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Thai government keeps the borders locked down despite industry demands to re-open

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Despite progress in vaccines and the hard lobbying from Thailand’s tourism and hospitality industries, the Kingdom is destined to miss out on the 2019/2021 high season. The Thai Minster for Sports and Tourism, Pipat Ratchakitprakan, says that the government is looking to March/April in 2021 as the earliest date for any return to general tourism.

For now travellers still have to go through a long list of Thai red tape, certificates and trying to find flights into Thailand. And when they arrive, all travellers will face 14 days in quarantine, at their own expense. Even the new Special Tourist Visa hasn’t been very special at all with only a handful of takers for the long-stay visa.

Thailand’s hotel operators and tourism industry players were hoping for a broader re-opening plan so they could make the best of the traditional high season, usually late November to the end of February each year. That isn’t going to happen now.

With many of the country’s traditional feeder markets having to weather a current surge in cases, except China, there wouldn’t be many takers anyway. Even the Chinese are mostly prohibited from travelling for now.

A drag in the plans to re-open the borders is likely to push more Thai and foreign-owned tourism and hospitality businesses to the wall, unable to ‘hang on’ for another 4 months, or longer.

The Thai Hotel Association and The Thailand Travel Agents Association have been lobbying, even demanding, the Thai government to drop its mandatory quarantine provisions and urgently negotiate travel bubble with provinces in China and other nations that are currently “low risk” for Covid-19, including Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan.

Andrew J Wood, the President of Skål International Bangkok, says that it’s becoming increasingly evident that the damage being inflicted to Thailand’s massive travel and tourism industry is proving to be critical with “deep long lasting structural economic damage that is set to worsen rather than improve”.

“With the current official mindset of allowing the industry, that employs millions in Thailand, to be sacrificed; thrown to the covid wolf with no meaningful financial lifelines, left to fend for itself and potentially fail. With no hope of borders being opened by mid 2021, even with the introduction of vaccines in key feeder markets, there is confusion and a leadership vacuum in our industry.”

But Minister Pipat says everything is on hold at this stage and that the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is urging caution in regards to any wholesale easing of restrictions.

“The country will continue with opening to businessmen, technical experts, high level workers and those in the medical field for now. 14 day quarantine will continue for now with many countries still in the grip of the pandemic.”

He also noted that even Chinese officials are advising caution and suggest waiting until the hot season next year (mid year). There were small outbreaks in 3 cities in China in the middle of November, less than 10 cases in each city, where Chinese health officials rolled out quick-response lockdown teams for the affected communities.

But Andrew Wood makes it clear that any entry to Thailand by tourists involves 14 day quarantine is destined to fail.

“I am sure I am not the only person to say this, but let me say loudly and clearly that tourism promotions with 2 weeks quarantine WILL FAIL. Now vaccines are starting to be introduce lets look at other low risk options for borders to be gradually opened. I plead to the government to allow this. Otherwise the structural damage to our tourism economy will take us until 2025 to repair.”

“A recent survey suggested that 57% of global tourism will have been wiped out by the pandemic by the end of 2020. In Thailand this figure will be nearer to 80% and highlighted Bangkok as the destination which will see the sharpest drop in the world. Thailand will lose 2.1 trillion baht (US$69.7billion) in income before the end of the year in lost tourism revenue.”

The Minister, indeed the Thai government and the CCSA, appear to be bowing to survey after survey which shows Thai people, around the country, are in favour of keeping the borders closed for now, despite the country’s tourism and hospitality industry being decimated by the government’s policies.

The recent spate of cases in northern Thailand, currently an evolving story, will give the risk-averse Thai government increased impetus to keep a tight control on its borders in the short to medium term.

 

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83 Comments

83 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Peter

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Not unexpected really, did anyone actually believe the boarders would be reopened this year without the onerous quarantine requirements? I very much doubt there will be much change for the first half of next year either, unless there are major advances in testing technology, vaccines may help shorten the quarantine period a bit, but I doubt they will be the key since they are not 100% reliable and the length of time they will protect for is as yet unknown.

    • Avatar

      Richard King

      Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      I have to agree and just hope the Thai locals can hold out for that long and videos of the tourist spots looks bleak and may take a lot longer to come back.
      In the end it still comes down to numbers that makes the difference, Because the STV or other elite visa does not replace or even come close to the spending power of the normal 1-3 week tourist which floods Thailand spreading the money around to all business from budget to high end.

