avatar

        TS

        Monday, August 31, 2020 at 8:26 am

        Stuckees are paying agents up to 20-70k to TRY and get non-Os. Yes marriage & retirement visas are supposedly 1,900 legally @ immigration. But one needs to get the non-O first-OUTSIDE Thailand. As is stands now, nearly impossible to get back in. Now you know the catch

  3. Avatar

    Nu

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    And ? Is that wrong? Expected and thinking to generate income to our own country?
    Why ppl working or simple why are you choose to stay in Thailand? I think is all about $
    55555 .. very funny !

  4. Avatar

    Over it

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Yes, but I’m on my yacht stuck in Indonesia with my Thai partner,0 totally isolated virus free and we still can’t come home?

  5. Avatar

    murika

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    so anyone will be able to stay for 9 month at a time on equivalent of a tourist visa, meanwhile people with thai family or people who work legally in Thailand have to provide tons of documents and a gestapo interrogation in order to stay a year ! with a year worth of salary stuck in the bank and need to provide a TM30 form for every movements, all they want is spending tourist and no expat, i will from now on travel 3 month a year then come to my home in thailand on a 9 month tourist visa, witch mean no tax payment to the thais and no more difficult visa to do…

  6. Avatar

    Thomas

    Saturday, August 29, 2020 at 7:58 pm

    Where can I buy some of the stuff they are all smoking? They talk so long about the medicine to prescribe to the patient, that the patient will be dead by the time the decision is finalized.

  7. Avatar

    Dirty farang

    Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 12:32 am

    Thai bye bye…

  8. Avatar

    rinky stingpiece

    Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    The whole Thai visa situation is so much in need of reform. We need to see reciprocal right to work and start business and indefinite leave to remain for British spouses of Thais just like Thais enjoy in Britain. People will spend and invest far more in Thailand if it’s cheap and easy to stay longer, stop milking farang for money with bureaucracy and offer something worth buying, and benefit from what farang can offer thailand.

  9. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    Yes as the post states: they are running a new plan up the flagpole to see it will catch some wind.
    But it is just wind – the plan I mean

    • Avatar

      TS

      Monday, August 31, 2020 at 8:30 am

      Throwing s#@* at the wall to see if it sticks. But its still a load of s

  10. Avatar

    liam

    Sunday, August 30, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    You can die of covid, but you can’t live without work and freedom.

    must change the visa procedure , for each month you pay 1500 bath up to 6 months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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

Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Tim Newton

Published

on

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Education

Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation”

Avatar

Published

on

Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation” | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Student protests led to one student not graduating due to being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”

After participating in protests for student’s rights, a Phuket student was barred from graduating 9th grade, moving from middle school to high school, charged with being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”. The student had advocated against mandatory uniforms and for student’s liberties. He told reporters that the school started paying attention to his actions last year when he participated in rallies in solidarity with students across Thailand. The school’s student affairs office received a copy of posts he made on social media encouraging others to join the cause. The school ordered a stop to his political actions, but he and his friends disregarded warnings and violated school rules when they handed out white ribbons to classmates. They received a warning from the student affairs office.

Student protests have increased after pro-democracy demonstrations surged in July last year, empowering many Thai people to speak out against injustices, including students’ rights and liberties. People from schools across the nation have been banding together in solidarity to bring their issues to public light.

On graduation day, all the students were promoted into high school, except for the one student protestor, says the Bad Student protest group. The theme of the day focused on dedication to the monarchy, country and religion, and specifically how students should be obedient. The student said he has received support from friends, but his parents remain neutral and his teachers have been completely silent on the matter. He is frustrated that he was punished for his right to express himself. He plans on testing with incoming students to re-enrol in the same school, and if he is not accepted because of the disloyalty charge, he will pursue legal ramifications, suing the school for blocking his right to an education over the student’s protests.

The student believes he needs to speak out to prevent school administrators from imposing on more students’ rights. He advocates for diversity in schools and ending prejudices, with increased liberties and freedoms for students.

“Schools must teach children to be able to think by themselves, not force children to think like them. Schools should create opportunities for students to express their ideas more freely.”

