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Thailand details new visa strategy to welcome rich tourists



The Thai government has revealed their detailed strategy to bring back “rich” tourists while keeping Covid numbers low.  The plan, to be rolled out next month, has been touted by officials as a way to help recover Thailand’s hard hit tourist economy, but some say the government needs a reality check.

The Tourism and Sports Authority Minister claims the plan will allow foreign visitors in by requiring them to submit to a 14 day quarantine as well as booking a long stay, minimum 90 days.  This, of course, means that tourists paying for the quarantine hotels and a long stay must, have adequate funds to do so.

“There is solid demand for Thai tourism. Thailand will definitely attract tourists from China, Europe and elsewhere, but we will make sure that only those from low-risk countries can fly in.”

Such travellers who agree to enter Thailand on these conditions will be issued a Special Tourist Visa that can be extended by 90 days up to 2 times – almost 9 months. These types of visa holders must agree to spend at least 30 days in Thailand, including the quarantine period while having the option of staying longer (in previous articles, the government has said a minimum of 90 day stay – check for confirmation with the Thai Embassy in your country).

“Tourists must contact a licensed Thai travel agency, pay for flights, hotel quarantine, apartment or hotel, and the mandatory Covid-19 test.”

Latest update about getting back into Thailand HERE.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is also responding to the idea that most tourists would not like to stay in a costly hotel for 2 weeks by saying that it will be a pleasant suprise as many activities are being planned to help tourists enjoy themselves during the quarantine period.

But the numbers don’t seem to add up as the government is only planning to allow in 300 tourists at a time.  A tourism operator in Krabi also doubts that this plan will work as he says the damage to the economy is severe and it may not help much.

Estimates by Association of Thai Travel Agents conclude that up to 2.5 million Thais will lose their jobs in the tourism industry if business in the 4th quarter of 2020 remains the same.  But Kasikorn Research Centre says the STV strategy could channel between 1.5 to 2 billion baht back into the economy if it is successful, still a long way short of previous income from tourism.

So far, attempts at bringing tourists back to the Kingdom have been squashed due to the re-emergence of Covid in certain countries.  Such plans as travel bubbles for areas like Phuket, aka. the “Phuket Model” have been put on the back burner after agreements with partnering countries fell through due to resurgences in Covid cases.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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  1. Tom Sandfeldt

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Anyone knows where to apply for this visa, and how it is going to work ?

    • Peter T

      Monday, September 21, 2020 at 3:15 pm

      We never see a start date and embassy web sites ar slow to update

    • Eddy

      Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 10:21 am

      Are you kidding? For what? Everything is dead over there.

  2. Perceville Smithers

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    I’ve said before-they are overplaying their hand! The gov needs to talk to the business owners, workers and street vendors to find out who the customers are. I think spending 24-30,000 THB each month for an apartment; 350 THB weekly for laundry if I don’t do it myself; 1,500-2,000 THB monthly gym membership; plus food, drink and incidentals should count for something. There are more like me than who they’re targetting.

  3. Jason

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Oh Dear….this really does not look good! I do hope no one in Thailand is pinning their hopes and livelihoods on this plan! It’s a recipe for financial ruin. By the time the government realises that, the high season will be over.

    • Buklao

      Monday, September 21, 2020 at 11:30 pm

      Look up The great reset.. all this was planned a long time ago, really sad, these people will not live forever and their legacy will also die with them

  4. Geoff

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    Activities? The mind boggles. Egg and spoon races? Hide and seek? Talent competitions? This gets funnier and funnier.

