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Surveys show Thailand still one of the top holiday choices post-pandemic



PHOTO: Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The Stockholm office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand has conducted a survey in which 62% of respondents say they want to spend winter in Thailand provided restrictions are lifted. The top destinations are Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak, followed by Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao, Bangkok, and Hua Hin.

68% say they would cancel bookings if the 14-day quarantine remains in place. 26% say they would still go ahead, and 13% said they’d be in favour of quarantine being cut to 10 days. 99% of participants say they would be worried about testing positive for Covid-19 after travel plans have been made.

Meanwhile, the TAT’s London office has also been busy, carrying out a survey in conjunction with market research firm, YouGov. The idea behind the survey was to get an idea of the future of tourism once the pandemic is over.

4,127 people took part, with 75% of them saying they’re prepared to be vaccinated if it’s required for travel. 41% are against mandatory quarantine, although 52% would accept a 5-day quarantine. 62% of those planning holidays are over the age of 50 and interested in countries with low infection rates.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot from the TAT says the findings of the survey indicate that up to 6 million people are interested in travelling to Thailand at some point this year.

Meanwhile, a number of online travel agency platforms in France have also carried out a survey. The poll, conducted by companies such as Go Voy, Opodo, and eDreams, showed that the number of hits to tourism-related websites rose by 15% once the success of Covid-19 vaccines was announced. The top destinations searched for were Dubai at 49%, Marrakesh at 27%, and Bangkok at 25%.

Another travel survey in the Americas found that most holidaymakers have chosen to postpone their trips by 7 months to a year, rather than cancelling completely. Siripakorn says that booking flexibility is a priority for Americans.

“Flexibility to reschedule is the top priority for American tourists, followed by safety. These tourists are looking for safety, no quarantine, flexibility, and no deposit.”

Meanwhile, a report issued by Skift Research shows that travel will not recover until 2023 and will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Ben

    Friday, February 26, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    Thailand’s many wonders still exist. The food, people, massages and beaches at a reasonable price compared to the west with a higher service level at the finest establishments.

    Yes many hotels, tour operators and restaurants have closed and will not reopen but there will be new green shoots just like in any regeneration. There are still many restaurants, bars and hotels for the visitor that are fabulous. The doom sayers are wrong about everything dying and not coming back.

    I’ve mentioned that stock markets have boomed around the world in the past year and there’s a lot of money sloshing around ready to be spent. The pent up demand is tremendous. In the USA people will likely stay domestic initially with a lot of visitors going to Las Vegas and Orlando. I personally have trips planned to these and more domestic vacation spots in 2021.

    After receiving my second Pfizer shot soon I’ll be traveling to Thailand shortly thereafter. The low COVID levels in the country coupled with the protection I’ll have is the underpinning of a relaxing few months. I’ll comply with Thailand’s mask mandates and other protective measures and do what the locals do. Although some have said we’re back to normal in the USA let me assure you we are far from back to normal. I hope when I return in early summer that the country will have come out of hibernation.

    Thailand can do some things to help bring back tourists:

    -Vaccinate its population as quickly as possible.
    -Keep its COVID levels as minimal as possible. People like me who are coming overseas really want as safe a place as possible to come too.
    -Streamline the bureaucracy. The amount of paperwork and requirements I had to meet to come to Thailand was overwhelming and some of it was unnecessary duplication. Should you have to generate 10 pieces of paper to go visit a country? Do you really need to follow me around? Maybe a 60 day visa on arrival that’s extendable?
    -Figure out how to eliminate/shorten the quarantine as soon as possible without compromising safety.
    -Make everything fully refundable if something happens due to no fault of the traveler.
    -Test all travelers before departure including Thai nationals. People want safety and don’t want to catch COVID on the plane ride over.

    I’m optimistic 2022 will bring millions of tourists back to Thailand. 2021 not so much and only the heartiest will come, but once here, will enjoy the fruits. The bars open March 1st in Bangkok!

  2. Toby Andrews

    Friday, February 26, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    Ben sums it up.
    Personally I am bitter.
    I lost a flight home because Thailand closed outward flights.
    I have a safety deposit box in Thailand and a storage unit.
    I have to pay for these every month.
    If I want to return to Thailand I have to use an agent to book a quarantine.
    I have to use an agent because the agent pays the authorities bribes.
    The Thailand authorities do not need an agent, but they insist on them to collect kick backs.
    The whole rotten racket is in force so peasants in uniform can make money.
    When I can get in to Thailand I will clear up, and never return.

  3. Issan John

    Friday, February 26, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    The only thing that surprises me is that 26% of those in Stockholm said they’d still come for a holiday even with a 14 day quarantine.

  4. Issan John

    Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 12:04 am

    I agree Ben “sums it up”, Toby, but his view’s very different to yours.

    FWIW, you do NOT “have to use an agent to book a quarantine” at all – only for an STV if you want an STV.

    You can book your quarantine yourself – everyone else talking about it here has.

