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Possible delay of foreign tourists arriving to Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Possible delay of foreign tourists arriving to Phuket | Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Bao Menglong

Thailand is lifting its 6 month ban on international tourists, allowing only those who are on a Special Tourist Visa to arrive on select charter flights, but there are conflicting reports on when exactly they will arrive. Many reports say the tourists should arrive on Thursday, but a recent report from a respected Thai media outlet claims the plans are delayed.

Many reports, including from the Nation News Bureau of Thailand run by the Public Relations Department of Thailand, say a group of Chinese nationals will arrive on Thursday, flying directly from China to Phuket on a chartered AirAsia flight endorsed by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. But a recent report from the Thai language business journal Thansettakij says there has been a delay due to “many points in the process,” but tourists should arrive before October 20.

The Phuket News tried to clarify the reports with Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, but he was unavailable and the Chief of the Phuket Public Relations Offices declined to comment.

Last week, the governor said during an event that he had not been officially informed about the plans to have tourists arrive at the Phuket International Airport on Thursday.

“I have not received any official information from the CCSA yet, but I have already seen the news in the media.”

According to Thansettakji, the Chinese tourists are actually business travellers entering under tours organised by the Thailand Longstay Company. The Tourism Authority of Thailand, or TAT, is a major shareholder in the company. Thansettakji also says TAT is also organising the charter flight.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 10:45 am

    I had read the problem is the STV doesn’t actually exist yet so immigration doesn’t have the correct paperwork to process the visitors. The fact the first group of tourist is actually a pre-booked groups of businessmen says a lot about the program. At this rate Thailand will lose the high season.

    • Avatar

      Nipral

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 10:59 am

      its already lost, and not only this one.

  2. Avatar

    Svcoquette

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 10:49 am

    Stop calling them “tourists”, they are business people coming here to buy up businesses and properties at rock botoom prices. They care little for the Thai people or the Thai experience. Most of the money they make in the future from these purchases will leave the country.

    • Avatar

      som chai

      Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 12:36 pm

      Yes, these are businessmen and they are going to INVEST in a winning country with a stable economy. Thailand is now the MOST attractive and safe country for life and investment. Together with our Chinese brothers, we will revive tourism for Thais and our Chinese brothers. The Farangs are offended that they were not invited to the banquet. Sorry guys our country is only for winners

  3. Avatar

    Paulnou

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 10:54 am

    whatever, 120, 1200 , 12000 or 120.000 will not save the Economy and technically impossible to reopen for 12 millions at a minima needed…..lets go back to the basics, agriculture, fisheries, coconuts and a bowl of rice at every meal. give back housing, cars, bikes and I-phones to the sellers and banks soon

  4. Avatar

    Nipral

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 10:57 am

    The soap opera continues ! This government should be ashamed of its moronic international image !!! Poor Thailand !!! Looking lige an utterly under-developed country.
    And in the meantime people suffer and starve.

  5. Avatar

    Ryan Lih

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 11:06 am

    Nice try covering a lie with another lie. The bubble is bursting. When 20th comes, let’s see if there’s more delayed schedule. What about the Scandinavian tourists? I suppose it’s most embarrassing for the person-in-charge in organizing this STV. A laughing stock perhaps? Even for Chinese businessmen, there’s nothing to buy in Phuket. China doesn’t want to colonize Thailand or rather Phuket. They want to complete building the railroad for the 1 Belt 1 Road project. Why would they land in Phuket? China govt has advised against its citizen’s travelling out of China for any purpose. PERIOD.

  6. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Maybe 1200 tourists arriving was an optimistic estimate, and the Thai big planners will lose face when only 200 turn up.
    So they delay until they can attract some big number.
    Maybe . . .

  7. Avatar

    Geoff

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 11:56 am

    I haven’t been to Phuket fora year. Yesterday I watched a YouTube vlog about Patong sea front made a couple of weeks ago. It looks like a war zone. Hotels, bars and restaurants are derelict. Stripped clean and decaying with damaged buildings and pavements.
    I know Phuket does not consist solely of Patong, but a lot of the damage will take a long time to repair or replace.
    There were a few places open but not enough to attract tourists.
    The only people it would attract would be property developers hoping for bargain deals.

  8. Avatar

    patty

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Agree with everyone on here. Prayut and his regime are a joke. He has no clue on what hes doing. Step -down idiot!!!

  9. Avatar

    Some Chai

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Mass tourists should only be from China. Other countries, if they want to join the club of winners, must first solve the problem with the coronavirus.
    It’s funny to watch the losers who cannot cope with the corona virus in their country condemn the winners. Khun Prayut best PM in the world. Thailand is the MOST SAFE country in the world.We are winners. Entry here will only be available to winners. Losers can go to Spain or Turkey or some other shitty country. They will give you a free coffin 55555

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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.

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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