    • Perceville Smithers

      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 2:46 pm

      Connect Four and Jenga; karaoke competition

      • John

        Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 7:40 pm

        The rich would never consider this option for this country or any other with these types of demands. No one here in Thailand believes this will work and if it did it would only benefit the elite business owners and the government. The high season is already blown as most bookings would have already been made. Living here in Thailand I have spoken with many people abroad as well as Thais that live here and such a proposal has become a daily joke amongst everyone. The major concern now is that when the Chinese do come they will start to buy up everything at cheap prices and start the land grabbing like they did in Cambodia. It’s unfortunate but with the economic disaster and protests it seems Thailand will have no leverage moving forward. Vacant buildings here in Pattaya are not only empty now but look like they have been completely run down for a long period of time. It only takes a short time for a period of no return and I’m afraid we are crossing that line.

      • Eddy

        Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 10:20 am

        This plan is just rediculous. The peak season for 2020-21 is already lost completely. Thailand must make a plan for the next year that makes some sense, otherwise the damage will last for years. How many tourists will come with such a restrictions? Is it war zone? People come to enjoy, and not to be on quarantine.

    • Rinky Stingpiece

      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      Hide the sausage might garner some takers, but it depends on the quality of the meat and whether large quantities of stuffing and gravy are permitted.

    • Raphael Hythlodaeus

      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 7:59 pm

      Surely they wouldn’t want to miss the Miss Nakhorn Nowhere Som Tham beauty competition.

    • Jayce

      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 9:02 pm

      Maybe they’ll send bar girls to your room in full hazmat suits to dance for you ??
      No touching, you can only see their face through the helmet and not sure where you’d be able to leave a tip on that outfit but at least you’d know you’re in Thailand ??

  5. Svcoquette

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Thailand you are looking bad to the international tourists. First encourage the tourists here to stay. Forcing them to leave and risk their health at airports and flights will be long remembered and passed along to others.
    We are here, we are virus free and continue to spend money yet you make us feel unwelcomed.
    Malaysia has extended all VISA s until at least 31 Dec, Thailand should do the same.

    • Nu

      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 5:08 pm

      Thai ppl is not poor as you smart guys think!!

      • Petecool

        Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 5:20 pm

        A thai’s are rich like you.Simple

      • Rinky Stingpiece

        Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 7:08 pm

        How many of them are queuing up to fill the resorts?

    • Jason

      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 5:52 pm

      I couldn’t agree more with you! They have few enough tourists in Thailand. Sending away those who are there already (who spend their money there) is lunacy! But I have a sneaking suspicion that the Thai government will soon extend the terms of your visa. No one else is coming to take your place. I cannot travel to be there (my country won’t permit it).

      • Roger Elliot

        Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 10:28 pm

        I can assure you they will not extend the terms of the visa. That would be losing face.

  6. Mike Frenchie

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Totally dilutional, will just allow few retired having family/GF in Thailand to come back IF they have the cash to finance that? Not a single real tourist will come. We can expect massive number of bankruptcies, suicides and social unrest at year end. Remember, foreign tourists brought 2 trillion THB/year – one to two billion THB is a drop in the bucket.

  7. Glenn

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    The govt shot itself in both feet over this scam, now they expect ‘rich’ tourists to save their tails. There’s two general sorts of non-thais that want back in – the adult entertainment fun loving men, and all those with wives/girls friends/other significant ties to the country.

    I don’t even thing the govt has considered there are other countries competing for the now rare tourist money, and many ‘former tourists’ now (because of the scam) don’t have the money to be international tourists any more.

    What an embarrassing surprise to the govt if they said OK come back without restrictions – and very few did. Add on jail/quarantine both origin and in thailand, private charter flights, dubious testing upon testing – no way will the avg tourist consider thailand. good night and welcome to an economic depression!

  8. Nipral

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    Can hardly be more ridiculous ! Who knows any wealthy foreigner who is prepared to
    spend 90 days in Thailand with a 14 days quarantine and more moronic conditions ?
    This government ignores that high-end tourists, big spenders, hardly stay more than 4-5 nights at the same place. This stupid scheme is designed for middle class retirees at best.
    So long Thailand, we have a wealth of destinations to choose from !