SOURCE: Prachatai

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket

Avatar

Published

on

16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket | Thaiger
iTrip.com

Phuket is reporting 16 more infections today. It follows visits from Bangkok and last weekend’s Kolour Beachside parties that have resulted in a number of new Covid infections. The number of new infections has reached 26. But deputy governor Vikrom Jakthee says the province has been successful in containing the new outbreak “due to its quick response measures which now include shuttering bars and nightlife venues.

One of the confirmed cases is a male teacher from Headstart International School in Kathu who, after attending the parties on the weekend, was back teaching students on Monday and Tuesday. The school has sent a letter to all parents advising them of the situation and organising testing for anyone who may have come in contact with the teacher.

The closure order in Phuket comes just as the island province was expecting to get an influx of visitors for Songkran, the Thai New Year. Many bar and club owners were expecting some increased traffic during the holiday week. Phuket officials say they will explain to bar and club owners why they decided to close the venues during the critical week for business.

Vikrom previously cited the start of the island’s Covid vaccine roll-out of Covid starting to head towards a herd immunity in time for the province’s proposed July reopening to international tourists. But he admitted that the sudden appearance of the coronavirus on the island again will force officials to reevaluate the schedule for reopening. He also said that almost all cases were in younger age groups of people in their 20s and 30s.

“Today, the number of infected people reported in Phuket has reached 26, many are from entertainment venues. This figure is relatively high. It jumped from 10 to 26 cases. We will invite operators of entertainment places in for discussions.”

Partygoers who went to any of the Kolour Beachside parties in Phuket last weekend are being asked to visit a local hospital for a Covid test. The parties hosted more than 3,000 people, drawing concern after a musician tested positive for Covid-19, having attended all 3 parties. The Phuket Provincial Government and Phuket Provincial Public Health Office released a statement yesterday advising all partygoers to get tested.

“Those who attended the Kolour parties from April 2 to 3 at Shelter Phuket Dance & Night Club in Patong, Cafe Del Mar Phuket in Kamala and Illuzion nightclub on Bangla Road in Patong are asked to get tested.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger
Chiang Mai12 hours ago

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Thailand News Today | Bangkok nightspot Covid clusters, Tesco/CP merger goes to court | April 5 | Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok nightspot Covid clusters, Tesco/CP merger goes to court | April 5

10 rebel groups in Myanmar throw their support behind anti-coup protesters | VIDEO | Thaiger
Myanmar7 days ago

10 rebel groups in Myanmar throw their support behind anti-coup protesters | VIDEO

Thai Airways cuts another 4,250 staff, offering them early retirement | Thaiger
Transport14 hours ago

Thai Airways cuts another 4,250 staff, offering them early retirement

Firefighters’ bodies retrieved, 100,000 baht to families | Thaiger
Hot News6 days ago

Firefighters’ bodies retrieved, 100,000 baht to families

Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay | Thaiger
Crime3 days ago

Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay

Weekend party event in Phuket reports positive Covid attendee | Thaiger
Events4 days ago

Weekend party event in Phuket reports positive Covid attendee

Labour union angry over changes to Thai Airways staff contracts under rehab plan | Thaiger
Business5 days ago

Labour union angry over changes to Thai Airways staff contracts under rehab plan

Nightlife shut down in 3 Bangkok districts following rise in Covid numbers | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

Nightlife shut down in 3 Bangkok districts following rise in Covid numbers

Some Bangkok international schools close following rise of Covid-19 cases in the area | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

Some Bangkok international schools close following rise of Covid-19 cases in the area

Police chief orders staff to work from home after 42 officers test positive | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 days ago

Police chief orders staff to work from home after 42 officers test positive

Bangkok prepares to open field hospital as officials warn of a rapid rise in infections | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 days ago

Bangkok prepares to open field hospital as officials warn of a rapid rise in infections

CCSA Update: 194 new Covid-19 cases, outbreak at Narathiwat prison | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

CCSA Update: 194 new Covid-19 cases, outbreak at Narathiwat prison

Thailand allows entry to 11 groups of travellers, cuts quarantine down for those vaccinated | Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand allows entry to 11 groups of travellers, cuts quarantine down for those vaccinated

Leading Thai virologist warns of third wave, says herd immunity will take 2 years at current vaccination rate | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 days ago

Leading Thai virologist warns of third wave, says herd immunity will take 2 years at current vaccination rate

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

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

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism1 month ago

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

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | Thaiger
Phuket1 month ago

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

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

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

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

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

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow Thaiger by email:

Trending