Coronavirus (Covid-19)ThailandTourism

Test & Go suspension results in mass cancellations for remainder of high season

PHOTO: Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s high season looks to be over already, with tourism operators reporting a surge in cancellations and plummeting hotel occupancy. The development follows the government’s decision to suspend the Test & Go entry scheme amid concerns about the highly-contagious Omicron variant, which is rapidly spreading around the world.

The Bangkok Post reports that tourism operators are reporting a rise in cancellations as a result of the decision. Pongsakorn Ketprapakorn from the Tourism Council of Phang Nga says around 60% of the province’s January bookings, at 36 hotels, have been cancelled. He says hotel losses already run to more than 100 million baht as a result. He says it’s vital the sandbox scheme, which is currently limited to Phuket only, be extended to other tourist provinces.

“If more sandbox areas cannot be opened during the suspension of Test & Go, we might lose the high season opportunity and have to wait until the end of the year.”

In Krabi, Charintip Tiyaphorn from the provincial tourism council says bookings have plummeted as a result of the Test & Go suspension and the global surge in Omicron cases. Average occupancy at Krabi hotels hovers at just 20% and she fears more cancellations will follow if the province is not allowed to resume operating its sandbox scheme.

The Bangkok Post reports that Krabi hotels fear a return to single-digit occupancy, as was the case prior to the country’s much-hyped re-opening in November. Charintip says occupancy for February and March is currently between 35 and 40%, but says there may be no new bookings in the next 2 months if Test & Go doesn’t resume.

Meanwhile, in the east of the country, Phisut Sae-Khu from the Thai Hotels Association says tourists should still be allowed to pre-register under the Test & Go system and obtain their Thailand Pass for a future date, even if they can’t currently enter under the scheme at the moment. He says this would at least allow people to book future trips and arrive when the Covid-19 situation is under control.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.