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News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking

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After news hit of an American being arrested and sued for defamation over leaving a bad review about a Koh Chang hotel on TripAdvisor, many are taking to the internet to voice their opinions on the issue. The Sea View Resort owners say it tried in vain to negotiated with Wesley Barnes after he posted the reviews, but he continued to post completely untrue comments.

The owners released a five-page statement after the news of it suing the American gained widespread attention. You can read their response HERE. Then, Barnes submitted his own response detailing the situation which was also published online.

News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | News by The ThaigerNews of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | News by The Thaiger

Now, the story has gained even more attention as netizens have begun posting their opinions on the controversial issue of Thailand’s defamation laws. Below, are some of those posts on The Thaiger’s Facebook page.

“Can someone clarify for me Thailand’s position on people leaving honest bad reviews as my girlfriend says it’s fine to leave a bad review of a business and it’s not defamation if honest of course? I have heard people say that you simply can’t leave bad honest reviews at all here but that sounds ridiculous. The thing about many Thais is that they think they’re beyond reproach. They can’t accept criticism because it’s not aligned with their grandiose self-image. Many also have a torrid time when it comes to ownership of their own actions and decision making.”

“OMG! He is arrested for a review.?! I know of an expat in Malaysia that wrote a bad review about a Thai-owned resort in Penang and he was sued as well. Be careful with what you share in that neck of the woods.”

“It’s one thing to leave a bad review but to throw in “modern slavery” remarks escalates to thai defamation law. He shouldn’t be arrested for his comments but you need to respect the country laws no matter how crazy they seem compared to your own country. This press is going to negatively affect the business way more than that review would have done though.”

“The owner should have settled with the review platforms privately and move on. I would hardly hold up Trip Advisor as a beacon of truth, however some people write extremely personal and vindictive comments that go beyond a review, in an attempt to gain product or refunds in return, this is an absolute fact, and hopefully this might make people think before they start writing reviews that are not exactly honest, I have read stories critical of the General Managers because they didn’t contact the guests, some really petty reviews by rather petty people.”

If Barnes is indeed found to be guilty of defamation, he could spend up to 2 years in prison and pay up to a 200,000 baht fine.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Britney

    September 27, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    I would sue the poor grammar in that review!

    • Avatar

      Richard Joynes

      September 28, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      And he’s an English teacher!

      • Avatar

        mike

        September 29, 2020 at 11:08 am

        Hes American, so English is his second language

        • Avatar

          Frank Leboeuf

          September 29, 2020 at 11:59 am

          French-American most likely – see the use of “server”(serveur) for waiter…

  2. Avatar

    Brian

    September 27, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Oh, god — “master/slave”??? This update makes me lean toward thinking that Barnes is a lunatic suffering from delusions of persecution. This is unfortunately common these days.

  3. Avatar

    Hmmmmm

    September 27, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    If this resort only knew how people the world over are likely going to troll them into oblivion, they would have taken pause.

    • Avatar

      Patrick Robert Marcel nouvel

      September 27, 2020 at 10:24 pm

      the American would not pause for months, how to do, leave your resort be killed by such comments when 1000 gave good ones ?

  4. Avatar

    Chris

    September 27, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    This is such a biased trash article. Nearly everyone reading this has Facebook and half the comments support the hotel for being a drunk, lying and threatening.

  5. Avatar

    Mike

    September 27, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Nope – the review bombing has started. Google etc is now awash with bad reviews for this place.

    get a grip – own it, address it, stop being such a big crybaby.

  6. Avatar

    Max

    September 27, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    Thailand’s standard of service in tourism is outstanding, but putting a man in jail for a bad or unfair review, I fear will raise antipathy against Thailand. Is this what Thailand needs at this time?

    • Avatar

      AntiCommunist

      October 1, 2020 at 9:09 am

      Exactly! Horrible practice.

  7. Avatar

    jacklord

    September 27, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Not too erudite. Not too bright. Was already in a huff before his visit even began. A typical waster.

