Connect with us

Visa

Tourists on the new Special Tourist Visa will have to arrive on charter flights

Thaiger

Published 

 on 

Tourists on the new Special Tourist Visa will have to arrive on charter flights | Thaiger

After months of pondering when some tourists might actually come back through the turnstiles, the Thai Immigration Bureau says they’re dusting off the finger-print ID and cameras at arrival booths in Bangkok in preparation for the first wave of ‘general’ tourism back to Thailand. But the projected flow of around 1,200 incoming passengers under the new Special Tourist Visa will still fall a long way short of the 3 million monthly arrivals from last year.

On Tuesday the Cabinet approved, in principal, to allow a new Special Tourist Visa. The new visa, which comes into operation as soon as next month, allows tourists to arrive for a minimum of 90 days, then able to extend 2 more times for 90 days each, nearly 9 months in total. The major ‘stumbling block’ remains in place – the mandatory state 14 day quarantine – which many potential tourists say they are simply not prepared to tolerate.

Speaking after the Cabinet decision, the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, said that the move was an important first step to reopen the country to tourism. Speaking on the matter, the Department of Disease Control says that “reopening the country to foreign visitors will not raise the risks of local Covid-19 transmission from imported infections”.

Another impediment to the success of the new STV was revealed after the Tourism Authority of Thailand deputy governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool said that the tourists would have to travel on chartered flights from overseas directly to their destinations in Thailand. The cost and infrequent nature of these flights would add a further barrier to the success of the visa.

The TAT predicts 1,200 tourists would visit Thailand each month under the STV program and acknowledged that they would be in the higher income groups due to the additional expenses involved in the flights, paperwork and state quarantine, most likely at a registered hotel, at the traveller’s expense.

A handful of scheduled flights, in and out of Thailand, mostly either as a transit or dropping off cargo, provide few options for a return to general tourism at this stage which is forcing the government to work with overseas embassies to organise charter flights for the STV program.

The deputy director-general of the DDC, Tanarak Plipat, foreshadowed that the new tourist arrivals would likely not bring in Covid-19 infections, “since the visitors would be subject to a stay at state quarantine facilities for 14 days”.

Over the past 4 months almost all the new infections in Thailand have been returnees testing positive whilst in state quarantine. But in the past 2 weeks there has been 2 local infections – a DJ who was in quarantine at a corrections facility and a Uzbek football player from the Buriram United football team.

Just yesterday it was also reported that a 2 year old Burmese boy tested positive after returning from Thailand. Dr Tanarak says the DDC were investigating the case but “no special measures had been imposed in Ayutthaya province where the boy had stayed before returning to Myanmar”.

Watch the latest Thailand news Today program each day…

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Lance

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 8:39 am

    Oh come on give me a break what’s wrong with arriving on a flight from Narita to Bangkok why does it have to be a special Charter flight as well as where do you go to book the special Charter flight come on don’t go the route of adding too many restrictions! Coming from the USA ( witch I am just wating for the to say … oh by the way Americans are not allowed for this Visa) its easier for me to fly from Dallas to Tokyo then Tokyo to Bangkok but with this Charter flight I’m guessing all those charter flights are going to be in Europe so I’m going to have to buy two separate tickets costing me way more than it should just think it’s Thailand I meet all the qualifications of this Visa don’t ruin it for us by adding a crap load more cost that is unnecessary

  2. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Not a surprise at all. You would still want to control the flights into Thailand and decrease the chances someone is infected on said flight . Honestly the extra cost also helps weed out the random tourist from the well off ones which is Thailand’s entire objective at this point in time.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 9:10 am

      Spot on, Edward V, but I can’t help wondering why even 1,200 per month would bother.

      It’s not just the cost of the quarantine (80,000 baht +) and the inconvenience, but “why ?”

      Thailand’s tourist market, like it or not, is mass tourism – not a select few staying for nine months and spending top whack every day.

      • Avatar

        BaxiidaaLao

        Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 11:34 pm

        The cheapest ASQ, is under 30K…

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 9:14 am

    I’m also still intrigued about the requirement to stay “at least 90 days”. What if one of these “top end” tourists wants to leave after a month?

