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Phuket luxury resorts become quarantine facilities for travellers on the Special Tourist Visa

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket luxury resorts become quarantine facilities for travellers on the Special Tourist Visa | Thaiger
PHOTO: Senses Resort

Thailand is opening its doors this week after a 6 month ban on international tourists, catering to those on the new Special Tourist Visa who have time on their hands and money to spend. The first group will arrive to Phuket from China on Thursday, but they all have to go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine and it isn’t cheap in Phuket.

Most of the government approved quarantine facilities in Phuket are luxury hotels. The Senses Resort in Phuket offers quarantine packages for their private pool villas starting at 260,000 baht and go up to 590,000 baht for a family of four. While it’s pricey, the resort owner Suppachoke Laongphet says it doesn’t generate much income.

“We won’t make much profit from these special clients because of the expenses involved … We had to find other sources of income to support our staff and the local economy.”

A lot of preparation has gone into preparing the resort for quarantine guests. The resort’s staff were trained on Covid-19 prevention measures such as how to spot infections and what protective equipment to wear when interacting with the guests. The resort also got rid of some cushions to make the disinfecting easier.

Once the tourists are released from quarantine, officials hope they will help boost Phuket’s economy that heavily relies on foreign tourists. Before the pandemic, tourism made up 93% of Phuket’s income. The island province has been in a crisis since the halt on international travel to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Now more than 70% of the island’s businesses are closed.

But some say the Special Tourist Visa scheme won’t be even slightly close to enough to save the country’s battered tourist economy. President of Thai Travel Agents Vichit Prakobkoson is pushing to end the 14 day quarantine for foreign tourists travelling from countries classified as a very low risk for spreading Covid-19. He says the thought of quarantine “repulses” many potential tourists.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Davidnicholls

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Thailand is finished the poor suffer the government get richer and dont know what they are doing 14 days locked in a hotel that’s not a holiday its madness the government will take there money but none will go to the people OPEN THAILAND NOW

    • Avatar

      steven roberts

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 2:17 am

      chinese dont even spend moch money it a joke

      • The Thaiger & The Nation

        The Thaiger & The Nation

        Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 8:20 am

        That is actually incorrect. In numerous surveys, Chinese have been shown to be the biggest spenders, on average, per capita, per day. They also stay, on average, a lot shorter time than, say, European travellers, so their TOTAL spend is down. But per diem, they spend more than any other nationality.

  2. Avatar

    Mark

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    At some airports they are using Covid-19 sniffer dogs worth a look for low risk countries plus PCR test

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    “… starting at 260,000 baht and go up to 590,000 baht for a family of four …” but
    “We won’t make much profit from these special clients …”

    My heart bleeds for him …

  4. Avatar

    Michael

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    260,000 baht for 2 weeks? The value of these hotels is in the facilities. The nice pool etc. But if you have to stay in your room it makes no sense to pay this ridiculous amount of money.

    • Avatar

      Ben

      Monday, October 5, 2020 at 9:36 pm

      260,000 baht is a lot of money for 2 weeks. Additionally there are costs of a charter flight, insurance, tests and entrance paperwork.

      What these tourists are actually paying for is the right to stay in Thailand, which is relatively COVID free, for 8.5 months after the initial 2 weeks without much hassle. The COVID free environment enables them to move around freely without much fear of contracting the virus. The costs of lodging and entertainment are much cheaper than normal now because of lack of demand. For example most of the monthly apartment rentals on Airbnb are 30% to 50% off regular rates. It’ll be a much cheaper vacation after the initial 2 weeks.

      I’d consider doing it if I could afford it and my country wasn’t banned.

      This is obviously a cautious first step and I’m hoping it becomes cheaper and less restrictive in the future. For sure they won’t throw open the doors while the vaccine is still a threat.

  5. Avatar

    murika

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    18500 bath a night and they can’t make any benefit, i feel so sorry for them, life is sooo hard for thai people right now obviously, maybe they should ask more money, farang don’t mind they are so rich…

    • Avatar

      Joseph McKee

      Monday, October 5, 2020 at 11:42 pm

      “The first group will arrive to Phuket from China”

      • Avatar

        Richard

        Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 7:18 am

        Not only cost and time but also the complicated process of having all the paperwork and booking done. As seen on some vlogs of people going through this process with tight window to have everything lined up just right for it to work.
        But sorry even if I had the money and time the hassel is not worth it and if you have to do the same 14day quarantine in your home country the cost has just increased rather save the money until travel was like in the past without the BS unfortunately it will hit tourism hard.

    • Avatar

      Patrick Robert Marcel nouvel

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 11:02 am

      as a resort manager I confirm that there wont be any profit due investments and surely not a good occupation rate, taking care of such luxury rooms is also at high cost, hotel can only save few staff

  6. Avatar

    lootarzoon

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    Good luck to the resort only to cover the investments…!!! Then forget any local tourism as well, they avoid ASQs, anyhow counting on them in Pukhet or Samui also a failure!!! Then the first flight is already delayed…may be not enough passengers yet ???

  7. Avatar

    Gigitour

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Good luck ??

  8. Avatar

    James

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    “We won’t make much profit from these special clients because of the expense….”

    They won’t make any money as it is all fictitious, there are no tourists.

    First, they were delayed by a week, now they are on the way, then there will be a delay again I can imagine.

    The logic is, no one in their right mind would pay so much to be stuck in a room when they can stay at home and live in the luxury of a house.

    The pictures of the rooms look like wooden garden sheds.

    Nearly every country has a problem with tourism, the UK for example normally has 30 million overseas tourists per year, they now know the reality is they will have very few visitors and are not pretending otherwise.

  9. Avatar

    Shane

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    I’m willing to pay any price to holiday in Phuket, but only if the hotel room has cushions, lots of cushions!

  10. Avatar

    Jack Sombra

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    “We won’t make much profit from these special clients because of the expenses involved”

    Translation, hospital’s huge cut just to give them some nurses and tests ‘on request’. Remember any actual infected arrivals are covered by insurance.

  11. Avatar

    Nipral

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 3:24 am

    They must primarily be tested for…sanity !!!

  12. Avatar

    Paulnou

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 10:58 am

    I suggest the poor Pukhet’s hoteliers to charge the Chinese for no shows since they wont come on 8th as planned

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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.

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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