Connect with us

Visa

Travel businesses told to prep for long stay tourists, with an October kick-start looming

Caitlin Ashworth

Published 

 on 

Travel businesses told to prep for long stay tourists, with an October kick-start looming | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO
  • follow us in feedly

The first round of long-stay tourists on the newly approved visa will be able to enter Thailand by the start of October and the Tourism Ministry is pushing for tourism business to get ready now (get ready for a predicted 1,200 tourists per month?!). On the other hand, not much as been said about the thousands of foreigners who are already here, many of them trying to figure out how to stay in the country.

Whilst the country’s TAT and the ministry of sports and tourism hammered out the arrangements for the new Special Tourist Visa, the online reception has been less than enthusiastic. Many foreigners, hoping to return to Thailand to live, or as tourists, believe the minimum 90 day stay and 14 day quarantine, plus the need to book only on charter flights, remains overly restrictive. Read some more of your comments in our ‘Tower of Babble’ segment HERE.

The Phuket News recently spoke with a local immigration officer who says foreigners currently in Thailand will not be able transfer over to the new long stay tourist visa. The deputy chief of the Phuket Immigration told Phuket News that foreigners who cannot return back home must get a letter from their country’s embassy requesting an extra30 day extension (some immigration officials at other offices around the country may provide different advice).

The new long-stay visa, called a Special Tourist Visa, is expected to help boost Thailand’s tourism dependant economy. Many restaurants, hotels, tour companies and attractions that rely on foreign tourists say they can’t make a profit again until international tourists are let back in the country, without restrictions or 14 day quarantines.

Bangkok will be the first and primary destination since the city already has a variety of state quarantine facilities that has been housing mostly Thai repatriates over the past 3 months. Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says now is the time to start promoting tourist packages.

“Tour operators can start promoting long-stay packages via the Special Tourist Visa to potential customers now, while tourists can contact the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s overseas office for more information about travel plans using the services of tour operators or Thailand Longstay Company.”

The Special Tourist Visa is good for 90 days. It can be renewed twice, adding up to nearly 9 months. Those who want to enter on the new visa must also go through a 14 day quarantine at a state approved facility upon arrival.

The tourists must also provide necessary documents like their itinerary, proof of payment for state quarantine, accommodation and flight bookings, travel and health insurance, and a certificate confirming they are Covid-19 free. The Foreign Ministry will then issue a “certificate of eligibility” allowing the tourists to travel to Thailand. More details HERE.

“If the visa process can be completed in time, tourists can visit the country by October 1 via chartered flight or private jet.”

The scheme will start with 3 flights each with 100 tourists per week, adding up to 1,200 tourists per month, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. Phiphat says many tourists are interests and the flights could end up fully booked for the first month.

“If operations in the first month run smoothly without triggering another outbreak, we aim to increase carrying capacity in the next phase.”

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Phuket News

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Luigi

    September 18, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    my jet is already on the runway ready to go. But do you really think that foreigners are chickens for plucking?

    • Avatar

      Peter T

      September 22, 2020 at 7:51 pm

      I am with you on that, maybe you have a spare seat 55?
      But the Thai (UK) embassy has had no information as of 21/9 on the STV from the Thai government.
      I just wanna go home.

  2. Avatar

    Peter

    September 18, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    People who flies on charter tickets do not stay more than two to three weeks.
    The charter tourists will not come if quarantined.
    So why force long stayer to go on charter flights?
    I never see anything about Non-Immigrant Visa category “O” (Retired) Is it not possible to use that visa anymore?

  3. Avatar

    Thomas Easton

    September 18, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    I was hoping to get to Thailand at the start of December for 5-6 weeks BUT if this is the way the Thai junta want to play it NO CHANCE!! not a lot of people can afford to travel for a minimum of 90 days including 2 weeks in a government over priced ASQ hotel before hand hahahaha

  4. Avatar

    EdwardV

    September 18, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    How many businesses can 1,200 tourist support? Bet not many. Personally I would consider it if not for the fact I can’t get more than 3 weeks off of work at a time. The extra cost isn’t a huge issue and I would be willing to quarantine for 14 days if I knew I was getting 11 weeks of freedom in return. Of course the little problem of no way Americans will be on the approved counties list anytime soon so it doesn’t really matter.

    • Avatar

      Perceville Smithers

      September 18, 2020 at 3:35 pm

      They should consider American Passport Holders who have not been Stateside since the outbreak.

  5. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    September 18, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Turkey, most of Europe, Mexico, Maldives, Dominican Republic… open to tourists without all that BS! Let’s buy popcorn and watch Thailand key industry (tourism) going bust while banks tank and 7-10 million people loose their rice bowl on the table. This is not a plan…

  6. Avatar

    Luigi

    September 18, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    I’m curious how much a plane ticket will cost. airplane that normally carries 350 people should travel with only 100 people. what a great brain who thinks this.

