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Now they’re coming… Special Tourist Visa flight set for Tuesday – Tourism and Sports Minister

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Unsplash: Suhyeon Choi

After much confusion and a few apparent ‘misunderstandings’, Chinese tourists on the Special Tourist Visa will actually arrive on October 20 and 26. At least that’s what Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says, according to the Bangkok Post. The first group is said to arrive 4 days from now in Bangkok (if they actually applied for the visa this time).

Reports circulated for weeks about a flight of 120 to 150 tourists set to arrive in Phuket on October 8 from Guangzhou, China. An announcement was made shortly after the flight was due to arrive with Tourism Authority Governor Yuthasak Supasorn saying “administrative issues” had caused the delay.

It was later reported that no one from Guangzhou had actually applied for the visa and it was all just a misunderstanding after the Tourism Authority of Thailand reportedly passed off a list of those “interested” in the visa as actual applications.

This time, the Post is reporting the first group of 120 tourists from Guangzhou will arrive at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on Tuesday. Another group of 120 tourists, also from Guangzhou, will arrive on October 26, but the Post didn’t say where that flight will land.

It’s apparently the same group that was planned to arrive in Phuket on October 8, but the minister claims the trip was postponed due to the Vegetarian Festival which is planned to run until October 25. Both the Phuket governor and National Security Council secretary general had claimed the festival was the reason for the delayed flight and was intended to ease fears of Covid-19 for the festival-goers coming in from the rest of Thailand.

Even though the new long stay tourist visa is good for 90 days, and can be renewed twice, the tourists will only stay in the country for 30 days, with 14 of those days in quarantine. Phiphat says the Tourism Authority of Thailand will find activities to keep the tourists occupied while in quarantine.

The visitors will be the first international tourists after a 6 month ban to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Thai officials have been discussing plans for months about how to safely reopen borders to revive the country’s economy which is heavily driven by the tourism industry. Officals are now talking about cutting down the mandatory time for quarantine from 14 days to 7 days to help entice people to visit.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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  1. Avatar


    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    yea right…Here we go again. Another lie. All talk. Will believe it when I see it

  2. Avatar

    Paul D McCarty

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    No surprise that this group came from China. Anything for Big Brother, whose PM for life looks like Winnie the Pooh.

  3. Avatar


    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Who care 150 secluded fake tourists but real biz.. We need 1.5 Million

  4. Avatar


    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    I’m completely lost on this matter.

    Now the same group suddenly comes. They must have been eagerly waiting with their agendas empty to get the appointment to come to Thailand. Just so they can spend here one month of which half the time they will spend in quarantine??? Really??? Really??? I mean.. really???

    • Avatar

      Don R

      Friday, October 16, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      I think it’s possible because Chinese people are still relatively new to the whole tourist game. They don’t understand the value proposition and will probably be satisfied with the conspicuous consumption of the whole affair.

      • Avatar


        Friday, October 16, 2020 at 2:33 pm

        You are right about that if you are talking about the Chinese in big groups. But then it seems to me they must have had a VERY cheap offer, or even got paid to go here lol.

        There are also plenty of independent Chinese travelers and hey would never fall for this.

        • Avatar

          Preesy Chepuce

          Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 4:06 am

          I don’t know anybody who believes these are tourists. CCP members, perhaps, travelling on very unique and specific terms and conditions for some purpose that may be quite different from what is reported.

  5. Avatar

    Dennis Olausson

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Haha that is what the government said last month too, and wat does it matter if 150 persons come, they wont help the local community at all.

  6. Avatar


    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    They are….until they will not . Pathetic !