  8. Avatar

    Davidnicholls

    September 27, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    Should pay back what they o people frist then have there fun 🤔🤔

  9. Avatar

    EdwardV

    September 27, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    This isn’t going to end well for any of the three parties. The hotel is getting nothing but bad press, way more than a single bad review.
    This guy is very likely to get a big fine and deported. And Thailand itself of coming out badly. This story is trending everywhere and all talking about Thailand’s libel laws and none of them in a good way. Not a good thing when you have protesters in the streets and trying to reopen your country. I find it hard to believe the only way to handle this issue was with someone in jail for a freaking review.

    • Avatar

      rinky stingpiece

      September 28, 2020 at 11:08 am

      I agree, it looks like a whole lot of communication gone very wrong, followed up by escalation that doesn’t seem to leave any winners. The silent party in this is the website itself, they seem to be evading any heat for facilitating an unncessary escalation. TripAdvisor seems to be the fourth party in this, and may be profiting from all this.

  10. Avatar

    Prof. JPD

    September 27, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    Whatever the court decision will be,…the bail (or deposit), probably plus an additional financial fine, is gone with the wind. Mr. Barnes will not see it again.
    In my opinion the Koh Chang Hotel management, I assume knowing about Thai law and how any accusation of a foreigner might end up, should have reacted more sensible, reputable and with sure instinct. Definitly not a good strategy,..it´s backfiring on the hotel itself.

  11. Avatar

    lou

    September 27, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    after deep study over all comments from various sites over the hotel and the detailed report seen, interested because I am myself a resort GM I come to the conclusion that this American guest is a narcissic psychopath and the simple way he should get out of the mess he created is to set apologies through the medias and directly, for sure the hotel will drop the claim

  12. Avatar

    Robert K Choate

    September 27, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    I am sure that this matter could have been settled in a completely different manner with a good outcome where both parties came out feeling good about this incident. First, if you are not satisfied with the service take politely to management away from others and never raise your voice in the conversation. Do not cause any Thai to lose face NEVER because at that point you have lost all conversation. Secondly maybe after reading the interview the manager could have contacted the writer and offered them a free evening at the hotel and with that changed their thinking and asked to just remove the review after their stay. Now that it has hit the news both come out looking bad, next time do not write a review if you don’t have anything good to say, for the hotel try to please guests always. I relize at this point in time things are hard on everyone.

    • Avatar

      rinky stingpiece

      September 28, 2020 at 11:10 am

      There doesn’t seem to be any info about what the ethnicity of anyone is in this story.

  13. Avatar

    Jerrod

    September 27, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    The hotel’s management addressed the bad review completely wrong. They should’ve just responded tactfully and let the bad review go. If the hotel was really an excellent hotel, the one bad review wouldn’t have any real negative effect on its business. Additionally, the hotel would simply need to contest the negative review, by demonstrating excellent service to future customers.

  14. Avatar

    Remo

    September 27, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    It is a big mistake to assume that rules in Thailand are the same as in western democracies.

    This is Thailand, not the US, not Germany, not Switzerland, and if you live here you must learn and obey the often weird regulations, and if you dont like it, you have the choice to leave.

  15. Avatar

    Paulo Triesma

    September 27, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    Irrespective of WHO is right or wrong in the fight between the customer and the hotel we still have a situation whereby Thailand is a country where hotels sue customers for posting negative opinions of them. I use the word “opinion” very carefully as whatever you may think of the narratives from both sides the customer has only voiced in opinion. You can decide his/her opinion is biased or the hotels opinion is biased but surely both sides have a right to freely state their opinions.

    As frequent visitor to KC I have never stayed at the hotel in question. I am unlikely to now just in case I wiped have a bad opinion of it and felt I could not voice my opinion in that regard.

  16. Avatar

    ron bergkotte

    September 28, 2020 at 12:09 am

    Does anyone knows more countries where I get the chance being arrested for writing a bad review ? I will start to avoid them.