  7. Avatar

    Cape Marc

    September 18, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    I love it ! I’m sitting in ASQ in BKK as I write here. Another 12 days to go here. I’m sure tourists arriving in private jets will love the non-alcohol policy imposed under ASQ (Alternative State Quarantine). Not that drinking is a must but it makes the 15 nights locked up in a 5 star hotel slightly more bearable but high spending tourists are certainly willing to stop drinking for 14 days. What a joke !

  8. Avatar

    I just want to see my GF

    September 18, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    a charter flight? how does one know what flight to get and how to book it? Why cant we just book a flight that is already running? coming from the US its going to be just that much MORE to have to book random flights let alone most country will only let you transit so how can a person to go out to the ticket counter to check in the for charter flight… Why cant we just make it easy to get there WHY the charter flight…

  9. Avatar

    Bobby m

    September 18, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    A message to Thai businesses

    Guys, don’t spend money preparing for us. We are not coming. Keep the money you have for food. We will return, but not until those in power remember that we are customers and the customer is king for any business or countries GDP.

  10. Avatar

    Niklas

    September 18, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    Who is making itinerary for 90 days or even 270 days and who is booking accommodations for such a period in advance???
    Zero flexibility in case things change. Absolutely not practical for most people.

  11. Avatar

    Gary

    September 18, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    What super rich person, who can afford a private jet, will fly in to be met by an army of staff in full PPE gear and have a stick shoved up their nose or throat and then shipped off to detention for 14 days?

  12. Avatar

    Andrzej

    September 18, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    “Travellers from Thailand can enter United Kingdom without quarantine”.
    Normal Travellers. No STV, no private jets, no min. 90 days, no quarantine, no pre-booking hotels, no stupidity. That’s the difference between Thailand and Europe.

  13. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    September 18, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Overplaying their hand.

  14. Avatar

    Jason

    September 18, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    I think the only way the authorities will come to understand how this will not work….is when it doesn’t work…. yes….it’s that simple…..sad but simple

  15. Avatar

    Peter

    September 18, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    I have been stuck here in the UK for 217 days now and getting more and more anxious to return home. I still have a Retirement visa and a valid re-entry permit till early in January but I am unable to return as yet because my partner and I are not married. Unfortunately my partner lost our baby she was carrying so being the father of a Thai child is also not an option. I still have 800000 Baht sitting in the Thai Bank and have a Villa in Hua Hin. My partner and I live in Sa Kaeo. The 14 day quarantine would not bother me as I have been virtually isolated here in a hotel, not risking going out other than for necessities.
    So please let us know as soon as you can when I can return to my family and take my life off hold.

    • Avatar

      Preesy Chepuce

      September 19, 2020 at 8:20 am

      Your story doesn’t add up… You’re paying for a hotel for over 217 days in the UK?
      Most hotels in the UK are over £50/day, with food and laundry as extras, and don’t usually let people stay that long, because it becomes a tax and insurance issue. Are you really spending £10,000-£20,000 on hotels and living costs in the UK out of your taxable pension?
      Sounds like quite a large pension.

      Why do people whine about not getting the benefits of being married when they choose not to get married? It also seems odd to have £20,000 in a Thai account, and to claim to own property in a country that you can’t own property in, but you don’t live in it, you claim to live in Sakaeo, a poor rural county with nothing much in it. It suggests you had a Thai wife already, and that Thai ex-wife probably legally own the villa in Hua Hin and live in it.
      Thailand is only a home for Thai citizens, I keep hearing farang talking as though they own a house in Thailand or that Thailand is their home, but those things are not really possible unless they become Thai citizens.

      Pensioners fathering children with girlfriends seems a bit selfish too, a child born out of wedlock might not have access to citizenship, and their father might struggle to have a healthy relationship with them even if they live long enough to help them reach adulthood, and how to afford schooling? You force them to go to Thai school instead of school in England, just so you can retire abroad? Doesn’t seem very fair. We can only assume you wouldn’t father a child for visa purposes.

      • Avatar

        Peter T

        September 22, 2020 at 8:05 pm

        Preesy, shame you cannot know all the facts and want to sit in judgement. Try to recognise the fact that people and families worldwide are separated by this situation. That was the reason for my post, not to invite moral judgement. Oh do the tax laws apply if I own the hotel?

  16. Avatar

    Tuna

    September 19, 2020 at 2:09 am

    This program is too funny. A country that gets 4 million tourists a month in high season and 2 million tourists in low season will now be getting 1,200 tourists a month if they are willing to jump through ridiculous hoops. Is this really any kind of solution to Thailand’s tourism woes. Maybe for the politically connected hotel owners that will house quarantined tourists at a special tripple rate, but even for them I doubt it. Everyone needs to be patient and wait for reality to set in for the Thai Government. A big nothing of a solution by those making decisions.