  2. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Tourism officials are correct in thinking they have been thrown to the wolves. No one can dispute that simple fact. The livelihood of thousands upon thousands will be impacted for an extended period of time unless the attitude changes. I’m hopeful the powers that be will choose to amend the heavy handed regulations when the industry hits rock bottom.

  3. Avatar

    gigi

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    I am curious, I am Italian, I read that 57% of tourism wipes out, as many Italian resident with business continue to post “life” with their restaurants, tours, parties, as if everything is proceeding normally

  4. Avatar

    Jason

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    The Government has kept the virus controlled….that’s what military juntas are good at….control. They are hopeless at international relations and working with other low risk countries to get tourism operating to save the lives and livehoods of the people.

    • Avatar

      Brian

      Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 5:52 pm

      I think you’re wrong to think that Thailand has kept the virus under control. How would they? Are things especially organized here? Think about how porous the borders of this whole region are. In some places, crossing over into another country is a matter of crossing a river that someone could swim across. Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam? Have you looked at the border situation? Probably not a single day goes by without illegal migrant workers being arrested somewhere in this region.

      Various people who have studied the issue think that there is something strange about Asia, perhaps some preexisting immunity, perhaps from exposure to bats.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 8:21 am

        The one country where it’s not unusual to eat and handle bats, Indonesia (particularly Sulawesi) has one of the worst records with Covid.

        What’s so difficult about admitting that some countries have just got it right while others got it badly wrong?

        • Avatar

          Toby Andrews

          Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 3:40 pm

          The question is very easily answered. Let the Thais have government election.
          Let the Thai population show if they think the government has got it right.

          • The Thaiger

            The Thaiger

            Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 4:46 pm

            The did that in March 2019. The problem is you also need an independent election commission to run the election – that didn’t happen. A fully free and transparent general election won’t be possible with the current leadership.

        • Avatar

          preesy chepuce

          Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:47 pm

          That’s not particularly because of bat-eating on Sulawesi – most of the outbreak is in Java, and as many Indonesians will tell you (at least they tell me), Indonesians are very good at not following the rules. lol What’s so difficult John is that you have absolutely no evidence to support the notion that anyone one country has handled it better than any other, there isn’t sufficient data out there to draw any such conclusion, you can’t eliminate other factors. What’s so difficult about that idea?!

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Monday, December 7, 2020 at 6:27 pm

            The idea that it’s absolute nonsense?

            The evidence is clear, using any sort of comparable data you like – the problem is that some people just don’t want to look at it as it doesn’t suit their agendas so they ignore it, are completely unable to contradict it, and keep up the same tedious old bleat that “you haven’t done the same as us so nobody knows”.

            As I’ve pointed out repeatedly elsewhere:

            “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 here, 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.”

            Feel free to explain any of the above if you think there’s “absolutely no evidence to support the notion that anyone one country has handled it better than any other” ….. or not, as usual …..

  5. Avatar

    Yogibaer

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    At least there is the small bordercrossing by thai Hookers …that keeps the Virus alive

  6. Avatar

    Fred Johnson

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    So it was ordinary sex workers if reintroduced covid to the country, sounds absolutely fantastic that they change profession in the hard tourist lack. Good work

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    When you say “Thai government keeps the borders locked down despite industry demands to re-open”, maybe you should have been a lot more accurate and said ‘Thai government keeps the borders locked down despite TOURIST INDUSTRY demands to re-open’

    Far from the same thing.

    The reality is that the rest of Thai “industry” have made NO “demands to re-open” and are very clear that THEY DO NOT WANT THAILAND TO RE-OPEN as to do so would be an economic and social disaster for Thailand which it can’t afford.

    Let’s be clear, be honest and be rational.

    Even if the borders were to re-open tomorrow, which would be a disaster for Thailand economically and socially as it would soon be in the same position as the West which it can’t afford to be, that wouldn’t mean that the tourist industry would return to pre-Covid levels.
    Even in comparable countries which have opened their borders, such as Mexico and the Seychelles, and despite the lack of competition from countries like Thailand which haven’t, tourism there is still minimal – between a third and a tenth of previous levels.

    You’d be getting at best a small short term gain for one industry and keeping some selfish tourists happy, in return for a massive medium and long term loss for everyone else in Thailand.

    Apart from those directly involved in the tourism industry, NOBODY here wants the borders open – despite all the reports of misery and hardship, and all the ongoing protests about anything from LGBT rights to school uniforms, there have been NO PROTESTS “demanding” the borders be re-opened. NONE.

