international tourism

  • Tourism News

    All countries now eligible for Thailand’s sandbox programme

    The Thai government has got rid of its list of “approved countries”, opening up the sandbox tourism programme to fully vaccinated visitors from anywhere in the world. According to a Bangkok Post report, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has welcomed the move, which means Indonesian and Malaysian tourists can now visit the kingdom. Prior to Covid-19, Malaysia was Thailand’s second…

  • Tourism News

    Thailand to charge foreign arrivals 500 baht “tourism fee” from next year

    Despite Thailand struggling to reboot its decimated tourism sector, the government is pushing ahead with a proposed tourism fee – and has increased it by 200 baht. The National Tourism Policy Committee originally approved a fee of 300 baht at the start of this year, which would be used to develop tourism destinations and provide tourists with insurance benefits. According…

  • Tourism News

    Government reveals Thailand’s 2022 tourism slogan

    The Thai government has unveiled the new slogan that will be used to market the country to foreign tourists next year: “Visit Thailand 2022, Now Even More Amazing Thailand Has It All”. Thai PBS World reports that the slogan was revealed at an online meeting of the Centre for Economic Situation Administration yesterday. The meeting was chaired by PM Prayut…

  • Phuket News

    Officials expect tens of billions of baht in Phuket tourism revenue in next 6 months

    The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand expects Phuket to welcome 1 million foreign visitors in the next 6 months. Yuthasak Supasorn says this will generate around 60 billion baht in tourism revenue, as a result of some travel restrictions being relaxed. “We expect the number of visitors will significantly increase in the final quarter factoring in the quarantine…

  • Tourism News

    Government urged to clarify tourism marketing plan ahead of high season

    Following the government’s decision to re-open a further 10 provinces to international visitors from November, tourism operators are calling for a clear plan ahead of high season. Yesterday, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration agreed a number of measures, including reducing curfew hours in the dark red provinces, allowing a number of businesses to re-open, and extending the emergency decree…

  • Phuket News

    Phuket governor petitions Bangkok to end restaurant alcohol ban, bar closure order

    The governor of Phuket has lodged a formal appeal for restaurants on the southern island to be allowed to sell alcohol and for nightlife to be re-opened. The Phuket News reports that Narong Woonciew submitted the request to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration yesterday, citing the unprecedented financial struggles faced by locals as a result of the restrictions. The…

  • World News

    TAT pushes for Indonesia, Malaysia to be added to approved list for Phuket sandbox

    The Tourism Authority of Thailand says there is demand in the Malaysian and Indonesian markets, but both countries are currently off the approved list for the Phuket sandbox. The Bangkok Post reports that Sophon Tantayotai from the TAT’s Jakarta office says Indonesians are allowed to travel abroad but cannot avail of the Phuket sandbox, instead having to quarantine for 14…

  • Tourism News

    Tourism operators slam government as re-opening postponed to November

    Tourism operators have expressed frustration as Thailand’s re-opening is pushed back a month, primarily due to inadequate vaccination levels. The re-opening of Bangkok, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, and Phetchaburi has been postponed from October 1 to November 1. According to a Bangkok Post report, this is the third time the re-opening of Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Hua Hin…

  • Phuket News

    Phang Nga asks for tourists to be allowed travel directly from Phuket airport

    Phang Nga’s tourism operators are urging the government to allow foreign tourists to travel directly to the province from Phuket airport, skipping the 7+7 extension scheme. Pongsakorn Ketprapakorn from the Tourism Council of Phang Nga says tourists are being put off by the bureaucracy involved in the certificate of entry application process and the 7+7 scheme which mandates that tourists…

  • Bangkok News

    Governor says Bangkok will only re-open when safe to do so

    The governor of Bangkok says 3 criteria need to be met before the capital can re-open, in order to protect the health and safety of residents. Aswin Kwanmuang says while Bangkok is anxious to re-open and reboot its economy, it can only do so when it’s safe. This means the re-opening could be pushed out to mid-November, according to a…

  • Tourism News

    Desperate hotel operators look to Bangkok re-opening for signs of hope

    Even with plans still up in the air and nothing confirmed, Thai hotel operators are pinning their hopes on Bangkok’s proposed re-opening next month. The president of the Thai Hotels Association says that while hotels don’t expect a huge uptake in bookings immediately, they are hopeful that average occupancy might reach 15 – 20% in the last 3 months of…

  • Tourism News

    Will it, won’t it? October re-opening in doubt as Anutin defers to medical experts

    Thailand’s public health minister has responded to comments from top medics who have questioned the wisdom of re-opening the country next month. Anutin Charnvirakul says any re-opening will need the go-ahead from the Department of Disease Control, adding that nothing has been confirmed yet. “No one said the country will re-open on October 1.” The Bangkok Post reports how, back…

  • Tourism News

    PM orders government officials to get ready for Thailand’s re-opening

    The countdown is on to the October re-opening of Bangkok and 4 other provinces and PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the tourism, health, and interior ministries to get ready. According to a Bangkok Post report, the PM has instructed officials to prepare to boost tourism while still living with Covid-19 restrictions. However, not everyone agrees with the October re-opening, with…

  • Tourism News

    Re-opening of Bangkok pushed back 2 weeks to reach 70% vaccination goal

    Following a meeting between the Bangkok governor and the tourism minister, officials have decided to delay the re-opening of the capital by 2 weeks. Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the capital’s re-opening will be pushed back to October 15, as most residents are still waiting for their second vaccination. Currently, just 37% of residents are fully vaccinated. The Bangkok Post…

  • Tourism News

    Tourists from Middle East put off Thailand due to bureaucracy, costs of Covid tests

