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Thai Hotel Association demands international tourists be allowed to return

Maya Taylor

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Thai Hotel Association demands international tourists be allowed to return | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sumit Chinchane on Unsplash
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The Thai Hotel Association is urging the government to re-open the country to international tourists, pointing out that room occupancy is nearly zero and many smaller premises have had no choice but to close.

THA chairman, Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, says the government must look at ways it can admit tourists from certain countries or cities, using marketing promotions to lure them back. She adds that with many businesses in the tourism industry unable to get bank loans, the government should organise some form of financial assistance.

Her comments come as the government is sharpening its pencil on a “Safe and Sealed” pilot project, which would allow international tourists to return to Phuket in a strictly controlled capacity. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Tourism and Sports Minister, says if the plan works in Phuket, it can be rolled out to other parts of the country, including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani and Chonburi.

Thailand’s borders have been closed to nearly all international arrivals since the start of April. Despite much talk of “travel bubbles” with countries deemed to have successfully controlled the Covid-19 virus, no such arrangements have been implemented. There has been new mutterings of possible travel bubbles with Hong and Japan in recent days although nothing concrete has been announced.

The lack of international tourists has taken a huge toll on the economy and the government is coming under increasing pressure to relax the ban on foreign arrivals.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Gy

    August 26, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Safe and Sealed is the dumbest slogan ever. Sure they have geniuses in the marketing dept…

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    August 26, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    You Thai hotels owners will do what you are told by the government.
    And don’t complain, or you will be arrested for waving three fingers, or shouting too loud.
    The solution to your problems are in the photograph above, the boats and the sea.
    Out you go at sunset, and never mind the rain, fish all night like your grandfathers did.
    A frugal but healthy life. It’s your place in the world now that your dictators have banned money coming into Thailand from tourists and investment.
    You know it makes sense.

  3. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    August 26, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Are they waiting for a vaccine then will require all arrivals to show their immunization record? Either shut tourism down until next year or open up with a plan that encourages travelers.

    Sh_ _ or get off the pot!

  4. Avatar

    Kern

    August 26, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    I don’t know which genius minister or officer planning all this bulshit plans …can’t they small facts …most of travelers in SEA countries are budget travelers, you can’t expect them to spend 30 days to single island out of which 15 days in a single hotel room.
    When entire world economy is in recession mode who will be willing to spend a plush holiday in a single holiday…even better infra with better facilities discounted tour will not be enoough to pull tourist.

  5. Avatar

    TS

    August 26, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    “The lack of international tourists has taken a huge toll on the economy and the government is coming under increasing pressure to relax the ban on foreign arrivals.”

    Really? Just a couple mos ago tat dumblebums and ministry experts boasted domestic travelers/tourists would make up 60-70% of international losses with the fabulous ‘incentive’ packages on offer. Guess they didn’t factor in that the average Thai is now already underwater in debt, unemployed and basically treading water- zero interest or ability to play tourist. You and your wacky safe and sealed ‘go directly to jail’ scheme. It will take years, if ever, to entice the large number of foreign visitors you’ve lost.

  6. Avatar

    Cooley High

    August 26, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Its a very simple solution. Require travelers to Thailand to take two COVID-19 (PCR-Certified)test within 10 to 14 days of traveling to Thailand. The second test must be taken within 72 hours before your flight departs. Each tests must be negative for COVID-19. Upload the results of your tests, your name, passport information, flight number and other information immigration deems necessarily to Thailand Immigration.

  7. Avatar

    EdwardV

    August 27, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    As long as a quarantine is required of more than 2-3 days, Thailand will never get the tourist numbers they want. Too many other counties are starting to open with a pre-test, arrival test and tracking only. Within a few months, it will be too easy to just go somewhere else. Most tourist only get 2-4 weeks of vacation, they can’t afford to spend half to all of it in quarantine. The term “two week millionaire” exists for a reason. The Phuket scheme is drawing from a very small and shallow pool of people. The desire to stay safe is admirable, but the free market will decide the larger outcome.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time

Caitlin Ashworth

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2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS

Health officials say 2 people in state quarantine tested positive for Covid-19, apparently catching the virus for a second time. A 42 year old Thai man recently tested positive for Covid-19 while in Chon Buri state quarantine after returning from Singapore. He first caught the virus a few months ago while in Singapore. He didn’t need hospital treatment and quarantined until he was declared clear of the virus on June 11.

In another apparent reinfection, a 58 year old Thai man tested positive for Covid-19 after returning home from Kuwait. Health officials say the man first came in contact with the virus in Kuwait. He was hospitalised and recovered before coming back to Thailand.