  17. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    September 28, 2020 at 12:41 am

    I have checked Tripadvisor. It is packed with one post contributors who post excellent and never posts again on anything.
    For instance Tom Henniningh posted in December 2017 three lines, wonderful, delicious food etc.
    But never goes back.
    It seems he registered just to give the resort a excellent – but never goes back and it seems and never posts about any other hotels
    This person who is being sued should sue this Tom Henniningh for a false review.

    • Avatar

      bkkdennis

      September 28, 2020 at 9:46 am

      I read a report about fake reviews on TripAdvisor a few years ago. A computer program was used to analyze the sentence structure and specific words and found that it was quite similar in many reviews indicating that one individual was responsible. This leads to the conclusion was that someone was getting paid to write positive reviews.

      The hotel could have simply countered the review by saying we do not permit food or beverages purchased outside to be consumed on our premises like almost every other business in the world.

      • Avatar

        rinky stingpiece

        September 28, 2020 at 11:12 am

        Exactly, the response is part of the problem, people skills seem fundamental to running this kind of business.

  18. Avatar

    eLizabeth

    September 28, 2020 at 3:48 am

    This brouhaha is all a tempest in a teapot…blown needlessly into a mountain instead of being left as the meager molehill it actually is..

    And sadly the associated negative publicity will globally damage the image of Thailand as a friendly and extremely welcoming country..

    Next time it would be wise to remember the three items below…before making bad decisions..

    Number one – there is almost no other country in the world with more friendly and empathetic hotel and restaurant owners, managers and staff than the Thai people..

    Number two – successful businesses the world over run on the belief that ‘the customer is always right’..

    Number three – “it is cheaper and easier to keep a customer happy than to find a new customer”..

    • Avatar

      rinky stingpiece

      September 28, 2020 at 11:15 am

      Number Four – TripAdviser seem to have facilitated this problem instead of resolving it with both the hotel and the guest. There should be a way for both customers and businesses to flag up issues with TripAdviser, and get a solution, just like with eBay.

  19. Avatar

    M

    September 28, 2020 at 9:25 am

    It is normal that Businesses get good and bad reviews, that part of life.

    I also have multiple businesses and have to accept reviews as long as there are no false facts in there. In his posted review i only see opinion and no lies. If the staff where friendly or not is his opinion pretty simple.

    Even if the Hotel tried to negotiate with him on the review doesn’t mean he has to agree or even respond on any negotiation.

    A proper respond would be a clarification from the hotel side of view under his original review which is possible on any hotel booking side.

    The whole incident now will not benefit that hotel at all.

  20. Avatar

    Ted Brim

    September 28, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    The grammar tells me this was not written by an American. I’m American and nobody would write like this. To me it looks like it was generated by a computer. Not even a very uneducated person would speak or write like this. There is nothing natural in it. If it’s written by a human it was not a native born American.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      September 28, 2020 at 12:55 pm

      I think the police and the immigration police probably know the nationality of the person they arrested!

    • Avatar

      Frank Leboeuf

      September 29, 2020 at 11:56 am

      I’d say French-American, based on tells like “the server” (“serveur” in French) for waiter…

  21. Avatar

    Frank Leboeuf

    September 29, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Thailand’s TAT should introduce a TripAdvisor-like service where it is only possible to leave positive reviews.
    They already created Richard Barrow, so clearly have an edge in this domain.

  22. Avatar

    OnkelDICKal

    September 29, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    I was also charge with the defamation law, because I wrote the truth about the condo I bought..
    I was uploading pictures about how terrible they build the condo I bought..they said to many times to take down the pictures, but I refused because it was the truth about the condo project.. And I can still say it was my worst buy ever..
    The defamation law take away the rights for free speak.. really wish thailand had freedom of speak.. but nooopee…

    • Avatar

      Alexandra

      October 12, 2020 at 4:35 pm

      Something everyone should consider when deciding where to go on holiday. This “Wesley Barnes” behaved like a jackass, I’m sure. He could have handled the situation in a myriad of ways that would have avoided this. But the hotel having him arrested is going to blow back on them in a most negative way. No business should be so bothered over a few bad reviews on Trip Advisor. Trip Advisor if full of fake accounts and bogus reviews anyways.

