bill barnett

  • Travel

    Bangkok is back – Thailand’s capital roars back to life

    OPINION Before the pandemic, Bangkok was the most-visited city on the planet – a thriving hive of energy and activity which attracted over 22 million international visitors per year. Then, without warning, it all went quiet. Now, following the reboot of the Test & Go re-entry into Thailand on February 1, 2022, Bangkok is back. The city is welcoming the…

  • Thailand News

    Phuket Hotels Association welcomes new leadership team

    Press Release Bjorn Courage was named as the association’s President and Sumi Soorian was promoted to the role of Executive Director, while long-term leader Anthony Lark will continue to serve as a Senior Advisor PHUKET, THAILAND: The Phuket Hotels Association, a non-profit organisation with 72 member properties has embarked on an exciting new era with the appointment of a new…

  • Bangkok News

    Bangkok is back – Thailand’s capital roars back into gear

    OPINION Before the pandemic, Bangkok was the most-visited city on the planet – a thriving hive of energy and activity which attracted over 22 million international visitors per year. Then, without warning, it all went quiet. Now, following the long-awaited reopening of Thailand’s borders on November 1, 2021, Bangkok is back. The city is welcoming the world’s travellers once again,…

  • Tourism News

    Welcome back home: Phuket’s message to the world, echoes its X-Factor, its people

    “As the countdown to the Sandbox hits seven days, resort island pays tribute to its real-life tourism attraction.” OPINION by Bill Barnett, Tourism eyes around the world are focused on a resort island in Thailand this week for the reopening of international, vaccinated travel to the Phuket Sandbox. A key emerging storyline from the island’s frenzied runaway to July…

  • Thailand video news

    Good Morning Thailand | Breathonix 1 minute Covid test, answering Covid questions, re-opening dates

      Today Tim and Bill speak to Wayne Wee of Breathonix in Singapore, behind the ‘game changer’ technology that would provide 1 minute Covid tests. Also answering questions from Thaiger YouTube members.

  • Thailand video news

    Good Morning Thailand | 1 minute Covid test, 5 year tourism recovery, Bangkok update

    Day 3 as we slowly settle into the new, daily, Good Morning Thailand. Today we have Tim, Bill, Able and Jett. Agree, disagree, enjoy. It’s all opinions about things concerning people in Thailand right now. We had two power outages this morning, so sorry about the delay.

  • Tourism News

    Phuket’s pilot program to reopen Thailand – Interview Bill Barnett | VIDEO

    There’s a lot more of Thailand besides Phuket, but the southern Thai island has received a lot of attention in the past few weeks because of the intention to remove quarantine for vaccinated international arrivals from July this year. There’s a lot at stake as the rest of Thailand will be watching the pilot program, eager to see it work…

  • Visa Information

    Thailand is re-opening. When can I travel there? | VIDEO

    There are many moving parts in the Thailand travel situation right now – new visa options, changes to the quarantine, ASQs, area quarantines, golf quarantines. The road back to a healthy tourist industry in Thailand, even ANY tourism industry, will be a long slog. But Bill Barnett from is optimistic that we’ve turned the corner and Thailand is now…

  • Phuket News

    Can Phuket survive? Interview with Bill Barnett | VIDEO

    Interview with Bill Barnett from c9Hotelworks. Phuket has now been hit with a 3rd major crisis, each one more profound than the long-term effects from the 2004 tsunami. Now the island has new restrictions imposed on arrivals on the southern island, imposed by the Phuket Provincial Authority.

  • Opinion

    Like a rolling stone (2 decades and counting). My home, Phuket.

    by Bill Barnett from Driving down a seemingly endless winding road on the warm tropical island of Phuket, I glance up and see a sign indicating a left turn, shouting out in big bold letters ‘Welcome to Days of Future Past.’ Reading between the lines, let me state that we have landed headfirst like crash test dummies into the…

  • Covid-19 News

    Re-opening Thailand to tourism will be vaccine dependent

    Bill Barnett from continues to follow the difficult journey of the Thai hospitality industry. Traditionally, now would be the start of the country’s highly profitable high season for the tourism industry. But not this year. Thai hotels find themselves in the middle of an existential crisis – either still closed, only partly open, or one of the few converted…

  • Phuket News

    How Thailand’s domestic tourism market fell in love with Khao Lak during a pandemic

    While Thailand’s doors remain mostly shut to international tourists, Thailand’s domestic travel wanderlust has turned Khao Lak into an Instagram hero. In the first 2 months of this year, according to research by consulting group C9 Hotelworks’ new Khao Lak Hotel Market Update occupancies soared above 80%. With the Covid-19 lockdowns, occupancy plunged in April and May, but as domestic…