    Are they to be told “no”, you’re not allowed to leave? Seriously?

    • Avatar

      Nipral

      Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 10:03 am

      “Top end” tourists NEVER stay 90 days in any country !

    • Avatar

      Perceville Smithers

      Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 2:37 pm

      You pay! Probably have it calculated what a VIP Guest would have spent each month and you’d pay the remaining months.

  4. Avatar

    Todd

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 9:17 am

    The charter flight requirement is a killer. We are in Singapore. No idea if chartered flights will be scheduled from here. Really disappointing .

  5. Avatar

    Nipral

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 10:01 am

    Sounds like a joke !!!

  6. Avatar

    Maverick

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 10:03 am

    At least they are trying to move forwards – but completely out of touch with reality – there are flights avail out of Europe that are far from full……why would these not be acceptable – when they realize that the take up is zero they will have to rethink.

  7. Avatar

    Kurt Blattler

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 10:44 am

    How long does it take until the GOV come up with Visa showing COMMON SENSE….????
    This new 90 days stuff is a drop on a hot stone… and the Tourist industry has no chance to recover. NO GUTS – NO GLORY !!!

  8. Avatar

    Patrick

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Why come up with all these rediculous plans that are not at all realistic and simply cannot work. What they actually say: Borders stay closed even when the economy is devastated in quite some areas of Thailand. Useless gesture politics and imaginary results. The supposedly covid free but untested domestic situation doesnt help and it seems the gov likes to keep portraying covid as a super contagious killer virus. Flu 2.0 would be a far more realistic designation. About flu, lets put that one into the media spotlight for a change and compare them. Well underrated for decades ;

    Surprise surprise, its here to stay. Way too wide spread to go away anytime soon with or without vaccines (compare flu situation?). So Thailand? What youre gonna do? Keep sticking your head into the ground no covid no covid dangerous killing while whole sectors fall down around them.

  9. Avatar

    Huge

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 11:20 am

    I think they are great plans if you plan on staying a long time. In fact itll probably work out cheaper then having to keep going to the border

  10. Avatar

    Tom

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Thailand nice try open tourism 1200 people are allowed per month for VISA 90 Days….
    For a country when normally 110.000 Tourist arrives everyday…. How that will support the economy with expected 27 Million Euros …. per month ?!
    Out of 1200 Tourist ?
    Totally Nutssss

  11. Avatar

    Gary

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 11:54 am

    A Phuket ASQ hotel sent my inquiry about costs to a Business jet operator, any one got a spare $48500 US for a flight from Hong Kong to Phuket? Add that to your 90 days etc etc.

  12. Avatar

    Remo

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    300 arrivals weekly means one flight per week.

    How will they organise it?

    First week from Tokyo, next week a flight from New York, then next week from Frankfurt, then from London?

    • Avatar

      EdwardV

      Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      Not that America would probably make the list, but a flight is more likely out of Los Angeles than New York. The largest concentration of Thais anywhere outside of Thailand reside inLos Angeles . That gives them a better chance of filling the plane with repatriation people along with tourists since they all would be headed to quarantine together. You can also fly direct from LA to BKK without needed a stopover. Thai airways used to make that flight years ago.

  13. Avatar

    willem Hagting

    Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    Why not start to let longstay visa holders come back in. That will have more effect then a new Special visa. The longstay visa holders have their social life, possessions, are integrated in Thailand already. They just got stuck outside Thailand due to covid. Once returned they will for sure want to stay longtime again.

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      Friday, September 18, 2020 at 7:17 am

      They have allowed several categories of long stay visas back into the country since August 1.

      • Avatar

        Gary

        Friday, September 18, 2020 at 7:44 am

        Many retirees waiting to get home.

  14. Avatar

    TS

    Friday, September 18, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Hey! mr. tourist minister, high spenders don’t want long time, just short time. How much total after covid promotion?

  15. Avatar

    bob

    Monday, September 28, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    I think IF THEY ALLOW APPLICATIONS THRU THE EMBASSY, much like a normal visa would make the process easier.

    To many requirements to get a STV Visa, forgetting the cost, just having to show up at a Embassy with a Covid test result 3 days prior to leaving is almost impossible, unless you live and leave from a city where the Embassy is located.(take the test and if your lucky you get results in 2 days)

    Paying all upfront to, have you ever heard of a Thai company giving a refund?? in case you are rejected or some emergency arises.

    The concept of the visa is good, but the implementation is way to complicated and cumbersome

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Thailand

THAILAND NEWS TODAY | Slight drop in new cases, Pattaya Pit Bull aftermath, Australia and NZ travel bubble | April 19

Thaiger

Published

on

By

THAILAND NEWS TODAY | Slight drop in new cases, Pattaya Pit Bull aftermath, Australia and NZ travel bubble | April 19 | Thaiger

 

Thailand’s CCSA reported a total of 1,390 new Covid infections today, tallied from Thailand’s provinces in the past 24 hours. The good news is that the tally is a welcome drop in new case reports. The bad news is that it’s still a record levels of new infections, compared to the last surges in December last year and earlier in April 2020. Yesterday there were 1,767 new infections reported by the CCSA.

3 more people have died of Covid-related illnesses, 14,851 people remain under state supervision.

After Bangkok with 293 new infections, Chiang Mai reported 197 cases, Chon Buri 98, Samut Prakan (south east of Bangkok) 82, Nonthaburi (directly north west of Bangkok) 39, Nakhon Pathom 38, and Samut Sakhon 32 and Songkhla 32.

Only 6 of today’s new infections were reported.

Meanwhile, the next school term, scheduled to kick off again next month, could be deferred until June due if the current situation persists. Thai Education Minister says the proposed postponement will be discussed with the Office of the Basic Education Commission today.

And, the Ministry of Interior has just updated their ‘List of Provinces with Entry Restrictions’ bringing the new total to 47 provinces that have restrictions to get in. The message from the government is that if you’re in a red zone province you should try and stay there and not leave your province.

Local provinces continue to upgrade their arrival restrictions. It’s impossible for us to keep track of the 77 provinces and whatever we say now will be wrong before we even post the video. So please keep an eye on your local province’s official notices about travel.

Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is working with other environmental departments to determine how best to save a popular tourist attraction in Phang Nga bay. Khao Ta Pu, locally known as James Bond island for tourists, in at risk of collapse, due to seawater erosion. The ministry is working with counterparts in the Department of Mineral Resources and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, in efforts to save the popular day trip attraction.

Whilst travel bubbles remain a bureaucratic nightmare for most SE Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand have opened their first green lanes since April last year, nearly 400 days. For the two countries it allows family and friends to re-unite. For New Zealand it opens the gates for its largest chunk of tourists. In 2019 some 1.5 million tourists visited New Zealand from Australia.

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry insists the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese firm Sinovac, is effective in protecting recipients against the virus. Dr. Supakit Sirilak from the Department of Medical Science was responding to a claim on social media from a man who says he took a rapid test after receiving the CoronaVac vaccine and it showed he’d developed no immunity whatsoever.

Things have gone from bad to worse to worse in the story about the man attacked by his pit bull in Chon Buri last week. After being rescued from the attack, the man died the next day from neck bites and loss of blood. Now his widow is lashing out at the wave of online attacks levied against the family and their treatment of the dog, threatening legal action using Thailand’s strict computer crime and defamation laws.

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Current list of restrictions for provinces around Thailand

Thaiger

Published

on

By

Current list of restrictions for provinces around Thailand | Thaiger

The situation continues to be quite fluid. But if you need to travel at this time, here are the latest restrictions in the red and orange zone provinces. If you planning on travelling, you need to get acquainted with the latest restrictions in your destination province, and you should check if you need additional travel documents.

The could change at any time, so if you are going to be doing any travelling (the government are advising against it), you should get your paperwork ready in advance.

Provincial governors are also being given latitude by the central government to upscale any of the restrictions to meet local situations.

The infographic was compiled by the NBT.

Current list of restrictions for provinces around Thailand | News by Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Tourism

Thailand’s 3rd wave wreaks havoc on the Tourism Restart Plan – where are we now?

Thaiger

Published

on

By

Thailand’s 3rd wave wreaks havoc on the Tourism Restart Plan – where are we now? | Thaiger
PHOTO: Empty beaches of Hua Hin - AJ Wood

OPINION by Andrew J Wood

Thailand Ministers ponder the next steps to re-start it’s massive tourism industry, initially set for July 1, 2021 in Phuket. The plan may need to be overhauled as Phuket struggles to immunise the whole island in the wake of the third wave of hotspots. Phuket, prior to the third wave had already secured more than 100,000 doses and planned to receive an additional 930,000 doses by June.

This would be enough for 70% of the population – the target needed to achieve herd immunity. The spike in Covid-19 cases has interrupted this plan, as vaccines must also be allocated to other provinces urgently to help fight the latest outbreaks.

Not deterred, the Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said he plans to meet next week with all relevant agencies to discuss the reopening plan, previously set for July this year. Eighteen provinces have now been declared red zones, with a partial lockdown and stay at home order. The alert warning was also raised across the rest of the country to orange, in all the remaining 59 provinces many of which had previously been green and considered safe.

Deciding to ignore expert warnings, the government allowed the Songkran holidays to go ahead, even adding an extra day. However no mass gatherings or water splashing were allowed.

(Songkran is the Thai New Year celebration which typically lasts 3-4 days, leading to a mass exodus of cities like Bangkok).

Last year, due to Covid-19, the holiday was cancelled. As a result of the holiday this year, a few outbreaks in Bangkok allowed the virus to spread widely. The Bangkok outbreaks centred on entertainment places; restaurant-pubs and nightclubs around the Thonglor area, plus a high-society wedding at a new riverside hotel, whose guest list included a number of government Ministers and prominent business leaders.

The Covid virus from these few hotspots were quickly spread throughout the whole country, as people returned to their homes for the holidays. Unfortunately this was a perfect storm for spreading the virus. Up until this point, since the beginning of the pandemic, Thailand had only recorded 28,889 cases and 94 deaths as at April 1, 2021. Eighteen days later this has risen to 43,742 cases and 104 deaths. An increase in cases of 51%.

During my recent visit to Hua Hin, empty beaches were very much in evidence already with the third wave leading to mass cancellations. Some resorts, previously 70-80% occupied, saw domestic arrivals decimated. Already hurting from a lack of international visitors, this latest outbreak was a most unwelcome guest.

The question of re-opening Thailand to Tourism, starting with Phuket, has obviously taken a knock backwards.

“The key determinant is insufficient vaccines, we are concerned about the re-opening timeline. We still need to discuss the vaccine administration plan. If the herd immunity goal cannot be achieved, we may have to consider opening only certain areas in Phuket”.

However, to continue with the same plan, even with restricted zones, will not be easy as long as the country still has increasing new daily infections, said Minister Pipat.

“Most importantly, we still have to hear from other countries that we already started travel bubble negotiations with about their confidence regarding the same timeline.”

Like Hua Hin, hotels in the North reported cancellations of more than 70% with Chiang Mai a cause for concern and currently experiencing increased coronavirus cases. Prior to the pandemic, the province was a popular destination to celebrate Thai New Year.

Regrettably Minister Pipat is in self-quarantine after being in close contact with Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, who was diagnosed with Covid-19. The Minster fortunately has already received his first vaccination jab last month (AstraZeneca) and will remain in isolation until next week when all tests are complete (3 swab tests).

ANDREW J WOOD

Andrew J Wood was born in Yorkshire England, he is a professional hotelier, Skalleague and travel writer. Andrew has 48 years of hospitality and travel experience. He is a hotel graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh. Andrew is a past Director of Skål International (SI), National President SI Thailand and is currently President of SI Bangkok and a VP of both SI Thailand and SI Asia. He is a regular guest lecturer at various Universities in Thailand including Assumption University’s Hospitality School and the Japan Hotel School in Tokyo.

The content of this article reflects the writer and does not necessarily reflect the editorial stance of The Thaiger.

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | Thaiger
Phuket2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow Thaiger by email:

Trending