  17. Avatar

    lou

    September 22, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    I am resort owner, I just prepare an hanging rope to follow all those stupidities, thanks Amazing to Thailand, I believed and loved it I put whole my futur and money into it, left with nothing and especially no hopes

  18. Avatar

    Carlo Costantini

    September 23, 2020 at 11:45 am

    I am amazed that there are so many negative comments. This plan makes total sense to me. Plus, from a traveler’s perspective, the fact that the 90 days can be extend twice makes me very excited -well worth the 14-day quarantine. Anyway, it seems the negative commenters are ‘holiday-people’ rather than ‘travelers’. I hear you! But holidays will have to wait until the vaccine is being distributed and the Americans won’t let that happen until ‘their’ PharmaCorp. vaccines are ready. Which reminds me, the people who will accept this Visa are probably people like me:
    1. I didn’t want to leave Thailand -I got kicked out of Thailand because of COVID. So, I was forced to go back….’home’ which is New York.
    2. Living in NYC is a living hell (@50 shootings/night, creepy vibe, political weirdos everywhere, etc, etc).
    3. The food is disgusting here (I actually have gained almost 20lbs). And it so expensive.
    4. Urban Westerners are full of hypocrisy and New York City is their world capital. I can’t even take my friends seriously, but SE Asian people are ‘real’…which soothes me.
    5. So, I feel trapped. THE ONLY ‘THING’ that keeps me going is that I know one day, I will be back in a nice little villa in Southern Thailand: seeing my friends again, meeting new ones, swimming/biking every day, listening to live music, awesome meals, etc. Sound familiar?
    So, my point is that anyone who is like me will jump at this chance & I can assure all that there are way more of ‘us’ than the program’s capacity, way-WAY more.

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.

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.

Thailand

Cruise ships and yachts to dock in Thailand, visitors to enter on Special Tourist Visa

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Cruise ships and yachts to dock in Thailand, visitors to enter on Special Tourist Visa | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Josiah Weiss

Cruise ships and yachts will be allowed to dock in Thailand and visitors will be allowed disembark under the Special Tourist Visa. The new measure hasn’t been made official yet, but it will go into effect 30 days after it’s published in the Royal Gazette.

The Cabinet approved the new guidelines yesterday which allows captains, crew and passengers travelling from countries considered at low risk for spreading Covid-19 to dock in Thailand and enter the country, according to deputy government spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul.

Visitors must go through a 14 day quarantine. Those on yachts will quarantine onboard before stepping onto Thai soil, according to the Bangkok Post. They must also have Covid-19 health insurance of $100,000 USD as well as local health and accident insurance. Proof of advance payment for anchoring the liner will also have to be provided.

The Special Tourist Visa allows a 90 day stay that can be renewed twice, adding up to around 9 months. So far, only 2 flights of foreigners on the Special Tourist Visa have arrived after a 7 month ban on international tourists.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Thailand

Fuel tanker explodes after collision in Buri Ram

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Fuel tanker explodes after collision in Buri Ram | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

A fuel tanker has exploded after a collision with a trailer truck, causing both vehicles to be engulfed in flames in a series of explosions. Fuel from the 40,000-litre tank spilled out onto the road, spreading about 1 kilometre to nearby homes and into the sewers. People trying to douse the spreading flames found they were just pushing the flaming fuel further down the road, 20 cars, motorcycles and tuk tuks parked along the road were damaged or destroyed in the fire. Many people were injured, but there is no exact count.

The fuel tanker truck and the trailer truck collided on Highway 24 in the Isaan province Buri Ram. The drivers were able to flee before the first explosion. There were a series of explosions as the fuel spread and nearby residents fled their homes. People tried to put the flames out with tap water, but fire continued to spread.

50 fire engines responded to the fire and the road was closed off for a radius of 5 kilometres. It took firefighters more than 4 hours to extinguish the fire. The oil company was called to safely unload 30,000 litres of fuel that was left in the tanker.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Thailand

Is Koh Pha Ngan Thailand’s best island?

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Is Koh Pha Ngan Thailand’s best island? | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

OPINION

Koh Pha Ngan was voted third best island in Asia in the 2020 Condé Nast’s Readers Choice Awards. The island is widely known for its monthly Full Moon parties on Haad Rin beach, but Surat Thani governor Wichawut Jinto, who boasted about the island’s recent rating, said there’s more to Koh Pha Ngan than Haad Rin.