    Why do you think that is?

    • Avatar

      Sam

      Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 9:59 pm

      What a rant of rubbish

      • Avatar

        Peter

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9:59 pm

        Maybe you would like to point out exactly what is substantially incorrect with Issan Johns post. I think the rubbish here is coming from YOU. Care to explain yourself using factual, checkable information from credible sources?

      • Avatar

        Whiro

        Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 2:18 pm

        Agree with you 🙂

    • Avatar

      murika

      Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      aren’t you tired of explaining the same situation every time this topic come up ! people on this website want the border to be open for their own interest only, they don’t understand that it’s thailand best interest to keep the border closed so what happened in the west don’t happen here, and yes it have a cost, but better lose 20 % gdp than 100 % gdp because of a lockdown or worst, even if some people suffer, i’m sorry and impressed by your commitment to explain this to selfish narrowminded casual thailand travelers, who just want cheap sun/booze/girls and would let all the weak people die of covid saying: ‘those who die should have been more healthy/young/rich so it’s their fault’

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 8:16 am

        Yes.

        Not only the “selfish narrowminded”, but also the un-informed and just plain stupid who bleat on about “herd immunity” or Thailand’s “testing” and the like.

        It’s mildly disappointing that even when you explain the position rationally you still get the Sam’s, but I don’t mind the selfishness and ignorance, though, so much as the arrogance and racism.

        Oh well …..

        • Avatar

          Lackwit John

          Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9:14 pm

          You’re literally sitting in a sexpat hovel in some rice farming village and yet you think you’re qualified to speak like you’re some kind of authority on public health? Wind you neck in mate. You haven’t got the first clue what you’re talking about.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Monday, December 7, 2020 at 6:18 pm

            Really?

            “Literally”?

            You’ve been here, have you?

            If you disagree with anything I’ve said, feel free to disagree with something specific … anything at all …

            There are half-wits and there are dim-wits, but you don’t even register on the scale.

        • Avatar

          preesy chepuce

          Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:51 pm

          You’re really out on a limb there with your disparagement of others. You yourself keep making unsubstantiated and unsubstantiable claims about how well it’s been contained and about whether vaccines fail to stop contagion. You have no evidence.
          As for arrogance and ignorance, or calling people stupid, or bleating on… well, perhaps it’s futile suggesting anything to you about taking a step back and reflecting, you seem to spend a lot of time filling these threads with your pearls.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Monday, December 7, 2020 at 8:28 pm

            “out on a limb” ?

            … and I “keep making unsubstantiated and unsubstantiable claims about how well it’s been contained and about whether vaccines fail to stop contagion. You have no evidence.”

            Really?

            “no evidence”?

            OK, first “how well it’s been contained” and what I’ve suggested as “evidence” and what can be “substantiated”.

            I’ve said it so often now I just keep it on cut’n’paste as I cant be bothered to have to re-type it:

            “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 populationa 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 here, 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.”

            All of that’s verifiable, and all of it can be easily “substantiated”.

            IF YOU DISAGREE, PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY – YOU’LL BE THE FIRST!

            … and next “about whether vaccines fail to stop contagion.”

            … well, NO “EVIDENCE” EXCEPT FOR WHAT THE MANUFACTURERS HAVE SAID!

            I’ve constantly and always said “if” (frequently “IF”) they fail to stop contagion since neither Pfizer nor Moderna have actually said if their vaccines reduce contagion or not, and they’ve carefully worded their responses to only say that they make the vaccinated more asymptomatic (90 – 95% instead of 80%), NOT that they stop contagion (as other vaccines do for some viruses, and some vaccines for Covid apparently do).

            I don’t “know” one way or the other, hence the “if” (or “IF”), but I DO know that if I was trying to sell a vaccine that cost twice as much as its nearest rival and was way more expensive to distribute, and cost over ten times as much as others that apparently do reduce contagion, that if my vaccine did reduce contagion I’d want everyone to know.

            BUT MODERNA HAVEN’T SAID THAT! AGAIN, IF YOU DISAGREE, PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY!

            I’m perfectly happy to take a step back and reflect, but maybe if you explained exactly what you disagree with I’d have something to reflect on …..

            ….. or maybe, after all, I wouldn’t …..

          • Avatar

            Preesy Chepuce

            Friday, December 11, 2020 at 9:49 pm

            John, the length of your replies has no relation to the value of their content.