  • Phuket News

    Phuket’s tourism high season hopes shattered in policy flip-flop

    “The time has come that Thailand must gain confidence from international benchmarks.” Thailand’s leading resort island Phuket has come face-to-face with the reality that it’s tourism high-season will not see a marked reopening to overseas travellers. In the wake of the dismantling of the ‘Phuket Model’ and refocus by the government on using Bangkok as a single international gateway, there…

  • Tourism News

    Phuket & Koh Samui face financial ruin in the short to medium term – VIDEO

    Phuket and Samui are both islands, fed mostly by arrivals at their international airports. Of course, both remain closed and the islands are trying to survive on a dribble of domestic tourists. And there’s no sign of hope any time soon for the future. Bill Barnett is ‘Mr Hotel & Hospitality’ for Thailand and the region. What does he see…

  • Tourism News

    Answering the question, who will fight for Phuket’?

    OPINION by Bill Barnett from Thailand’s tourism industry is sadly at the short end of the stick as policies gyrate over the reopening of the country to international travellers, yet no single province has more to lose than the resort island of Phuket. Phuket’s economic engine is leveraged on tourism. It’s a place where on a combined basis, one…

  • Covid-19 News

    “Open the borders, safely”, Bill Heinecke, Minor International interview – VIDEO

    Bill Heinecke speaks to Bill Barnett. The two heavy-hitters of Thailand’s hotel and hospitality sector, mull over the current Covid situation and the reopening of Thailand’s borders to some form of tourism. Bill Heinecke is the Chairman and Founder of Minor International. Bill Barnett is the Managing Director of Now the Thai government has approved the special long-term tourist…

  • Thailand News

    Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Parliamentary protest, Dark days for hotels | September 25

    Daily TV news about Thailand, delivered fresh, and free, to you. Hosted by Tim Newton. Catch the latest updates and Thai News. Charter vote delayed, committee formed and Senators escape Parliament by boat Thailand’s MPs and Senators have kicked the constitutional can down the road at least a month after the parliament failed to agree on charter amendments yesterday. A…

  • Tourism News

    The future of Thailand’s hotels, tough times ahead – VIDEO

    Thailand’s hotels are facing a very dark time with the Thai borders still largely closed and many of them remaining closed for business. Whilst some local domestic stimulus has provided a bit of a minor reboot for the battered industry, there is still more than 90% of the rooms in the country remaining unoccupied with staff unemployed, debts and leases…

  • Opinion

    Splitting atoms in the Big Bang – a day in the Big Mango

    OPINION by Bill Barnett of Despite the global pandemic, Bangkok’s rapid-fire megacity growth trajectory has remained largely in place. While life in Covid-19 times is a bit like sparring with wild gangs of chaos monkeys in a dead-end ally, thankfully one of the singular guilty pleasures of these strange times is the ability to at least travel domestically. Last…

  • Environment News

    PHIST – Asia’s largest online tourism event, returns this September

    PHIST, the Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism, is set to break down boundaries again with a “virtual” version of Asia’s largest sustainable travel and hospitality event on September 7. Over 1,200 of the industry’s leading figures are expected to attend this socially-distant online gathering. The online event will include keynote addresses, interactive sessions, educational workshops and a green exhibition.…

  • Tourism News

    Thailand depending on Chinese travellers for tourist reboot

    Thailand is looking to China to rebuild its battered travel industry. As the Covid-19 pandemic subsides in Asia, countries are discussing the idea of “travel bubbles,” in which reciprocal nations establish guidelines that enable their citizens to move freely across their borders. The wider tourism industry accounts for 18-20% of Thailand’s GDP and provides jobs for almost a tenth of…

  • Tourism News

    Thailand’s hotels face more pain after European tour group asks to defer debt

    Hotels in Thailand, particularly in Phuket and some surrounding regions, have been hit with a double whammy. First the whole Covid-19-related wipe-out, now a cash-flow problem brought about after the TUI Group – an Anglo-German multinational travel and tourism company – has stalled repayments for hotel rooms. The amount owed to Thailand hotels is believed to exceed 2 billion baht. TUI is…

  • Opinion

    OPINION: Doomsday, the Black Swan and no fear

    by Bill Barnett of “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore” is how I am feeling on a Saturday afternoon. My senses are bruised and battered after a weeklong barrage of panic, blurring sensational bad news headlines and a mounting sense of fear amongst my fellow humans. What is clear in the grand scheme…

  • Phuket News

    Top 5 things Phuket hotel developers should know

    by Bill Barnett from Taking a 2020 view of Phuket’s hotel development pipeline that has now surpassed 15,000 new keys it’s hard not to be apprehensive. From a macro standpoint, the destination’s airlift and location are key success factors. But for the myriad cast of new and inexperienced hotel developers out there, perhaps a visit down Alice’s rabbit hole…