  7. Avatar

    Tony Grace

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Dose the BKPost have any reporter on the ground or are they just relieing on some little chatter sent from government departments so that they will
    Print it and make it look like they are capable of doing something that might justify there position, wake up and smell the coffee get reporters on the ground and print facts not someones else’s fiction

  8. Avatar

    James Scott

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Hahahaha, the Tourism and Sports Minister wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him in the ass 🙂

  9. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    At the bars on Bangla Rd, Beach Rd. and Soi 4, I always sit closest to the street so I can people watch and when the bus of tourists pass, I always smile and tip my beer to’em; they return the smile with a nod.

  10. Avatar


    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    My friend has been to embassy in Shanghai every day trying to get a flight back. There are no STVs on these flights. She was told all non-B. Seems they are going to SHA also to pick up some very expensive tickets to make up for running loss on these flights

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 1:53 am

      Reportedly the STVs are on a charter flight, so there’d be no other seats available on their flight and they wouldn’t be on any other flight.

  11. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Curiouser and curiouser.

  12. Avatar


    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Calling B.S.-Anyone who shows for this fake shite show is getting paid to save junta face. No real tourist would go through this at their own trouble or expense.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, October 16, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      It does smell a bit. Why would anyone pay that much and go through 14 days quarantine just for a fortnight’s holiday?

      … and given that they’re only here on holiday for a fortnight, it’s a pity the same effort wasn’t put into visas for the 120,000 genuine tourists already here who have been putting and will continue to put rather more into the Thai economy for rather longer.

      Sometimes those making the decisions seem unable to see the wood for the trees …

  13. Avatar

    Ray W.

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Oh great, so I guess the economy will be all fix then! 150’ish tourist puts us close to the 39.7 million we had in 2019, right?! I better start hiring all my people back before they get better offers with this surge… that’s how math works now.

  14. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    … and if it’s a charter flight, why would they not fly direct to Phuket rather than go through Suvarnabhumi?

    … it’s all just a bit weird.

  15. Avatar


    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Who in their right mind takes a 30 day vacation with 14 of them in quarantine? This thing smells like a PR set up. I’m putting money on it being a free or almost free trip for the Chinese tourists set up by Thailand. Make no mistake this is a completely guided zero dollar tourism trip. The powers that be are desperate to make the STV look like it works after all that egg on the face from the non-existing Phuket group.Now they want everyone to think all is good while the high season slips away. Nero fiddling comes to mind.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 2:00 am

      … what a tangled web we weave …

  16. Avatar


    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    I wonder how many nails they try to put in to the coffin of Thai tourism. There seems to be no end to it, everybody has a go.

  17. Avatar


    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    A charter flight brings them to Thailand. But how do they get back home ? There is never any mention of that. There are no international flights operating. So how do they leave after their holiday ?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 1:56 am

      On another charter flight?

      • Avatar


        Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 4:12 am

        If it’s another charter flight then one would have to wait for that. How long ? A month ? A couple of months ? Six months ? During which time you are marooned. It’s not my idea of a holiday.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 1:58 am

      … but there clearly are a limited number of international flights operating.

  18. Avatar

    West Tiger

    Friday, October 16, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    The STV clearly states that you have to have health insurance, quarantine in a hotel for 14 days and spend at least 90 days here and Covid free when you get on the plane and get tested here
    Will the Chinese tourists being doing this?

  19. Avatar

    Issan John

    Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 2:06 am

    The ridiculous thing is that not only are there 120,000 genuine tourists already here who want to stay here as tourists, spending money, but there are also at least a few long term residents on retirement extensions and Elite cards who want to return and who’d even be happy to pay for and put up with 14 days quarantine but they can’t.

    No comment’s necessary.

  20. Avatar


    Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    Who is moronic enough to spend even 1 day in quarantine in a hotel selected by this hopeless corrupt government ? They’d need a sanity rather than covid test !

  21. Avatar

    willem Hagting

    Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Only coming for 30 days? what a ridiculous result for a longstay (STV) program. I guess its just another mindfuck for trying to show some kind of succes and not have to totally lose face.

    Get real and open Thailand for those who have already a longstay visa. NON O with yearly extension.

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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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