  9. Snoopy

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    Rich will never accept this kind of deal…..
    Jamaica , and other warm and clean Caribean islands is just a few hours from Europe…
    Bye bye Thailand !

    • Nu

      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 5:14 pm

      Snoopy you are correct! Funny you!
      In that places girl will seat with for a beer that cost $2 only.
      555555. Plus the hospitality for the $2 beer. The charming smile!
      In the carabien cheapest beer will cost $16++

      • Rinky Stingpiece

        Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 7:11 pm

        Rich people don’t care what the cheapest beer is, Nu…

        The Caribbean is for Americans, Europeans have the Mediterranean, quite affordable and easy.

      • Maag

        Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 7:39 pm

        Most of tourist do not need girl or even beer to spend holidays .

      • Buklao

        Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 11:08 pm

        Still cheaper..

      • dave

        Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 11:56 pm

        you are just a dumb bar girl that at most has no education

    • Brian Dunbar

      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 5:22 pm

      Somebody should wake up the people who are making these decisions. So they are looking for “rich” people as opposed to “poor” people??? What difference does it make who they try to attract as long as they are spending money??? With everything a person has to go through, I doubt they will get anywhere near the #’s they are thinking. And besides, so many bars and hotels have closed up, and all the girls have gone back home. What will the “rich” do??

  10. sam thompson

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    I think that the TAT really needs to show some common sense and come up with something more realistic that might have a chance of succeeding. Is there not also something where the new, incoming tourists must arrive either on a private or chartered flight? They should be trying to offer conditions with as few barriers as possible whilst maintaining safe procedures.

    • Rinky Stingpiece

      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 7:14 pm

      It’s probably too late for it to matter what they say, the sort of people they appear to be looking for have plenty of options for the same amount of money, and with a fewer hoops to jump through. Stories like this will keep being floated out through winter, but the numbers will show reality.

    • TS

      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 7:54 pm

      Just unbelievable and equally unrealistic. You create more and more bad public relations for tourism in Thailand you greedy ministers of whatever you call your department. Tourists, rich or poor, don’t want to come here in these times with all your silly requirements. Forget it. This place as tourist dest.lost it’s luster long ago to most. Only resident Thais & farang stuck outside want to come back here now to their homes. Please make it easier for them to do so.

    • Bob

      Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 11:03 pm

      “common sense” in Thailand, that’s funny. Everything is done by “trial and error” here, much because the “save face” thing. No one want to take responsibility, just want to make a quick buck.

  11. Gary

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    No tourists until Long stay visa holders who have done the right thing and hold correct visas and own property etc are allowed back into country.

  12. Devrim

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    Can stay 3 months in Thailand no problem but 14 days quarantine in a expansive hotel is very bad idea.Thailand must learn live with covid19.

  13. Thomas Easton

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    I had about £8k saved for a 5 week holiday at the start of Dec BUT paying for an over priced prison cell for 14 days before I’m allowed to travel AND a charter flight is a deal breaker… I understand the Thai government wanted to protect themselves from covid but the destruction they’ve caused to their people and their economy will take YEARS to get back to normal and cause serious harm to the government. I will hold of on a holiday but when countries do re-open I will be going to Vietnam and maybe the Philippines instead.

  14. Stephen Westrip

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    I see no mention in this article, although I saw it previously, about people that can stay in an apartment, condo or house after the initial 14-day quarantine. I have the opportunity to stay in a house that is currently empty. I can pay rent if that is what is needed and produce the right documents. Is that allowed?