    Your “safety deposit box in Thailand and a storage unit”? – your choice, you could have closed them before scuttling off to Cambodia, or asked a friend to send the contents on – if you had any friends, that is.

    Your cancelled flight? – you could always have flown from Cambodia if they were open instead.

    But, yes, obviously you’re “bitter”.

  5. EdwardV

    Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 12:37 am

    I’ve found many people show interest and are willing to verbally commit, but follow through is often lacking. If 26% of people from Stockholm were truly willing to visit and willing do a 14 day quarantine, there would be a lot more of them in Thailand right now. Even so I do think there is a lot of interest and many of us do plan to visit right away. I just think the interest is softer than tourist agencies are hoping. Many are and will be afraid to travel for awhile, it’s going to take years to get even close to 2019 numbers.

  6. Digby Strong

    Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 6:27 am

    Maybe another survey question for TAT:
    -would you still want to come to Thailand, with no quarantine, knowing you could still be carrying the virus, and that 70% of Thais won’t be vaccinated until the end of 2022?
    We nwed maybe only another 2-3 months (maybe less, with Pfizer’s latest results) until scientists have enough data to determine what percentage of those vaccinated (2 doses) are still at risk of transmitting the virus. Yes, Thai business is desperate, but if the aim is for winter tourists, why jump the gun, and nullify the long wait..?

  7. Ted

    Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Totally agree with you Edward, as my sister said to my a couple of months ago; the major hassle is not to be ‘stranded’ in Europe, with husband and 3 kids [it is] not be able to plan, and book, a couple weeks overseas trip [with any confidence] these days.

    So that’s probably where you get the 26% from, ‘dream-travelers’.

  8. Andy W

    Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 10:52 am

    I could create a set of survey questions that would result in a high portion of participants saying they’d want to visit Syria.
    Obviously the premise would be that the country had more than just stabilised, but without knowing the questions the survey is irrelevant.
    In response to a previous comment, there are an awful lot of people in financial hardship at the moment and many will still be there in 3-4 years time. Mass tourism will not return around the globe for a few years after this is finished.
    Add to this the high taxation that every country will have to impose on their citizens in an effort to reduce the national debt which has exploded over the last year, and I think you’re being over optimistic to believe anywhere will boom tourism-wise for a few years ahead.

  9. Toby Andrews

    Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    Yes I’m a bitter critter John.
    The Thai agents that used to arrange these quarantines, have now gone, as has the rule for only using Thai insurance.
    But I see the scam of stretching the 14 days quarantine to 16 is still there.
    A major concern for any going into quarantine should be that they will declare fraudulently the foreigner infected, and then whisk aforesaid foreigner to hospital.
    Where they will perform an emergency operation to remove large amounts of money from the foreigner’s bank account.
    There seems no guard against this.
    I doubt a second opinion would be allowed, and if it is it will be by another Thai.
    Now about why did I not fly direct to the UK from Cambodia? Well, the fares were over a £1000 one way, and I still had hopes that Thailand would open the borders.
    Here in Cambodia, there are some rules against contracting Covid, but they are small.
    My main complaint is being a tall chap, I keep hitting my head against the pineapples growing in the trees.
    And here is a word of warning.
    Never sit at a table in a bar with a tablecloth that reaches the floor, as soon as you raise your beer to your mouth you will feel the young girl under the table unzipping your flies!
    Most distracting when a fellow is trying to watch Liverpool play Tottenham!

  10. Andy W

    Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    It’s correct that anyone and everyone that tests positive for the virus in Thailand gets hospitalised, however any Farang entering must have covid insurance so they’re extracting the money from the insurance company

  11. Issan John

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 1:02 am

    “A major concern for any going into quarantine should be that they will declare fraudulently the foreigner infected, and then whisk aforesaid foreigner to hospital etc”.

    Not a concern for anyone with a working brain cell, Toby.

    The test swabs are taken by nurses / technicians contracted by the ASQ / ALSQ hotels, then sent to one of over 250 government test labs, and anyone testing positive then goes to the hospital of their / their insurers’ choice.

    The idea that all three could somehow be connected to profit from a false positive is way beyond absurd.

  12. Mr cynic

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 3:39 am

    If you have ever spent a winter in scandinavia you will completely understand why so many people in stockholm said they would happily go to thailand with quarantine.
    They would say yes to going just about anywhere where it is warm and they sell booze.

  13. EdwardV

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 4:33 am

    Granted but Scandinavians can already come to Thailand, have been able to since December (October if you count the STV). All they had to do is quarantine and yet it didn’t happen.

  14. Toby Andrews

    Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 10:23 am

    I John, every quarantine hotel is linked to a hospital. That hospital is where the test are analyzed.
    The idea that all the tests go to one of 250 government test labs is beyond absurd.
    I have just read this: “during quarantine two or three covid-19 tests will be conducted on the property by partner hospitals”
    So where did you find all the tests go to one of 250 government test labs?
    Was it the Thais are never to blame website?

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