Thailand currently has 3,519 confirmed coronavirus cases with 59 reported deaths and 3,360 recoveries. The majority of recent cases have been detected in the mandatory 14 day quarantine for those entering the country.

Health officials are still investigating apparent local transmissions. Earlier this month, a Bangkok DJ tested positive for Covid-19, breaking Thailand’s 100 day streak without a reported local transmission. Health officials say he tested positive for the G-strain of the virus which is more infectious, but less severe. They say the G-strain is typically detected in state quarantine from people returning to Thailand rather than in local cases.

In another apparent local transmission, a Uzbek football player for the Biriram United team recently tested positive for Covid-19. He tested negative for the virus multiple times in quarantine after arriving to Thailand from Uzbekistan. He was released from quarantine and later tested positive for the virus. Some health officials speculate the virus has a longer incubation period than 14 days.

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | News by The Thaiger

Total cases in Thailand, according to worldometer.

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | News by The Thaiger

Daily cases in Thailand, according to worldometer.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid task force calls for extension to Thailand’s emergency decree

Maya Taylor

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Covid task force calls for extension to Thailand’s emergency decree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

Thailand’s Covid-19 task force is advising the government to extend the country’s state of emergency by a further month… again. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration plans to discuss the matter next Tuesday and put it to Cabinet for consideration on Wednesday.

The state of emergency, or emergency decree, which has been extended several times since its introduction in March, is due to expire at the end of this month. It has been extended, on a month by month basis, many times this year since it was introduced to short-circuit the process of implementation of Covid-19 preventative measures. However, the CCSA says an extension is vital to ensure various government agencies can work speedily to combat any threat from Covid-19, particularly as neighbouring countries experience a spike in infections.

Thailand has already taken steps to seal the porous border with Myanmar after a surge in cases means that country is now recording over 500 new infections a day.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Quarantine could be reduced to 7 days from November, if border re-opening succeeds

Maya Taylor

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Quarantine could be reduced to 7 days from November, if border re-opening succeeds | The Thaiger
Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister says the mandatory quarantine period for those arriving from overseas could be reduced to 7 days if there is no spike in Covid-19 infections after the border re-opens to limited arrivals from October. For the minister’s part, the 7 day quarantine is merely speculation at this stage.

Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says more details on the planned Special Tourist Visa will be made available following a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The STV is expected to grant entry to long-stay arrivals from October 1. Visitors can then extend their stay by 90 days twice, meaning a stay of nearly 9 months in total will be possible. Each extension will cost 2,000 baht, under the current STV proposal.

The government is currently being extremely cautious with its plans to re-open the borders to international arrivals. However, in a Bangkok Post report today, Phiphat says that if the first 2 groups of arrivals, 300 foreign tourists in total, fulfil the 14 day quarantine period without testing positive for the virus, it may be possible to increase the number of visitors granted entry to the Kingdom. And reduce the length of the mandatory quarantine.

“Only 300 tourists per week will not be enough to fill up the whole supply chain and help operators (not even close!). However, the figure has to comply with the capacity of the healthcare workforce from the Public Health Ministry to prepare swab tests.”

It’s understood the Tourism Ministry has been in talks with private hospitals about supplying additional manpower to facilitate the testing being carried out at airports. Another option is to test arrivals at quarantine facilities, in order to avoid holdups at airport arrival terminals. Currently, the Phuket Provincial Health Office has the ability to conduct 1,000 tests a day.

Should the gradual re-opening in October pass without a significant spike in Covid-19 cases, Phiphat says the government may consider halving the 14 day quarantine period from mid-November. Visitors will still be required to be tested prior to arrival, several times while in quarantine, and again before being released.

“In the event there are 5 positive cases from 300 tourists, the plan to welcome foreigners has to move forward anyway. But we will set up new alternative plans to cope with the situation.”

A reduction in the quarantine period may succeed in attracting more visitors, particularly given the high cost of staying at certain alternative state quarantine facilities, which tourists must foot the bill for themselves. An increase in foreign arrivals is seen as essential to the recovery of the tourism sector in areas currently struggling to survive since the border shutdown 6 months ago.

The Tourism Council of Thailand has visited places such as Phuket, Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Udon Thani, and Rayong, to talk to local business owners. In presenting its findings to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, TCT president, Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, says the government must find a solution to help the tourism sector.

The Tourism Council of Thailand predicts that once the global Covid situation is brought under control, foreign arrivals to Thailand should reach the 60 million mark and contribute 25% of the country’s GDP by 2023. The prediction of 60 million tourists per year would be a more than 50% increase on 2019’s published arrival numbers, optimistic at best, and against the trend of international travel consultants that say the world’s travel industry could take up to a decade to recover to pre-covid numbers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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