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Pattaya

Pattaya residents accuse Greek expat of throwing sewage, threatening neighbours, and damaging property

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: The Pattaya News

Residents of a housing estate in the district of Banglamung in Pattaya, have filed a police report against an expat they accuse of threatening and damaging behaviour. According to The Pattaya News, neighbours say the Greek national has threatened them, as well as “throwing sewage” at their homes, and damaging their fences. They add that, despite filing a police report about the man’s behaviour, which has also been captured on CCTV, they feel nothing is being done.

Pattaya residents accuse Greek expat of throwing sewage, threatening neighbours, and damaging property | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Pattaya News

In the police report, neighbours say the man is from Greece and around 50 years old. They accuse him of destroying fences with a hammer, while threatening and screaming at residents. According to the report, he has also thrown bags of sewage and other trash over fences and onto other people’s property. He is also accused of attacking a security guard and an elderly woman in the estate.

Residents say they are mystified as to why the man is acting this way, insisting they have done nothing to provoke such behaviour. The man’s name has not been disclosed.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Expats

Thai hotels to offer 1,000 baht discounts for expats

Caitlin Ashworth

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To stimulate domestic tourism and help revive the economy after the pandemic, hotels plan to offer expats a 1,000 baht discount on rooms until the end of the year. A debt moratorium, put in place to help businesses hurt by the pandemic, is ending this month and hotels need a boost.

The Thai Hotels Association, or THA, says they will offer the discount on 5,000 room nights. Expats will need to show their passport. The discount is valid until December 31. THA president Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi says the new campaign supports the hotel industry during the tough economic situation. With a ban on international tourists over the past 7 months, many hotel rooms have been empty.

Even though Thailand is reopening borders to foreign visitors on the new Special Tourist Visa, the amount of international tourists expected to come in over the next month or so is a tiny fraction of the number of tourists arriving this time last year.

To reach out to foreigners who are already in the country, Thai hotels partnered with the Tourism Authority of Thailand for the Expat Travel Bonus program, offering travel, accommodation and other deals at events in Bangkok.

With the debt moratorium ending this month, Marisa says most hotels have restructured their debt with creditors. She says banks are trying to avoid nonperforming loans, which are loans more than 90 days overdue.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, occupancy rates have fallen drastically and many hotels temporarily closed. Marisa says it’s still necessary to continue with the stimulus campaign. She adds that the association is urging hotels not to raise the room rates or quote unfair prices to expats.

Thaiger Tip: Check whatever room rate you’re being offered under this new program with one of the online travel websites – bookings.com, aged.co, hotels.com, etc. Many of the hotels are already offering big discounts through the online booking portals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Complete Thailand Travel Guide (October 2020)

The Thaiger

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Latest update – October 21. If you are overseas and wish to come to Thailand your FIRST port of call must be the Royal Thai Embassy in your country before you make any bookings. Thailand Longstay is also a valuable resource of information at this time.

First ‘tourists’ arrive in Thailand under the Special Tourist Visa

In 2019, almost 40 million tourists arrived in Thailand. On October 20, 41 ‘tourists’ arrived, the first in 7 months. Thailand is slowly, slowly, re-opening its borders after the Covid-19 pandemic forced a total shutdown in March. The Kingdom welcomed its first tourists in 7 months, with the arrival of 41 Chinese tourists from Shanghai. The group landed at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport on a chartered flight laid on by Spring Airlines, a low-cost Chinese carrier.

The visitors are here on the recently-launched Special Tourist Visa and upon touchdown, had to download a special app to track their movements while in Thailand. Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, also confirmed they will carry out 14 days’ quarantine, before they are free to travel around. The STV grants them a stay of up to 90 days and can be extended twice.