            You are the one making claims, so you are the one who needs to substantiate them.

            All you do is make claims, and then ask relentless questions. I’m not playing your game.

            Support your claims with evidence, or shut up. Simple.

      • Avatar

        Andi Petermann

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9:49 am

        Ich frage mich da Koh Samui- Phuket, Pattaya und und und wirtschaftlich am Boden liegt, was machen eigentlich die hundertausende Arbeitslosen ohne Unterstützung ?.und das auch noch nächstes Jahr. Mein tiefstes Mitleid. Erlich

        • Avatar

          Peter

          Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9:48 pm

          In case anyone is wondering what “Mr Petermann” is saying, I’ll translate into understandable English. (Some words have been replaced from a direct translation, but the message has NOT)

          I ask myself, since Koh Samui, Phuket, and Pattaya are economically suffering excessively, what are the hundreds of thousands of unemployed people doing without support? And they will continue to suffer for next year or longer. They have my deepest sympathy. Erlich

    • Avatar

      Dreamon

      Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 5:16 pm

      You are 100% nazi.
      Go back to your Nazi cave and shut up.

      • Avatar

        Philippe

        Monday, December 7, 2020 at 1:47 am

        Stupid reply from you … where you from ? Let me think ??? Right .. now I understand !

    • Avatar

      Silvio Brando

      Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 6:34 pm

      Why all this hatred of western tourists? I am Italian, many like me adore the Thai people, culture, history, traditions and so on.I don’t understand yet with our tourism we bring many resources for many Thai workers and for many structures that employ many Thai families.
      I am very embittered by the many comments I read against tourism, classifying us only as alcoholics and womanizers.

    • Avatar

      Kim Armitage

      Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 10:58 am

      What a total load of crap. If the borders stay closed people will find somewhere else and the people this hits the hardest are the poor who receive no help from the government.

  8. Avatar

    Steve

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    I see China is welcome, there is leaked documentation than proves China was not being transparent with inital covid figures that it was presenting to the WHO the figures was cut by 100% in most cases. They also stopped internal flights in China and yet allowed internal flights to continue, it beggars belief that Thailand trusts anything China says!

    • Avatar

      Fabian

      Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 6:54 pm

      While the Covid was getting out of control in Wuhan Chinese came to Thailand to escape a serious lock down (I’ve met one myself). Chinese probably went to other countries too, while some probably spreading the virus. The Chinese government just let it happen.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 7:06 pm

      Why do you say “China is welcome”?

      Based on what?

      Where’s the ‘travel bubble’ / ‘corridor’ making them “welcome”.

      You may “see China is welcome”, but all I see is a bunch of Western hoteliers who want China to be welcome, along with anyone and everyone else, while the silence from their Thai counterparts is deafening and Thais realise that being selfish and greedy isn’t the answer.

      Thais are loudly and obviously “demanding” everything from LGBT rights to a new Constitution, but what they’re NOT demanding is that the borders are opened or that “China is welcome”.

  9. Avatar

    Jack Sombra

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    They are not bowing to survey after survey, hell the surveys are made up to support whatever goverment is doing. The real truth is they have not figured out how to open. There have been 3 big pushes to open by the government, bubbles, which were never going to work due to the politics involve, the so called Phuket model, even rejected by tourism industry in Phuket as was so ill-thought-out and unsafe and the STV program, failed because is pointlessly restrictive in who could apply (pointless as all had to go though quarantine regardless) and then killed by inter ministry fighting. And all these plans had one thing in common, they were brainchild of Minister of Health, Anutin, same guy who is also responsible for fact Thailand is not going to be distributing the vaccine untill at least 5-6 months behind most developed nations.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 8:25 am

      Thank God they are a few months behind – let the West be the guinea pigs for the trials if they want to be!

  10. Avatar

    gosport

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Good job. Swift action to protect locals. Credit deserved

  11. Avatar

    James R

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    It will be the other way around in say six or nine months’ time.

    We in the west will have been inoculated against the virus, Thailand will still be dilly-dallying over it.

    So most people will not want to visit a country that has not had a mass inoculation program executed.

    Yes, it is illogical as we will have already been vaccinated against the virus but most people will still be worried about going to a country that has not, seeing as both the vaccine and the virus is new.

