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Chinese tourists expected to travel to Phuket in July, Europeans at the end of the year

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Chinese tourists expected to travel to Phuket in July, Europeans at the end of the year | Thaiger
Stock photo via flickr

Phuket is reopening to foreign tourists starting July 1 with the quarantine period waived for vaccinated travellers, but it’s likely that most of the tourists will be from China. Chartered flights are scheduled to begin in July from China, while European visitors are expected to start returning in winter.

Phuket expects about 2 million visitors, mostly from China and Europe, estimated to bring in about 105 billion baht during the second half of 2021, according to the vice president of the Tourism Council of Thailand. Travellers, who are vaccinated against the coronavirus, will be able to arrive and stay in Phuket without quarantine under the new “sandbox” travel model.

Thailand’s mandatory 2-week quarantine has been driving away many tourists wishing to travel. The plan to reopen Phuket to Chinese tourists is a step in the slow reopening of all the borders in Thailand.

While tourism makes up about 20% of Thailand’s economy, foreign visitors brought in nearly 90% of tourism income in Phuket. Without foreign travellers, Phuket’s recovery prospects are dim.

Chinese tourists made up the biggest percent of tourists before Covid-19 shut down international tourism, and they are expected to lead the way to a post-pandemic tourism revival. Plans have been underway for a travel bubble for weeks now.

Russia, the UK, Germany, France, Sweden and the US are predicted to be the most popular origin countries for returning foreign travellers. Many of these countries are moving quickly with vaccinations.

Phuket has been injecting up to 12,000 people a day with a goal of a 70% vaccination rate for residents before reopening. 930,000 vaccines are scheduled to be administered by June, paving the way for Phuket to welcome China’s tourists in July.

SOURCE: Bloomberg

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Avatar

    J West

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    Chinese zero baht bus tours will greatly benefit . Chinese owned airlines, hotels, restaurants, buses, Chinese tour guides and ‘ Made in China” gift shop businesses like Chinese owned soapy massage must be happy with this news. They’re likey stocking up on fake rhino Horn face whitening paste and soi-dog- tiger penis powder as we speak.

  2. Avatar

    Patrick Nouvel

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    No Way Chinese wont come, their goverment willing to keep them for their internal market, simple, if you are free to go, returnees must go for 4 weeks quarantine 😂👌

  3. Avatar

    Gosport

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    UK should come in July, it has higher rate of vaccination.

  4. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    Annnnnd there it is. *shocked*

  5. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 8:07 pm

    Why not Chinese they nearly own all of Thailand now

    Sorry I despise the Chinese Gov with a passion communist bullies murderers and low lifes The Virus is theirs so they will bring it with them too
    More the Chinese come less other countries will follow so soon Thailand will be Chailand
    Good Luck Thailand

  6. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Assuming China lets them leave, and they don’t have to quarantine upon return. It’s not a given the Chinese will visit in mass come July. How quick we forget the Chinese numbers were soft in 2019, and particularly in Phuket. They are the most risk adverse tourists in the world (that’s not a dig), and were the first to bail on Thailand once the outbreak started. The Chinese stopped coming in early February, while western tourists were still arriving the first week of March. Thailand expects them to show up in mass during a world wide pandemic and while there is civil unrest. Keeping in mind the Chinese have a very low rate of vaccination to boot. It just seem to be a stretch at best, and nothing more than blind hope at worse. What Thailand should be doing is trying to land tourists from heavily vaccinated countries instead of ignoring them in the chase for the all mighty Yuan. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  7. Avatar

    Tim

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 1:28 am

    I think it is better to have Chinese family tourists or group tourists from the travel bubbles. By July most Westerners who have had vaccines are over 50s. Most people know would what that means.

  8. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 2:49 am

    A sensible move,most europeans are not allowed to travel at present and if they could very few flights are available anyway.think it would also be sensible for tat to try to get more indian nationals to visit aswell.lot of people here probably won’t like it but when you have several billion people living near by many with high disposable incomes chasing around after a few fat smelly ke neow falangs from thousands of miles away makes no economic sense.its about time local tourism related buissness started improving their mandarin and hindi if they want to survive and thrive.

  9. Avatar

    Geoff

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 4:34 am

    I don’t buy into this anti China rhetoric. It shows how successful US badmouthing propaganda has been over the decades. China has NOTHING to thank the West for, particularly the US. Their culture is different. There is no right or wrong. Many Thai families have ancestral ties to China, which is only a 100 or so, miles away. Go to Phuket. Have fun. Spend money. Some Thais will benefit and that’s good.

  10. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 5:27 am

    First of all, the particular type of Chinese tourists depicted in the photo here will NOT come. a) They most likely have not been vaccinated (in fact, China is lagging in its vaccination drive compared to both N. America and EU), b) On return to China they will have to do 2 weeks quarantine in a hotel, plus 1 week quarantine at home (Chinese 25-35 y.o. who can afford to take an extra 3 weeks off(!) simply do not exist).

  11. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 5:33 am

    “July most Westerners who have had vaccines are over 50s” – depends on the country. By the end of June every American over the age of 16 who wants to be vaccinated will have had both doses. The end of July will see most Brits with both jabs. The rest of Europe and Canada is anyone’s guess, but I would think most by the end of the year.