A new visa amnesty now runs until the end of October

Foreigners who recently paid 1,900 baht for a 30 day visa extension (before September 26) are now clear to stay in Thailand until November 30 at no extra cost, but those foreigners need to report to immigration to get their visa stamp updated.

The CCSA announced another grace period for foreigners stranded in Thailand, until October 31. Under the new regulation, 60 day visa extensions will be issued to those who are unable to travel back to their home country. The reasons could be lack of flights, problems with Covid in their home country, medical reasons or something else that prevent you from leaving the country.

Those who received a 30 day extension will need to visit their local immigration office and get the correct stamp that will indicate the new expiration date in their passport, according to a story in The Phuket News. In the past, foreigners have needed to present a letter from their country’s embassy requesting an extension, but Immigration Bureau Deputy Commissioner Pornchai Kuntee says “letters from embassies may not be needed.”

Tell us about the new long stay ‘special tourist visa’, the STV.

Here are the strict basic requirements of the new STV which has been formally approved and Gazetted…

• Foreign visitors will be required to have a Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before, departure

• They will have to buy Covid-19 health insurance

• Sign a letter of consent agreeing to comply with the Thai government’s Covid-19 measures

• Will be for a minimum 90 days (there have been some reports of a minimum 30 days), renewable twice, to a total of 20 days

• The visa will be limited to people from ‘low-risk’ countries although that list has not been announced

• Successful applicants will have to complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine at a state-registered quarantine/hotel

• STV travellers must travel by charter plane and every flight carrying them must receive permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or CCSA

The new 90 day special tourist visa would be able to be extended twice, for 90 days each time. So, a total of 270 days (around 9 months). It was also announced that travellers would have to arrive on charter flights only, further pushing up the price of potential travel back to Thailand.

“Visitors can arrive for tourism or health services, and they can stay at alternative state quarantine facilities, specific areas or at hospitals that function as quarantine facilities. Our public health system is amongst the best in the world and people can have confidence in it.”

The new ‘STV’ (Special Tourist Visa) which will cost 2,000 baht and will last for 90 days each. The new visa regulation will be in effect until September 30, 2021 and may be extended beyond that time.

The government noted that it doesn’t have the ability to fully re-open to tourism at the moment as they have to be able to process incoming visitors and find approved locations for them to serve their 14 day quarantine.”The target is to welcome 100-300 visitors a week, or up to 1,200 people a month, and generate income of about 1 billion baht a month.”

Thai officials have also said they will only accept tourists from “low risk” countries, without specifying what those countries are.

On Friday, September 18, a director at the Department of Disease Control, said that foreign tourists will have to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to travel.

The Thaiger will update the details of the new long stay tourist visa as soon as the become available.

Are there any Facebook pages where I can share my story about wanting to come back to Thailand?

The ‘Love Is Not Tourism Thailand’ Facebook page, which includes families torn apart by the pandemic, is calling on the Thai government to help reunite their families.

“We’re asking the government to issue visas or allow entry for family members and lovers to reunite with each other for humanitarian reasons. Evidence such as a passport with an entry stamp into Thailand, photos, and text messages should be able to verify their unions.”

How is Thailand doing compared to the rest of the world with it’s re-opening to tourists?

The UN World Tourism Organisation has published its latest update on the state of the world’s re-openings in the Covid-era. 53% of the world’s tourist destinations have now started easing travel restrictions government’s imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The UNWTO reports acknowledges that many destinations “remain cautious” and some are even re-closing borders and tightening up restrictions again.

It’s the 7th edition of the “Covid-19 Related Travel Restrictions: A Global Review for Tourism”and identifies an ongoing global trend to gradually restart the world’s tourism machine. The report analyses restrictions by governments up to September 1. The research covers a total of 115 destinations (53% of all destinations worldwide) have now eased their travel restrictions – that’s an increase of 28 since 19 July. Of these, two have lifted all restrictions, while the remaining 113 continue to have certain restrictive measures in place.