    • Avatar

      Isan Thai

      Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 7:17 pm

      In fact, Thailand will produce a vaccine for the miserable west. Who will be vaccinated first? Of course, Thailand. But even after the vaccine, people from the West will not go to Thailand, they will not go anywhere, they have no money from their economy in ruins, unlike the economy of Thailand. So sit and wait for Thailand to make a vaccine for you

      • Avatar

        Preesy Chepuce

        Friday, December 11, 2020 at 9:50 pm

        You are a CCP plant and I claim my 5 baht…

  12. Avatar

    Tom

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Isn’t it amazing that it’s always ex pats that agree with the government edicts, more worried about themselves than the 100s of thousands that are finding things so rough that the suicide rate has gone up in so many countries

    The small family owned bussinesses and people that work for themselves that relay on tourism to survive and the older ex pats are just worried about thier perfect little world being turned upside down

    I’m in my mid 40s now and found out 2 weeks ago after volunteering for tests that I HAD the virus several months ago and didn’t even know about at the time it apart from having headaches which I don’t normally get.

    And as for NOBODY wanting the borders opening I have talk to dozens of friends who work in tourism and a number of ladies who work in the “industry” and the only thing freaking them out is the chinese coming back…

  13. Avatar

    Remo

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Several coutries, Russia, US, Uk, Bahrein, UAE, etc start vaccination next week, and all EU countries .will do it at the end of this year.

    So, now we can see the light at the end of the tunel, and hopefully Thailand will open up sometime in the. summer.

    But this high season is gone for sure.

    We must be patient and this winter enjoy the 3000 baht per hour Thai massage in Zurich and the 400 baht per glass Feldschlosschen swiss beer.

  14. Avatar

    Fabian

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    I really don’t understand why the country wants to start vaccination in May. Logistics? Before it’s not safe enough? A country so much depending on tourism should make an effort to do it faster. Europe is strict in medical approval of a vaccine and yet they start in January. It does make me think that the government just wants to prolong a state of emergency as long as possible.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 8:34 am

      It’s hardly complicated.

      Because that’s when the vaccine of choice from AstraZeneca wil be available.

      Not before.

      They don’t want the Pfizer vaccine which costs well over ten times as much, doesn’t control contagion and the spread of the virus, and is less effective for those most affected, and which will be impossible to transport and distribute here.

      “Europe” wants it? Well, the politicians do …..

      • Avatar

        Fabian

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9:08 am

        That’s awesome. You know the final effect of all the vaccine before everyone else does. Or could it be just your arrogance?

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9:18 am

          No, not the “final effect”, just the “effect” of the Pfizer vaccine based on what the manufacturers have announced.

          It’s hardly complicated.

          • Avatar

            Fabian

            Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 8:32 pm

            Arrogance it is. How can you call one vaccine more effect if you just talk about the results of Pfizer. AstraZeneca study has not been completed yet.

  15. Avatar

    john brig

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Like crazy men hollering at the wind to stop blowing so hard.

  16. Avatar

    Yan

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Maybe it’s time now for the Government to open their eyes and accept that many expats who are living here are a necessity for the survival of many Thai families. Maybe it is time now that the Government decides to give those expats a more easy life here without the many restricitions and rules as they are now.

  17. Avatar

    lou

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    being in tourists industry, like to change core business and looking for investors in order to open a fashionable hanging ropes chain stores. The market expectation could soon bring over half million consumers without lack of nice product offers. Market seems to be very fine for the next “happy new year”. Great reincarnation expected. The actual bet is 5 suicides against 1 Covid casualty following world statistics of 0,001% Covid death even with the help of irresponsible countries.

    • Avatar

      Peter

      Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 10:47 pm

      5 – 1 suicides to covid deaths? So Italy with 1,000 deaths in 24 hours a couple of days ago can expect 5,000 death a day soon from suicide? You’re talking a load of idiotic nonsense (I can think of a better word) but want to keep the post civilised!

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Monday, December 7, 2020 at 8:44 pm

        Why bother?

        I started out trying to be “civilised”, then couldn’t see the point after a while. You’ve got more patience than me!

  18. Avatar

    Tori 123

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    Tourist industry? By any other name ? Thailand surrounded by sea = fish, rich in agriculture- not starving from lack of food

  19. Avatar

    Johnny Dee

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    As I said before it’s quite simple for most people with half a brain the government should come out and say if you have proof of taken the vaccine you’re allowed back in with obviously another check when you land. I have a lot of Thai friends I speak to regular and everyone needs tourism badly but unfortunately common sense doesn’t come naturally when needed. Patience is the key now.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9:11 am

      Unfortunately those with “half a brain” can’t understand that the vaccines Europe is in the process of approving only make the 90-95% of the vaccinated asymptomatic (up from the 80% who are already asymptomatic), but they do nothing to stop them being contagious.

