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Thai travel agents say ongoing third wave means no return of Chinese tourists for now

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/shankar s.

The Association of Thai Travel Agents says the ongoing reporting of over 2,000 new Covid-19 infections every day means there will be no Chinese visitors coming for a while. ATTA president Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn points out that China has imposed tough restrictions on their citizens leaving the country, including mandatory quarantine on their return.

“We can assume the Chinese government will prioritise safety, extending a 21-day quarantine for those returning to China from overseas.”

The Bangkok Post reports that in the southern city of Guangzhou, strict travel restrictions are in place to prevent the spread of the highly-contagious Delta variant (originally known as the Indian variant). Sisdivachr says the ongoing outbreak in Thailand means there’s little hope of luring Chinese travellers to the Kingdom during October’s Golden Week, a significant week-long holiday period in China.

According to the Bangkok Post report, Sisdivachr says not even Phuket’s proposed quarantine-free sandbox scheme will attract vaccinated Chinese tourists, due to the fact that they will then be obliged to quarantine on their return home. He adds that the same applies to most Asian countries, whose citizens are unlikely to travel internationally until the last quarter of the year, at the earliest.

“However, it is necessary to test the re-opening scheme in Phuket because tourism operators are in dire need of such a mechanism. It might not produce a fruitful outcome in the early stages, but at least we can try to survive.”

Meanwhile, Sisdivachr believes future travel bubble arrangements could be affected by how vaccine diplomacy plays out between the US and China, as both countries vie for dominance in Southeast Asia. He says how Thailand responds could affect international relationships and travel policies.

“Everything is about politics, including vaccines and tourism.”

In other news, Sisdivachr says ATTA plans to propose a couple of measures to Tourism Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, aimed at cushioning the sector from future crises. He says a fund needs to be put in place that will save tourism operators from having to shut down should similar emergency situations arise in future.

ATTA is calling on the government to set up a 10-billion-baht fund that will provide loans to tourism businesses. Once the sector recovers, operators would repay the loans with interest, meaning the fund could continue to grow without government support.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Grant

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 9:58 am

    It seems Thailand has their priorities wrong?

  2. Avatar

    Grant

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 9:59 am

    Probably a good thing. Less pollutions, be it air, noise, rubbish, manners, hygiene etc

  3. Avatar

    Grant

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Opening up too early even in the Sandbox in Phuket. This is to help struggling businesses? Well if the Covid persists and mutates , then you have not leaned anything from mistakes other countries made? Eg: USA opening up too early in different states! Deaths and thousands more cases? Why governments not take health as seriously as economics?

  4. Avatar

    Grant

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Phuket will be a basket case for a 4th wave and more misery if this does not work? And the set back to Tourism will be even worse!

  5. Avatar

    Tim

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 10:24 am

    That’s a good news. Their massive tour groups were ruining all the beautiful islands and places of interest. It will be a lot more enjoyable for normal tourists, those with education and manners

  6. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 11:01 am

    A twenty one day quarantine upon return isn’t the biggest obstacle to the return of Chinese tourists. The biggest problem is the Chinese government has no intention of allowing its citizens to travel outside of China for pleasure. They want them spending their money in country for the foreseeable future. I would guess Chinese New Year 2022 at the earliest. For all the talk about Thailand wanting long term high spending tourists, it’s just talk and nothing more. The fact they are having wet dreams of returning hordes of Chinese tourists proves that out.

  7. Avatar

    Don jones

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    Yeah really looking forward to the Chinese tour groups coming back

  8. Avatar

    Patrick

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Manners do not pay bills. Phuket needs Chinese tourist money. I hope all tourists, including the Chinese, come back as soon as possible.

  9. Avatar

    Nigel

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    @Grant. I agree it all feels far far too early to open for tourism. However, there is a clear link between the economy and the health of a nation. You will have already noted the significant increase in suicides in Thailand since the pandemic. Thailand already has the highest suicide rates in SE Asia and the pandemic has made this worse. Even advanced nations like the US and U.K. have been playing the balancing game of health versus economy. Ultimately money pays for everything in a country. That said, this sandbox is a poor plan in so many ways. If the conversation is around balance of health and economy, and for Phuket you have decided to trial an economic option, then they should do it 100%. However, having made the decision they have then watered it down to the point where it’s not really opening and it will fail. I can understand the apparently crazy half baked decisions that come out of democracies, as you have to always play politics. However in a quasi Dictatorship like Thailand, policy and action should be much clearer.

  10. Avatar

    sydneyB

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    How refreshing and reassuring. Personal hygiene, manners, noise, rudeness- the list goes on. Oh to be back in Thailand.

  11. Avatar

    Rose Jefferies

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    ha, ha , ha, ha, ha , ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,… I wonder if one can get bored with laughing at this…??? Nope…. “ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ….OMG, I’ve laughed so much I’ve shat myself!!!!!

  12. Avatar

    sydneyB

    Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    I can’t say I’ll miss them, on the contrary, a bonus.

  13. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 12:21 am

    The Chinese are not coming, at least anytime soon. There is no way the CCP will let anything effect the winter Olympics which don’t end until Feb 20. Having a bunch of tourists returning from Thailand and infecting others would so screw up those plans. So this coming high season is out, and the next Chinese New Year is out for sure too. The question is will they allow travel during the summer of 2022? Many don’t think so since China has a big once every five year CCP congress in October 2022. Again they don’t want a major outbreak/lockdown making that look bad. It might not be until November 2022 before Thailand sees any measurable number of actual Chinese tourists again.

  14. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Their numbers were already on a major decline before the wu-flu came about. They’ll make their own artificial “Thailand experience” within their borders long before they’ll travel en masse. Which is as it should be.

  15. Avatar

    Steve Kanter

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 11:07 am

    Best news I’ve heard in a long time!

  16. Avatar

    Frank

    Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    @Tim – Easy to say while you still get paid every week. But, as long as YOU are fine…

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