• Another stand-out stat was that in advanced economies, 79% of tourism destinations had already started easing restrictions. In emerging economies, less than half, just 47% of destinations, have started the process.

• 64% of those destinations which have eased have a “high or medium dependence” on airlines to deliver international tourists to their location. Island destinations are particularly at risk at this time as the air lift is critical to their tourist success.

• 43% of all worldwide destinations continue to have their borders completely closed to all tourism, of which 27 destinations have had their borders “completely closed” for at least 7 months.

• Half of all destinations in the survey, with borders completely closed to tourism, are listed as being among the “World’s Most Vulnerable Countries”. They include 10 Small Island Developing States, one Least Developed Country and three Land-Locked Developing Countries.

Should I use a visa agent to extend my visa?

There are plenty of ads being posted at this time offering magic extensions to visas and opportunities to stay in Thailand after September 26. Please be aware that some of these alleged visa agents are scams. There are also plenty of good visa agents who will be able to provide you with advice and solutions, at a cost, allowing you to remain in the country.

If you do wish to contact a visa agent at this time make sure you get a referral from a friend, visit their office in person or ask plenty of questions and check their bonafides. Do not start sending money to accounts until you have seen some paperwork or evidence that they are able to provide you with a legal and professional service. Caveat emptor!

I had a retirement visa and have lived in Thailand for many years. When can I return?

Foreigners with permanent residences who have been stranded overseas for the past 6 months, and long-term foreign residents (retirement visa), can now re-enter Thailand, under a number of restrictions, including where you are travelling from.

Both groups, if approved, will still have to undergo the mandatory state-controlled 14 day quarantine period.

If you believe you fall into either of these categories, contact your local Thai Embassy or consulate to discuss your circumstances BEFORE you purchase a ticket or make any other arrangements.

Is it safe in Thailand at the moment?

Yes. No less safe than usual and certainly there has been no civil unrest that would make you ponder your personal safety beyond the usual precautions you would take anywhere in the world. The current student protests are fairly limited and are publicised ahead of time so you can avoid those situations. Whilst there has been some outbursts against foreigners from a Thai politician and a few stressed-out locals, the situation for foreigners remains safe and secure at this time.

What happened to the Phuket Model?

It was a non-starter after the government encountered resistance from some in Phuket. It was also not well received by travellers and many in the local hospitality industry.

At this stage, a model to allow limited tourists to re-enter the country, on extended tourist visas, with some restrictions, is being hammered out by the CCSA in conjunction with the Public Health Department, TAT and Ministry of Sports and Tourism. It’s called the Special Tourist Visa and is aimed at high-wealth tourists with plenty of time, as the visa has a minimum 90 day stay requirement.

I have been stranded in Thailand since April. Now I have run out of money and don’t know what to do.

This is a really difficult situation and you’d be well advised to contact your friends and family, and advise them of your predicament. Also, you MUST contact your country’s embassy or consulate to alert them of the situation. They will at least have information about repatriating you to your home country or perhaps other options that may be available.

Just hoping your situation is going to improve won’t work. Get as much information as you can about your options. And hopefully your family or friends can send you some funds to tide you over during this crazy time. Chock dee krub!

The airlines are selling tickets to fly to Thailand now. Should I buy one?

No. Don’t buy a ticket for a flight to Thailand until you have ALL the paperwork required, have discussed your trip with your local embassy and you have been approved for travel. Why the airlines keep selling tickets, for flights that will be cancelled, is a mystery.

There are currently no plans to open Thailand’s borders for international tourism beyond proposals for a limited opening for tourism into Phuket called the Phuket Model. It was proposed to start in October but no decisions have been made.

Which leads us to the next question….

Would a Thailand Elite Visa solve my problems?