      They’re no less likely to be contagious than the unvaccinated – “common sense” would actually suggest they’re probably more likely to be contagious as they’ll have taken less precautions.

      Unfortunately “common sense” seems to be in short supply here.

      • Avatar

        Peter

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:08 pm

        “But they do nothing to stop them being contagiou”
        Would you care to point me in the direction of scientifically CREDIBLE source(s) of such information? Personally I’m struggling to believe western governments would be prepared to pay a premium for a vaccine from a foreign supplier that only did half the job expected. Especially, when they had one of their own (both cheaper and only a week or so away from approval) if that was correct, and not the usual unsubstantiated rubbish that circulates on the web and social media platforms

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, December 7, 2020 at 8:42 pm

          See above and what I’ve said repeatedly – that’s what they’ve said!

          I’m also “struggling to believe western governments would be prepared to pay a premium for a vaccine from a foreign supplier that only did half the job expected” but if you can show me anywhere (ANYWHERE AT ALL) where Pfizer even hint or suggest that their vaccine reduces contagion THEN PLEASE DO SO!

          The same applies to Moderna and their mRNA vaccine – again, there’s no hint or even the vaguest suggestion that contagion is reduced in any way. Both are extremely careful to avoid either confirming or denying the contagion issue, despite having been asked.

      • Avatar

        preesy chepuce

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:41 pm

        You’re overreaching yourself John, you’ve gone from asking a question, to just answering it anyway, as you have expertise and insider knowledge that you don’t. The more you keep banging this drum, the more you credibility depletes. Half a brain?

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, December 7, 2020 at 8:47 pm

          No, unlike some I’ve never suggested I’ve got any “expertise or insider knowledge” – just that I’ve read what the manufacturers say.

          You evidently haven’t, but you’re far from the only one.

          • Avatar

            Preesy Chepuce

            Friday, December 11, 2020 at 9:53 pm

            Well, if I am as thick as two short planks and can still expose you as talking garbage, that doesn’t bode well for you down at the timber yard.

            “Evidently” means that you have evidence… but you don’t, do you, John?

      • Avatar

        Mike Frenchie

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:55 pm

        What do you know about it? Any relevant qualification? Lol…
        Stop talking non sense… our brightest minds are working on this vaccine certification.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, December 7, 2020 at 8:51 pm

          I don’t need much in the way of a “relevant qualification” to read what the manufacturers say, although eveidently that’s way beyond some here.

          Feel free to show me where they suggest that the vaccine stops contagion!

          PLEASE – JUST SHOW ME! IT SHOULDN’T BE HARD FOR SOMEONE WITH YOUR INTELLIGENCE.

          • Avatar

            Preesy Chepuce

            Friday, December 11, 2020 at 9:55 pm

            No John, you need to show where the vaccine doesn’t stop contagion, because as you surely know, you can’s prove a negative. Reading manufacturers’ datasheets is one thing; understanding them is quite another. Isn’t it obvious by now that nobody rates your views?

  20. Avatar

    Tori123

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    Less than 20% are tourists , let me tell you !

  21. Avatar

    Tom

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Isn’t it amazing that it’s always ex pats that agree with the government edicts, more worried about themselves than the 100s of thousands that are finding things so rough that the suicide rate has gone up in so many countries

    The small family owned bussinesses and people that work for themselves that relay on tourism to survive and the older ex pats are just worried about thier perfect little world being turned upside down

    I’m in my mid 40s now and found out 2 weeks ago after volunteering for tests that I HAD the virus several months ago and didn’t even know about at the time it apart from having headaches which I don’t normally get.

    And as for NOBODY wanting the borders opening I have talk to dozens of friends who work in tourism and a number of ladies who work in the “industry” and the only thing freaking them out is the chinese coming back…

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:44 pm

      There’s a few ideas pulling in different directions there… businesses wanting the money that undesirable tourists bring in. I agree that a lot of old fogies are making the most noise about keeping the borders locked, and it isn’t even their country! lol

  22. Avatar

    Sam

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Let Thailand go down the black hole ! It does nothing to promote tourism ! All good news

  23. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    The tourism industry has about 2000 billion brought by the tourists (12% GDP) plus a direct impact on real estate (condos in Phuket – Pattaya – Samui – Krabi… are usually owned by >60% foreigners) weighting about 5%… plus the “black economy” (evaluated at 12% in the US and likely above 20% in Thailand) that has been devastated by the lack of tourists…all together… easy >25% of the creation of wealth!

    Everybody with some money invested in Thailand or a job linked to these 25% want Thailand to reopen asap – as soon as the vaccine allows it (my guess is next Spring).

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 1:58 pm

      Well your “everybody” are notable only by their lack of protests … odd that, given the current enthusiasm for protesting …..

  24. Avatar

    preesy chepuce

    Saturday, December 5, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    One can only hope that for the sake of young Thais the government invests in new high-tech skills training, and in making it easier for skilled and qualified native English teachers and trainers to come and stay long-term to help create new options for young Thai people.

  25. Avatar

    Ben

    Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 12:36 am

    At this moment anyone can enter Thailand if they quarantine. The article is correct that a quarantine will limit entry to a trickle which will not change tourism business prospects. Thailand is a nice place to visit but will only be visited by those that have a bf or gf in country unless the quarantine is removed.

    Isaan John is correct the public in Thailand wants to keep the borders closed to limit the virus and there would be massive protests against any reopening so the government won’t do it.

    Peter is spot on that better testing technology is the key to any reopening earlier than mid-2021.

    The effect of the pandemic on personal finances in the west, where I live, are a mixed bag. Many in hospitality and retail brick and mortar have lost jobs and businesses and are clearly worse off. My observation is there also have been many winners including those that own stocks and real estate who are clearly better off financially than when the pandemic started. Those that can work from home are a push. This may be true in Asia also.

    There is a huge pent up demand, in people that have money, to go out to restaurants and travel. It’s like trying to hold back the reins on a horse that just wants to go. They’ve not only made money during the pandemic, but also spent a lot less than they normally would’ve in 2020. So there’ll be a supersonic boom of spending for restaurants and travel that’ll start in the second or third quarter of 2021.

    Thailand will have to decide when to reopen without quarantine from least risky to most risky (Option A will be later and option D will be the soonest) :

    A. All of the below
    B. After testing technology that can be relied upon to keep the virus out exists
    C. After the Thai population has been vaccinated
    D. For those that have been vaccinated

    For 2021 if they take more risk and choose option D, which could be 1st quarter 2021, they will capture more tourist revenue and recover faster. Option C might have them reopen in the 3rd quarter 2021. Option D might be 2022. My money would be sometime in the second quarter 2021 which is the earliest the Thai government said they would reopen.

    The Thai government wants your tourist dollar but they want to stay in power more so they will tread carefully. Make no mistake the supersonic boom is coming in 2021 so any predictions of 2022 and beyond is farang wining and not reality. This pandemic will be a distant memory by the end of 2022.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9:31 am

      Agreed, Ben, but the problem with option ‘D’ is that it won’t help things “recover faster” if it puts Thailand in the same position then as the West is now with contagion and lockdowns – that’ll just put Thailand further back than it is now, which won’t help anyone.

      • Avatar

        London Al

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 8:09 pm

        Thailand are allowing tourists right now provided they test negative and quarantine for 14 days, so the precedent is already in place, if they are convinced you don’t have Covid you are allowed to roam the country.

        Using the same logic if someone has had the vaccine and tests negative on departure and arrival then that person does not have Covid, therefore they can safely be allowed in without quarantine.

        Certain people here seem to know more about the vaccine than the world’s leading scientists and medical experts, it works and in combination with testing will end this nightmare.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, December 7, 2020 at 8:59 pm

          But, London Al, that “same logic” only applies if the vaccine stops contagion. If it doesn’t, as far as being a danger to anyone else is concerned, they’re no different to the un-vaccinated.

          I’m not suggesting I “know more about the vaccine than the world’s leading scientists and medical experts” but where’s the evidence that it does?

          Where’s a statement from the manufacturers saying, suggesting or even hinting that it does, as well as reducing the chances of being symptomatic?

          WHERE?

          Surely some of the experts commenting here that it does must have seen it?

          Surely it’s not that difficult to find?

      • Avatar

        preesy chepuce

        Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 11:38 pm

        There’s not “huge pent-up demand”, Thailand is spent as a destination, and all those who are betting on a rapid return to 40m a year, have their heads deep in the sand, and do not understand what the underlying economics has been saying for years now.

