When hoteliers emerge from 2022, the business will be hard to work

More than four months have passed with no local infections on Phuket. Yet passenger arrivals have plunged and there are no imminent signs of recovery, despite the country opening up to domestic air travel and guests from Bangkok becoming our “weekend warriors”.

Thailand deserves high praise for its decisive actions in late March that successfully managed the spread of Covid-19 yet in closing the kingdom to all non-resident foreigners, Phuket island now finds itself at an inflexion point as local demand cannot stem the dramatic losses on Phuket, nor reverse the rapidly escalating financial and social crisis, especially in the tourist town like Patong, Kata and Karon, etc.

From the very earliest days at Amanresorts, founder Adrian Zecha schooled us to make guests feel as relaxed as if they were staying in the home of a friend, which built an experience that wasn’t purely transactional, and I feel we took this even further at TrisaraAs President of the Phuket Hotels Association, our 78 members to prepare for the inevitable return of international arrivals. After several aborted plans, the Thai government is considering ‘green bridges’ or “bubbles” that may allow entry to foreigners from countries or regions with little or no Covid-19 infections, hopefully from countries such as New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, China and Australia.

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More than four months have passed with no local infections on Phuket. Yet passenger arrivals have plunged and there are no imminent signs of recovery, despite the country opening up to domestic air travel and guests from Bangkok becoming our “weekend warriors”.

Thailand deserves high praise for its decisive actions in late March that successfully managed the spread of Covid-19 yet in closing the kingdom to all non-resident foreigners, Phuket island now finds itself at an inflexion point as local demand cannot stem the dramatic losses on Phuket, nor reverse the rapidly escalating financial and social crisis, especially in the tourist town like Patong, Kata and Karon, etc.

From the very earliest days at Amanresorts, founder Adrian Zecha schooled us to make guests feel as relaxed as if they were staying in the home of a friend, which built an experience that wasn’t purely transactional, and I feel we took this even further at TrisaraAs President of the Phuket Hotels Association, our 78 members to prepare for the inevitable return of international arrivals. After several aborted plans, the Thai government is considering ‘green bridges’ or “bubbles” that may allow entry to foreigners from countries or regions with little or no Covid-19 infections, hopefully from countries such as New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, China and Australia.

Answered on November 1, 2020.
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