Yes and no. The Elite Visa program is an excellent and convenient means of staying in Thailand with few problems, allowing you to avoid visits to Immigration and most of the paperwork. But it’s an expensive up-front costs and, for now, there is a 3-4 month waiting period to process new applications.

At this time, there is also a limit on the number of people, on various visas, they are allowing to re-enter Thailand each day. But if you have the cash, it’s definitely an option as people on the Thailand Elite Visa are currently allowed to re-enter the Kingdom.

Our flight has a transit stop in Thailand. Can we get off the plane and spend a day in Bangkok?

No. At this time all transits require passengers to remain on the plane. There may be some situations where they deplane passengers but you will be restricted to a section of the airport.

Can I get a job, get a new visa and stay in Thailand?

Maybe, possibly. Jobs for foreigners are thin on the ground at the moment. Outside of teaching English (there will always be jobs for English teachers in Thailand), most companies are cutting staff right now, rather than employing. You would need to secure a letter of offer from your new employer and visit you local immigration office to discuss the matter urgently, before September 26.

Can I fly back to my country and get a new Non B visa, and then return to Thailand?

In theory, yes. But it will take some good planning and a dose of luck for the plan to be successful. Theo did it… HERE’s the link to his story. You will certainly need to do a 14 day quarantine upon your return and the capricious nature of various embassy and immigration officials could make the many steps to get all the paperwork a nightmare.

What about other tropical holiday spots?

Island economies, dependent on tourism – from Bali in Indonesia, to Hawaii in the US – grapple with the pandemic, which has brought global travel to a virtual halt. World aviation has dropped by 97% (last month compared year-on-year). Re-opening to tourists has led to the resurgence of infection in some places like the Caribbean island of Aruba, and governments are fearful of striking the wrong balance between public health and economic reality. Even The Maldives, which confidently re-opened for tourism, has had a recent surge of new cases and forcing the government to rethink its plans.

Ibiza and the other popular Spanish party islands, are also devastated by the current Covid situation.

Can I travel to Thailand for medical Tourism?

Yes. Even though Thailand’s borders are still closed to most travel, including tourism, there are some select groups being allowed back into the Kingdom. Medical tourists are one of those groups but, for most countries, ONLY for urgent or emergency medical matters. Foreign medical tourists are now permitted to apply to come to Thailand for medical treatment with strict disease control measures being put in place.

BUT, and there’s always a ‘but’ at the moment, some countries will not permit its citizens to travel outside of their home countries, even for medical emergencies. In all cases, you would need to consult your local Royal Thai Embassy to find out if you are eligible, before you book a flight or sing a contract with a medical provider in Thailand.

Under the CCSA regulations, foreign medical and wellness tourists have to arrive by air to ensure effective disease control, not via land border checkpoints at this stage.

“Those seeking cosmetic surgery and infertility treatments will be allowed to enter the country. Those seeking Covid-19 treatment are barred.”

If you’d like to investigate coming to Thailand at this time, go to MyMediTravel to browse procedures and check out your options.

Spokesperson Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin says the visitors must have an appointment letter from a doctor in Thailand and entry certificates issued by Thai embassies across the globe. People wanting to visit Thailand for medical procedures at this time will need to contact the Thai Embassy in their country to organise the visa and paperwork. Thailand’s major hospitals will provide potential candidates with an appointment letter.

They will also need to produce proof that they tested negative for Covid-19 before their arrival. Once in Thailand they will be tested again and will required to stay at the medical facility for at least 14 days, during which they will be able to start their chosen treatments.

The CCSA says that medical procedures will only be allowed for foreigners at hospitals that have been registered to provide the treatments and have proven their ability to contain any potential outbreak. Potential patients will only be allowed to bring a total of 3 family members or caretakers during their visit to Thailand. Caretakers will have to go through the same screening procedures as the patient.

Embassies and participating hospitals will be able to provide more information about procedures, facilities, paperwork requirements and arrival options.

Again, MAKE SURE you consult the Royal Thai Embassy in your home country before proceeding with any medical tourism pans.

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