Condé Nast publishes a monthly travel magazine, Condé Nast Traveller, as well as GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue. It’s safe to say the publication’s target audience is more interested in luxury resorts than dirt cheap party hostels and monthly beach raves. For example, for the best islands in the United States, Hilton Head Island in South Carolina was voted number 1. It’s a golf lovers paradise and a popular vacation spot for suburban families.

A trip Koh Pha Ngan can be a completely different experience depending on where you go and what you do. Some stay on Haad Rin on the southeastern side of the island and have a trip like Hunter S. Thompson’s drug-fueled “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” while some go to the western side for a yoga or healing retreat.

The Full Moon parties, which would draw more than 30,000 mostly foreign tourists, was put on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions in Thailand. But before the outbreak, the parties were known to be crazy with neon glow paint, fire jump rope and cheap buckets of alcohol and use of illicit drugs. The sand was so sticky that people were better off wearing shoes, and just about everyone pees (and pukes) in the ocean.

Even on the west side of the island, where it’s more known for yoga and meditation retreats, things can sometimes get a little weird. A tourist said she did a “spiritual healing” ritual on the island known as a kambo cleanse where secretion from a South American frog is applied to burnt skin. She said “I feels like you’re dying” but “it’s great.”

While the west side of the island has trendy resorts and bungalows, as well as a variety of yoga retreats and pricy vegan food, some people also live on a budget – a very tight budget. Some tourists even camped out on a hidden beach during the pandemic, a tourist claims. A local artist said he lives in a cave on the same beach.

Koh Pha Ngan topped Bali, Indonesia, which was number 9 on the list. Phuket was number 8 on the list and Koh Samui was number 10.

Here’s what made the top 10 Asia islands in the Condé Nast Reader’s Choice Awards 2020.

  1. Cebu & Visayas, Philippines 95.83
  2. Sri Lanka 95.45
  3. Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand 95.30
  4. Palawan, Philippines 95.22
  5. Siargao Island, Philippines 95.19
  6. Boracay, Philippines 95.06
  7. Lombok, Indonesia 94.59
  8. Phuket, Thailand 94.12
  9. Bali, Indonesia 93.27
  10. Koh Samui, Thailand 92.73

SOURCES: Condé Nast | Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Big Bike licenses, Parliament latest, Zombie saleswoman | October 28 | The Thaiger
Thailand23 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Big Bike licenses, Parliament latest, Zombie saleswoman | October 28

Thailand News Today | German Embassy, More STV tourists, Thanathorn in trouble | October 27 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | German Embassy, More STV tourists, Thanathorn in trouble | October 27

Thailand News Today | German Embassy rally, permanent residency prospect, crowds in Pattaya | Oct 26 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Thailand News Today | German Embassy rally, permanent residency prospect, crowds in Pattaya | Oct 26

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency lifted, Quarantine latest, Phuket Light Rail | October 22 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts7 days ago

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency lifted, Quarantine latest, Phuket Light Rail | October 22

Thailand News Today | STV arrivals, Released then re-arrested, Petition to oust PM | October 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | STV arrivals, Released then re-arrested, Petition to oust PM | October 21

Thailand News Today | Media censorship, Thai parliament to meet, STV flight arrives | October 20 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Media censorship, Thai parliament to meet, STV flight arrives | October 20

Thailand News Today | Protest update, Samui wants cheap flights, Isaan croc hunters | October 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Protest update, Samui wants cheap flights, Isaan croc hunters | October 19

Thailand News Today | Bangkok protests, Special Tourist Visa, Prisoners slippery escape | October 16 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok protests, Special Tourist Visa, Prisoners slippery escape | October 16

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency, Pattaya ‘online’, Veggie Festival plea | October 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency, Pattaya ‘online’, Veggie Festival plea | October 15

Thailand News Today | BKK protest update, Chiang Mai ‘quiet’, Baby klong crocs | October 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | BKK protest update, Chiang Mai ‘quiet’, Baby klong crocs | October 14

Thailand News Today | No STV tourists, Boss in Dubai, border fears in Tak | October 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | No STV tourists, Boss in Dubai, border fears in Tak | October 13

Thailand News Today | Land bridge project, “Thai Bridge”, Chaing Mai black widow | October 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Land bridge project, “Thai Bridge”, Chaing Mai black widow | October 12

Thailand News Today | Army v Twitter, Tourism interrupted, Thailand World’s #6 | October 9 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Army v Twitter, Tourism interrupted, Thailand World’s #6 | October 9

Thailand News Today | Tourist arrivals postponed, Will Boss return?, deadly centipede | October 8 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Tourist arrivals postponed, Will Boss return?, deadly centipede | October 8

Thailand News Today | Poll-Keep borders closed, quarantine exemption, heavy rain | October 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Poll-Keep borders closed, quarantine exemption, heavy rain | October 7

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending