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Thai government promises more long weekends in 2021, travel bubbles after April

Maya Taylor

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In a bid to further boost domestic tourism, the Thai government plans to create more holidays in 2021, as well as introducing travel bubbles after April. The Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, says every month in the coming year could have a long weekend, as homegrown tourists continue to be the main focus for at least the first quarter of 2021.

In addition, 1 million room nights will be added to the domestic travel stimulus scheme, which the government at one point had threatened to cancel, amid reports it was being abused. Furthermore, the Cabinet will meet on December 29 to discuss a new stimulus campaign for travellers aged 55 and over. The 5-billion baht scheme is aimed at helping struggling tour operators.

Despite all the stimulus measures aimed at the homegrown market, Phiphat admits international holidaymakers are still vital to the survival of Thai tourism. However, he says planning for their return has to wait right now, until the resurgence of Covid-19 in the Kingdom is brought under control.

“The ministry wants the private sector to think about possible plans for foreign tourists that could be implemented next year after Thailand controls the recent outbreak. I believe we still have a chance to see a beautiful year ahead.”

He adds that after the first quarter of 2021, the government may reinstate talks on travel bubble arrangements with other countries. While 56 countries can enter Thailand on a “visa exempt” basis, the mandatory 14-day quarantine remains the biggest barrier to reviving tourism in the country. Phiphat says that following requests from many hotels in different parts of Thailand, he will submit an “area quarantine” proposal to the government’s Covid-19 task force in early 2021.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Alte Ledertasche

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 9:49 am

    Wondering how the threat to inteoduce a lockdown in March complies with the promis of travel bubbles in April..LOL

    • Avatar

      lootarzoon

      Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 10:13 am

      Bla, bla as usual, next decision ?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 10:54 am

      There do seem to be some serious left hand / right hand differences 🙂

      • Avatar

        Peter

        Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 2:27 pm

        Even John can’t defend the stupidity, paranoia and total cluelessness that these inbreed Thai hillbillies show when the sh1t hits the fan.
        The virus figures are a joke. The virus infection rate rises exponentially.
        Who in their right mind is going risk booking a holiday to this third world holiday camp.

        • Avatar

          Toby Andrews

          Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 3:06 pm

          No John could, but he has realised to his sorrow, that persons on the forum are finding his excuses for Thais, rightly ridiculous.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 5:41 pm

          ‘No’ the virus figures aren’t “a joke” but are supported by all the available evidence. Fact, however unpalatable that may be for some.

          If you disagree, please explain your disagreement with the following, which so far none of the doubters such as yourself have attempted to do:

          “Mass testing is a good indicator, but so far no countries have really managed to do “mass testing”, which to be accurate needs to be of all the population and repeated regularly. None have managed anything remotely like that, and even the best have barely managed to test a quarter of the population once.

          There are alternatives that give an equally good if not better picture, but it just doesn’t suit some people’s agendas to accept them as it would make Thailand’s precautions look good and the West’s look bad:

          1. Thailand gives all government hospital inpatients a mandatory Covid-19 test; AFAIK only one has tested positive.

          2. Thailand tests all those applying for a work permit in Thailand; again, AFAIK only one has tested positive.

          3. Wherever there’s a reported outbreak of Covid-19 (as in Samut Sakhon, in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai), tracking and targeted testing takes place; the numbers testing positive are minimal, as reported here.

          4. While mass temperature testing is far from accurate it would show up at least some of the 20% who would be symptomatic if Covid was as widespread here as some imagine; it hasn’t.

          5. If Covid was as widespread as some imagine, and the population as paranoid, there would be queues outside the government hospitals who were symptomatic demanding to be tested; there aren’t.”

          • Avatar

            Peter

            Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 11:26 pm

            I couldn’t even be bothered to read your tedious nonsense. Here’s a tip John, keep it short because nobody reads your utterances.
            Reports now that provincial governors are issuing decrees that ban migrants coming into and out of their areas.
            A well known farang correspondent is reporting some facts that would sit badly with amnesty international and basic human decency.
            Once again, Thailand shows it believes only non Thais can spread the virus.

  2. Avatar

    Not Moby

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Hard to reconcile the STV program reboot, Q1 domestic travel push, and now the CCSA March lockdown threat. The dizzying policy merry-go-round is going to help one sector grow – mops and buckets will be in high demand to clean up all the spew!

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Very generous of the government. Are they going to pay the Thais for the days off work?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 11:04 am

      Agreed, Toby.

      It’s more money for the tourism sector if it works but less in other areas that are hit, with factories using it as an excuse to cut the hours as international demand has dropped.

      The only ones who really use the holidays are the public sector, which means less public services and more kids at home from school who need to be fed and looked after.

      Very much a double edged sword.

      • Avatar

        Slugger

        Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 1:31 pm

        Very much a Western view more like.

    • Avatar

      Ray

      Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      The massive cut in the GDP from incoming foreign money will not be offset by re-allocating inland spending.

  4. Avatar

    Remo

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Travel bubble means Chinese tour groups are welcome, others are not.

    But as long as China does not allow tour groups to travel abroad, this “travel bubble” discussion is useless.

    • Avatar

      Jack Sombra

      Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 8:39 am

      Yep, Chinese is what they always mean when they say ‘travel bubbles’ and not only will the Chinese not make one with Thailand (no economic upside for Chinese), they wont even let their people travel in any serious numbers until either epidemic is over or their people are vaccinated. Not sure who government think they are fooling, with either this coded speak or the empty promises within

    • Avatar

      Ian

      Monday, December 28, 2020 at 7:50 am

      China created this disease has Thailand forgot this I know who my friends would be the west

  5. Avatar

    Nipral

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Military B.S. as usual!

  6. Avatar

    crispy

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    Military are normally full of goals, strategies, plans and programs of work with measures of achievement.

    I dont see any. None.

    Hete are some suggestions.

    Goals. 2022 same tourist tKe as 2019. All Thais vaccinated. Tourist i frastructure standards to exceed competitor norms.

    • Avatar

      Nipral

      Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 6:18 am

      you cannot entrust military with anything with the exception of wars perhaps.

  7. Avatar

    crispy

    Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    Military are normally full of goals, strategies, plans and programs of work with measures of achievement.

    I don’t see any. None.

    Here are some suggestions.

    Goals. 2022 same tourist tKe as 2019. All Thais vaccinated. Tourist infrastructure standards to exceed competitor norms.

  8. Avatar

    Nipral

    Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 5:32 am

    Thailand is the only country where long week-ends boost GNP!!!!! ?????

  9. Avatar

    MikeD

    Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    Adding long weekends is an excellent idea. I live in Patong and it is like a ghost town here… except on those long weekends. Its wonderful to see the restaurants, hotels and beaches crowded on the long weekends. Its a proven theory Thanks to the governments creative thinking.

    • Avatar

      Nipral

      Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 6:04 pm

      ????????????You must be fun to be with !!!!!!!

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