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

Caitlin Ashworth

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The first tourists to arrive next week on the Special Tourist Visa | Thaiger
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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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    gosport

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Nice move.

  2. Avatar

    hj

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 1:22 pm

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

  3. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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

      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.

      • Avatar

        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.

      • Avatar

        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. Avatar

    Maag

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Be ready , the great rush is starting !

  7. Avatar

    Auon

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Each of these chinese will spend 800.000 baht. Nice.

  8. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    Rudolf Reingruber

    Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 12:00 am

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

    • Avatar

      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. Avatar

    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.

Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Tim Newton

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Transport Ministry: refunds to cancel travel for Covid-19

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Transport Ministry: refunds to cancel travel for Covid-19 | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Travellers can cancel travel and be refunded due to Covid-19

The Transport Ministry is launching plans to deal with forced cancellations of travel plans due to the most recent Covid-19 outbreak. With recent restrictions on entertainment venues, Songkran festivities, and some areas implementing quarantines for domestic travel, many holiday travellers will likely have no choice but to cancel their plans. The Transport Ministry has declared that all passengers by bus or train scheduled to travel between April 9 and 18 can receive a full refund on cancelled trips. They hope to help control the spreading of the Covid-19 outbreak by giving people the easier option to cancel travel over the Songkran holiday.

The State Railway of Thailand will refund tickets but advise people to cancel their trips at least 24 hours before the original scheduled travel. They also said that any tickets bought using both cash and state welfare card benefits will only receive a refund on the cash portion of the ticket. Special tickets bought as part of a group guided tour or on a chartered train trip will also be fully refundable if cancelled 1 day in advance. The SRT did say exceptions would be made to allow cancellation only 1 hour before departure if the departure or arrival location is declared a strict or maximum control zone.

Online reservations are asked to send an email to passenger-ser@railway.co.th with your e-tickets and a refund request.

For those who decide to keep their holiday plans and not cancel travel, the SRT is strongly advising all passengers to wear face masks at all times and adhere to social distancing protocol. The Thai Chana system will be used for checking in and out and travellers are being asked to notify staff in the station if they see anyone with flu-like symptoms, or if they experience any symptoms themselves.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Expats

Airlines and hotels try to cope with cancellations for Songkran

Tim Newton

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Airlines and hotels try to cope with cancellations for Songkran | Thaiger

Airlines and hotels are reporting cancellations from many of their customers as travellers react to the news of the new clusters and infections being detected in the provinces. Bars and entertainment venues close for 2 weeks in 44 provinces from midnight tonight, according to an order from the Thai PM. Entertainment venues in the other 35 provinces will remain open at the discretion of their provincial officials.

The Thai government has also announced today a series of measures to assist with refunds for people that have cancelled, or been forced to cancel, their bookings.

Thai VietJet asked us to publish their arrangements due to the queries from their customers. We will publish any other announcements from airlines and large organisations as they come to hand…

Due to the Covid-19 escalation in Thailand, the airline announces its policy to support passengers holding Thai Vietjet tickets on all domestic routes.

For passengers who booked tickets and made payments before 10 April 2021 with travel date between 12 -30 April 2021, may choose 1 of the supports as following:

  1. One-time changing the travel date free of charge. New travel date must be by July 31, 2021 and subject to flight availability. Rerouting is not applicable.
  2. Keeping the value of the ticket as a Credit Voucher, which is valid within July 31, 2021.

Passengers who have travel dates fall into the above-mentioned period and wish to contact the airline for support regarding change of flight or credit shell by voucher (at least 72 hours before the original departure time), please choose 1 of the options below:

  1. By E-Form: https://bit.ly/2L6Yv4z (Recommended Channel)
  2. By Line: @Thaivietjet
  3. By email: vz.support@vietjetair.com
  4. By Live Chat at https://skyfun.vietjetair.com/

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