        There is a crazy amount of private and corporate debt that has inflated all prices, particularly since around 2014, and investment has been misdirected, get-rich-quick real-estate schemes that are tanking since foreign buyers started leaving since 2018.

      • Avatar

        Ben

        Monday, December 7, 2020 at 2:48 am

        John you’re assuming those vaccinated will still carry the virus and be contagious. I’m not. At this point we don’t know for sure if those vaccinated will potentially infect others. The scientists will be looking for this over the next quarter and will have a position on this before Thai borders open.

        We’re being told in the west it’s likely anyone who wants the vaccine can get it by April. Assuming a person has been vaccinated, there is no evidence they can still infect others after vaccination and they test negative (with better tests) before and after arrival in Thailand, they should be able to get in without quarantine by the end of March 2021 or sooner. I think the officials making the decision will go for it when health risks are minimized and not completely eliminated.

        Murika above has correctly summed up how I feel about most of the contributors and this situation. Many are trying to deny and minimize the virus impact for their own interests. America is now experiencing the worst case scenario with over 100,000 ICU hospitalizations and 2,600 deaths per day and climbing. People are hunkering down for the winter and not going to restaurants and minimizing travel. Those that compare this to the flu are idiots. Those that worry about their individual rights being impaired, because they have to wear masks, are idiots. Most of Asia has managed this properly and history will bear this out. Not America’s finest hour.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, December 7, 2020 at 9:11 pm

          No, Ben, I’m assuming that if the vaccination stopped those vaccinated being contagious the producers would have said so when asked, instead of tip-toeing around the issue and avoiding it.

          If you were selling a vaccine, wouldn’t you have said so if it did?

          At best they genuinely don’t know, in which case it’s foolish beyond measure for a government to try to vaccinate at least a third of the population with a vaccine that is an unknown quantity and may well be less effective than others, and at worst they do know but have avoided saying so in order to make a short term profit, which the government’s happy to overlook as it’s good for them politically when they desperately need some good news.

          The “evidence” that “they can still infect others after vaccination” is that no-one selling or manufacturing the vaccine has hinted or suggested they can’t, or even that the chances are reduced.

          Even when asked.

          Doesn’t that ring any warning bells?

  26. Avatar

    John

    Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 9:28 am

    The tourism industry at this point is dead – better to cut it loose and not endanger the rest of the country.
    The area to focus on is the porous borders, that’s the big danger.
    Overall the Thai government has done a good job with containing this bio-weapon.

  27. Avatar

    west tiger

    Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    The longer Thailand leaves it to open up the country will sink further into the abyss and the longer it will take the country to recovery from it. Millions of jobs have been lost already and more will follow unless some action is taken

  28. Avatar

    Johnny Dee

    Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Let’s just say everyone has opinions on this whether right or wrong and that’s how it will always be. The longer this goes on it’s quite simple the tourism industry suffers the Thai people suffer. Tom you’re right about the selfish ex pat (more worried about themself) made me chuckle but very true. Hopefully the Thai people will be able to pull through this in 2021.

  29. Avatar

    Isan Thai

    Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    I am Thai and I absolutely agree with the current course of the government.
    1) The border should be closed until the WHO announces the end of the pandemic
    2) Entry to Thailand should be limited to only quality Asian tourists and a very small number of wealthy tourists from the west. There shouldn’t be any more cheap Charlie, backpackers and dirty farangs in the country. Cheap hostels need to be blown up and five-star hotels built in their place.
    The pandemic has shown that Thailand is the best country in the world, we should benefit from this advantage.

    • Avatar

      Preesy Chepuce

      Friday, December 11, 2020 at 9:38 pm

      I am Thai and I absolutely don’t agree with the current course of government.
      1) The border should be opened despite the CCP-controlled WHO’s pronouncements
      2) Entry to Thailand should be limited to only quality European tourists and a very small number of wealthy tourists from the east. There shouldn’t be any more cheap Charlie, backpackers and dirty Chinese in the country. Cheap hostels need to be blown up and five-star hotels built in their place.
      The pandemic has shown that Thailand is not the best country in the world, we should not benefit from this disadvantage.

  30. Avatar

    Loysyattitude

    Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Multiple more restrictive lock downs are coming…. based on the demands of the IMF.

    Just got to report an outbreak and watch as interprovincial travel is shut

  31. Avatar

    Patrick Kelly

    Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 7:09 am

    The demands will be deafening in the future if this continues. Only natural when you take away people’s livelihood for the Wuhan Flu….

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