  15. albertone

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    I NEVER see rich Europen people to spend more than few days in Thailand: in summer no competition with Bealeari (Ibiza) or Corsica and Sardegna or Italy as well. And in winter rich people go to ski or Caribbean.. The same for Chinese or Asian that do like rich people…

  16. EdwardV

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 9:05 pm

    So they have changed the 90 day stay to 30, must have gotten blowback. Must have realized tourists don’t like to be locked down that long in advance. Even thought it’s better now at 30 days it’s still not fixing the real issues. The plan is designed in such low numbers as to not generate enough people to re-open business and generate enough revenue to help the industry. For some reason those in charge believe a few rich tourists can save the day. It’s not going to happen. First rich tourists have options and lots of them. A 14 day quarantine isn’t high on their list. Same with jumping through multiple hoops just to get the visa in the first place. They can go anywhere, why go somewhere that’s making it hard to visit? The plan is destined to fail, the problem is they won’t realize it for a few months. Right about the time high season is over and half of the remaining business close up for good. It’s so obvious it makes me think Thailand isn’t really serious about re-opening tourism. This is all a dog and pony show.

    • Laocowboy2

      Monday, September 21, 2020 at 2:32 pm

      Without the pony

  17. Jayce

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    At this rate I think it’s probably going to be easier for me to just fly my girlfriend out of Thailand and meet her in another SE Asia country instead…

  18. Peter

    Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    What exactly is the “NEW” news in the article, all I can see is a rehash of already published articles, no extra revelations or details whatsoever.

  19. Dirty Farang

    Monday, September 21, 2020 at 12:04 am

    There will be a cartoon and a comedy channel subscribed to your room.

    Enough fun for the coming 15 nights.

    Btw… does anybody knof if smoking is allowed at quarantine rooms? Do they allow food and booze delivery?

    • Laocowboy2

      Monday, September 21, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      Errrr . . . and then she has to do 14 days quarantine on return. Moreover nearly every other SE Asian country is stopping visitors as well at present

  20. Bobby m

    Monday, September 21, 2020 at 1:18 am

    REALITY CHECK !!!!!!!!

    A 10 year old child could come up with a better idea.

    They have absolutely no idea whatsoever, except stupid ones and they are insistent on learning everything the hard way, no matter how many of their people starve or commit suicide along the way. They have their fat salaries to live on, so they just don’t care.

    What they are still yet to realise is exactly where those fat salaries actually come from. But they will eventually. But it will be too late.

  21. Antony

    Monday, September 21, 2020 at 9:37 am

    So they want to attract wealthy folks by making them suffer? What a great idea.

  22. elisha watson

    Monday, September 21, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Agree completely. I cannot go right now, have had a bad cold, need to rest and relax awhile. Not in a position to book urgent flights or even to deal with Immigration queues. They must do what they will, I have little power to answer.

  23. Diane Dowse

    Monday, September 21, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    We were coming to Thailand for our usual 3 months this winter from UK. But the government has made it so difficult for us to come, we’ve cancelled and are going to Spain instead. Shall so miss Thailand, but just don’t feel welcome, and certainly won’t pay for 14 nights imprisonment.

    • Peter

      Monday, September 21, 2020 at 4:28 pm

      I very much doubt you are, Spain is in lockdown after a massive rise in covid cases, tghey currently have the highest in europe. Plus, you will be facing a 2 week quarantine when you return and a £1000 fine if you break the quarantine. Happy Holiday

  24. Boicotthailand

    Monday, September 21, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    It’s a joke, just #boicotthailand and his ridiculous little dictator.

    • Buklao

      Monday, September 21, 2020 at 11:57 pm

      Good idea, i was also thinking about the same hashtag.. but not in an angry way. I love Thailand and it’s people,i’m sure many here do, if not all. The issue here is not Thailand as a country or the thai people, it’s their gov. Just look what the young students are fighting for. Why don’t we help them? International support, real people things, they have the 3 finger salute right, #boicotthailand will also have the 3 finger salute, but 3 middle fingers aimed at, you know who! Until they resign! #boicotthailand

  25. Peter Twigg

    Monday, September 21, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    When will it start???

  26. Jase Reid

    Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 1:32 am

    But how many of the targeted rich want to holiday? Or want to holiday now? You may find only a select few of your target tourist will actually take this offer up

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