    I wouldn’t expect to see the Indians anytime soon. They are going through a brutal third wave right now (so much for herd immunity), and less than 4% of their population has the first dose. It’s so bad they have cut off vaccines to the rest of the world to concentrate on their own population.

  12. Avatar

    Andrew Whyte

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 7:18 am

    Any news of Thai/Chinese government talks for setting up a travel bubble?

  13. Avatar

    Andrew Whyte

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 8:18 am

    High level Thai/Chinese government talks on a travel bubble are vital to bring Chinese tourists in to Phuket. Are these talks even happening?

  14. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 9:32 am

    @Geoff, nice try Wu Mao.

  15. Avatar

    the man the myth the lengend

    Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 12:54 am

    USA as well should be allowed to come! We too have had vaccine, and also covid antibodies from the weak Wuhan flu. So why not allow the USA into Thailand? Seems you want people who actually travel on their own and support local communities rather than Chinese owned businesses.

  16. Avatar

    the man the myth the lengend

    Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 12:55 am

    very good point. Americans should come as well. we are vaccinated and able to spend more money locally than to the big Chinese owned companies.

  17. Avatar

    Bruno sørensen

    Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 1:48 am

    Situation in Sweden Germany,US – France and Uk is a disaster ! what is that for bullshit news to tell its going fast there with vacciantion ? ? Sweden and Germany is locking down 100 % now for the third time. . what is that for crap article ! the british vaccine is shit to throw out. as expected. .

  18. Avatar

    Robert Elliot

    Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 3:22 am

    I have to agree with Geoff. The Chinese have more ethnic and cultural ties to Thailand than westerners, and I am sure they are not bitter about all us westerners coming to Thailand.

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Tim Newton

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

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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Education

Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation”

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Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation” | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Student protests led to one student not graduating due to being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”

After participating in protests for student’s rights, a Phuket student was barred from graduating 9th grade, moving from middle school to high school, charged with being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”. The student had advocated against mandatory uniforms and for student’s liberties. He told reporters that the school started paying attention to his actions last year when he participated in rallies in solidarity with students across Thailand. The school’s student affairs office received a copy of posts he made on social media encouraging others to join the cause. The school ordered a stop to his political actions, but he and his friends disregarded warnings and violated school rules when they handed out white ribbons to classmates. They received a warning from the student affairs office.

Student protests have increased after pro-democracy demonstrations surged in July last year, empowering many Thai people to speak out against injustices, including students’ rights and liberties. People from schools across the nation have been banding together in solidarity to bring their issues to public light.

On graduation day, all the students were promoted into high school, except for the one student protestor, says the Bad Student protest group. The theme of the day focused on dedication to the monarchy, country and religion, and specifically how students should be obedient. The student said he has received support from friends, but his parents remain neutral and his teachers have been completely silent on the matter. He is frustrated that he was punished for his right to express himself. He plans on testing with incoming students to re-enrol in the same school, and if he is not accepted because of the disloyalty charge, he will pursue legal ramifications, suing the school for blocking his right to an education over the student’s protests.

The student believes he needs to speak out to prevent school administrators from imposing on more students’ rights. He advocates for diversity in schools and ending prejudices, with increased liberties and freedoms for students.

“Schools must teach children to be able to think by themselves, not force children to think like them. Schools should create opportunities for students to express their ideas more freely.”

SOURCE: Prachatai

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket

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16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket | Thaiger
iTrip.com

Phuket is reporting 16 more infections today. It follows visits from Bangkok and last weekend’s Kolour Beachside parties that have resulted in a number of new Covid infections. The number of new infections has reached 26. But deputy governor Vikrom Jakthee says the province has been successful in containing the new outbreak “due to its quick response measures which now include shuttering bars and nightlife venues.

One of the confirmed cases is a male teacher from Headstart International School in Kathu who, after attending the parties on the weekend, was back teaching students on Monday and Tuesday. The school has sent a letter to all parents advising them of the situation and organising testing for anyone who may have come in contact with the teacher.

The closure order in Phuket comes just as the island province was expecting to get an influx of visitors for Songkran, the Thai New Year. Many bar and club owners were expecting some increased traffic during the holiday week. Phuket officials say they will explain to bar and club owners why they decided to close the venues during the critical week for business.

Vikrom previously cited the start of the island’s Covid vaccine roll-out of Covid starting to head towards a herd immunity in time for the province’s proposed July reopening to international tourists. But he admitted that the sudden appearance of the coronavirus on the island again will force officials to reevaluate the schedule for reopening. He also said that almost all cases were in younger age groups of people in their 20s and 30s.

“Today, the number of infected people reported in Phuket has reached 26, many are from entertainment venues. This figure is relatively high. It jumped from 10 to 26 cases. We will invite operators of entertainment places in for discussions.”

Partygoers who went to any of the Kolour Beachside parties in Phuket last weekend are being asked to visit a local hospital for a Covid test. The parties hosted more than 3,000 people, drawing concern after a musician tested positive for Covid-19, having attended all 3 parties. The Phuket Provincial Government and Phuket Provincial Public Health Office released a statement yesterday advising all partygoers to get tested.

“Those who attended the Kolour parties from April 2 to 3 at Shelter Phuket Dance & Night Club in Patong, Cafe Del Mar Phuket in Kamala and Illuzion nightclub on Bangla Road in Patong are asked to get tested.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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