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The first tourists to arrive next week on the Special Tourist Visa



PHOTO: Unsplash: Suhyeon Choi

The first group of foreigners under the new Special Tourist Visa will be arriving to Thailand next week after a 6 month travel ban on international tourists. About 120 people are set to fly from Guangzhou, China and land in Phuket on October 8. As some would say, at least it’s a start!

The new tourist visa scheme comes after months of discussion on how to safely reopen Thailand’s borders to foreign tourists. The effort is aimed at boosting the country’s tourism dependent economy after it was crippled by the lack of travel during the coronavirus pandemic, border closures and the virtual grounding of airlines around the world.

There have been no local Covid-19 transmissions reported in Guangzhou for many months, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn. The tourists are set to arrive on October 8 and visit Phuket’s Thalang district.

The tourists will still be required to undergo a 14 day state quarantine which includes multiple Covid-19 tests. They are also required to have health insurance covering US$100,000 or 3 million baht. The travellers must also pass a Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to departing to Thailand.

Yuthasak did not report on how long the tourists will stay in Thailand or if they will be allowed to travel to other areas in the country, although earlier reports about the STV suggest they will be free to roam around the country as long as their visa is valid. The Special Tourist Visa allows a stay of 90 days and can be renewed twice, adding up to almost 9 months.

Another group of long stay tourists from China will arrive at the end of October. A group of tourists from Scandinavian countries will arrive in November. All STV applicants have to arrive on special charter flights at this stage. The new STVs are clearly aimed at the high-spend tourists with time on their hands.

A travel ban on international tourists has been in place since April as a response to fears of imported Covid-19 cases. Thailand has slowly started to open its doors, allowing a limited number of travellers under certain restriction to enter the country, such as foreigners with Thai work permits, business people, people on Thailand Elite visas and a handful of other categories, including medical tourists.

As usual, if you are a foreigner, wishing to come to Thailand, your first port of call is the Thai Embassy in your home country. DO NOT book flights or make arrangements until you know you will be legible to enter Thailand, and under what conditions.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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  1. gosport

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Nice move.

  2. hj

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    Thai government trust the virus source already clear the hazard?
    too naive

  3. Brian Dunbar

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Great!! The first group they are letting in are Chinese, who are no doubt with a tour group. I hope the local shops don’t think a windfall is coming, because those groups don’t spend any money in local shops.

  4. Gary

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    And with my retirement visa for 15 years, I can come home but the consulate rejected my wife on dependent visa, which is based on mine, is there any logic here?

  5. Thomas Easton

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    There’s ben no reports of wuhan covid virus in or around Guangzhou for many months HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa Are you taking the piss?? it’s the only thing to have come out of China that has actually lasted and if you think there’s been no local infections then the TAT has been taking a lot of that meth the cops have been seizing, if you think the Chinese councils or government are going to tell anything close to the truth regarding this virus then you are on meth along with TAT

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 7:49 pm

      Please provide us with the evidence of your claim. Otherwise it remains an opinion. You’re the one “taking the piss” unless you can back up your assertion.

      • Ryan Lih

        Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 10:07 pm

        Spot on Thaiger! There are keyboard warriors who can’t back up anything that they accuse with documented facts. Tis the world of internet and you have every right to sound off in the comments section of your site. It’s the internet culture.

      • Suua

        Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 7:26 am

        I agree that you can’t trust a word the abhorrent dictatorial regime that is the CCP spout off.

        4 times they have lied and tried to cover up a release of a virus….Asian flu, Sars,Bird flu and now Covid 19…..the world needs to monitor this vile group of dictators and take appropriate action to protect the rest of the worlds population.

        They have proved themselves time & time again to be totally untrustworthy.

  6. Maag

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Be ready , the great rush is starting !

  7. Auon

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Each of these chinese will spend 800.000 baht. Nice.

  8. Ryan Lih

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    As an avid reader of this site, I remain skeptical of such news that the Tourism & Sports Ministry is reporting. I guess we’ll have to wait for their official live video on the 8th of October at Phuket airport for the first batch of 150 tourist from Guangzhou. Keep us posted!

  9. Rudolf Reingruber

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Wow – about 120 Chinese people! This will save the tourism!

    • Barker

      Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      So ironic allowing Chinese in first.Didnt they give us the virus in the first place….follow the money

  10. James

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    My years of seeing Chinese tourists (from Mainland China) in Phuket is they go around in crowds on organized walks shouting at the top of their voices at each other, you have to get out of the way because to them you do not exist and they will just trample over you.

    They walk past shops en-masse but never buy anything as they have all-inclusive deals with their hotels and so the local businesses will not benefit from them being there.

    The second effect has been they put off people from other countries around the world from going back to Phuket as they dislike the bad manners of the Chinese they experience in restaurants and hotels.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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