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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Tim Newton



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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  1. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    Half …well to be honest I did not expect that much
    My wife and family did a big road trip to put water on the head of her grandparents
    Nothing to do with going to a festival and risking Virus
    I did object saying that travel alone is a Risk
    But talking to a Thai about break tradition is like talking to a wall
    Maybe others doing the same travel for family not festivals
    So hope the Virus spreading will be minimal

    Good Luck Thailand

  2. Avatar

    James R

    Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    “But talking to a Thai about break tradition is like talking to a wall”

    Roger, in Thailand there are many educated people and not so educated people just like any other country in the world.

    As far as my experience goes most farangs marry uneducated Thais due to the fact many of them met Thai women ‘working’ in bars who are usually from Issan, hence poorly educated and so the farangs who marry them adopt a biased opinion of Thais in general.

    I know many Thais who are educated and do act in a sensible logical, educated way.

  3. Avatar


    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 1:10 am

    EVER OPTIMISTIC is a government specialty in Thailand. Bottom line, 90% of this optimism never materializes but that never stops officials from misleading an already battered public. Enough of this posturing and get real. This pandemic can be minimized by a few simple but necessary procedures. Safe distancing in public, wash or sanitize hands frequently particularly while in public, discuss the seriousness of this pandemic with family members and their responsibility together members of the household, and wear a mask properly while in public. These simple precautions go a long way in preventing an acceleration of infection, and minimize its effect on our lives.

  4. Avatar

    Educated Farang

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 12:53 am

    He did not talk about being educated actually. Being educated and following traditions are two different things.

  5. Avatar

    James R

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    Educated Farang

    Only an uneducated person would decide to go on a trip which is dangerous if they have a choice.

    An educated person would see the danger far outstrips the need to follow a tradition.

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented over 10,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 650 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. As founder of The Thaiger, Tim now acts as the Content Manager and head-writer, whilst supervising the growth of the YouTube channel. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand.

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