    The Tourism Authority of Thailand says the high cost of Covid-19 tests, coupled with Certificate of Entry bureaucracy, is proving a deterrent for tourists from the Middle East. According to a Bangkok Post report, Chaiwat Tamthai from the TAT’s Dubai office says would-be tourists from the Middle East are in favour of the Phuket sandbox concept, but put off by…

  • Tourism News

    Covid or no Covid, October 1 re-opening going ahead – Tourism Minister

    There will be no rowing back on the planned October 1 re-opening of Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Chiang Mai, despite the Covid-19 crisis. So says Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, confirming that the government is sticking to the re-opening date previously announced by the PM. According to a Bangkok Post report, the minister has also…

  • Tourism News

    Quarantine, sealed routes may be ditched as government revises re-opening plan

    Mandatory quarantine and sealed routes could be scrapped as officials reconsider the rules for re-opening the country. The adoption of the “One SOP, One System” model for the re-opening of Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Cha-am, and Bangkok from October 1 is being submitted to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration next week and also includes a proposal to halve…

  • Koh Samui News

    Samui relaxes re-opening rules following low tourist demand

    The rules are being somewhat relaxed when it comes to the Samui Plus re-opening model, following disappointing figures. Ratchaporn Poolsawadee from the Tourism Association of Koh Samui says that from October 1, vaccinated tourists only need to spend the first night in a SHA Plus hotel, until they get the result of their PCR test. Prior to this, international tourists…

  • World News

    Survey shows most Singaporeans reluctant to travel internationally for now

    A survey carried out by online travel agency, Booking.com, shows that 63% of Singaporeans are not planning to travel abroad for now. While Singapore is on the “green list” for most countries, the survey shows that most Singaporeans remain cautious about overseas travel. In general, over a year and a half since the start of the pandemic, travel in the…

  • Tourism News

    Survey shows over half of Thai hotels are considering closing due to low demand

    A survey conducted by the Bank of Thailand and the Thai Hotels Association shows that 52% of hotels are considering closing temporarily and 9% want to shut down for good. 62% plan to reduce their workforce costs as a result of the financial fallout from Covid-19, while 61% say they will cut expenditure elsewhere. The Bangkok Post reports that the…

  • Tourism News

    Tourism ministry wants Thailand fully re-opened, without quarantine, by January

    Thailand’s Tourism Minister wants the country to re-open fully, without quarantine, by January, but says this will depend on vaccination efforts. According to a Bangkok Post report, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is citing herd immunity as a condition for the re-opening, pointing out that Bangkok’s re-opening has been delayed from October to November, as most residents are still waiting for their second…

  • Phuket News

    No more sandbox: Phuket private sector calls for full re-opening by December 1

    The vice-president of the Phuket Tourism Association says businesses on the island need it to fully re-open by December 1 if they are to survive. According to a Bangkok Post report, Nanthida Atiset says fully re-opening the island could generate over 210 billion baht in revenue, adding that the sandbox scheme is simply not enough. “Only over 20,000 tourists have…

  • Pattaya News

    Pattaya officials concerned high costs of Covid tests will deter foreign tourists

    Tourism officials in Pattaya are concerned that the demands being made of foreign tourists, including multiple costly Covid tests, will put people off visiting. Pattaya hopes to re-open quarantine-free under a sealed route scheme, but Thanet Supornsahasrungsi from the Chon Buri Tourism Council has expressed concern about the costs involved for visitors. The Bangkok Post reports that Pattaya is eyeing…

  • Tourism News

    Tourism Minister defends PM’s re-opening plan on day 3 of no-confidence debate

    Thailand’s Tourism Minister has defended the PM’s promise to re-open the country, pointing out that Bangkok and another 4 provinces should be in a position to welcome tourists from next month. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the re-opening of those 5 provinces will be followed by a further 21 provinces around the country. He was speaking during yesterday’s no-confidence debate against PM…

  • Covid-19 News

    Thailand to be added to UK “red list” from Monday

    Bad news for British sandboxers on Phuket or elsewhere, as well as anyone else planning to travel from Thailand to the UK: the country is being added to the UK’s red list. The British Department of Transport says that from Monday, Thailand joins Montenegro as the 2 new additions to the UK government’s red list. This means UK residents arriving…

  • Phuket News

    Phang Nga hopes to welcome 30,000 visitors under 7+7 travel scheme

    Tourism officials in the southern province of Phang Nga hope to welcome 30,000 foreign tourists in the last quarter of the year. Such numbers should generate around 2.5 billion baht in revenue, according to a Bangkok Post report. The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that after the opening of Certificate of Entry registration for the 7+7 extension scheme, over 700…

  • Tourism News

    Covid-19 task force to debate partial re-opening of Thailand in line with PM’s pledge

    The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration is expected to debate a plan to re-open the country before the end of the year, in line with the PM’s pledge last June. Back then, Prayut Chan-o-cha vowed to re-open the country within 120 days, but Covid-19 infections have risen significantly since those words were uttered. Despite this, the Bangkok Post reports that…

  • Pattaya News

    Pattaya re-opening threatened by rise in infections, slow vaccine rollout

    The Tourism Authority of Thailand says the eastern tourist spot of Pattaya has a number of challenges to overcome in order to re-open to foreign tourism. Chief among them is the fact that standard operating procedures submitted to the provincial health office are still awaiting approval. Meanwhile, Covid-19 infections are rising and the vaccine rollout is sluggish. According to a…

  • Tourism News

    Thailand planning travel bubble with South Korea once Covid crisis eases

    Thailand plans to launch a travel bubble arrangement with South Korea once the Covid-19 situation improves, according to tourism officials. The Tourism Authority of Thailand says the plan would allow for quarantine-free travel between the 2 countries, with hopes it will provide Thailand with a much-needed tourism boost. The plan has been confirmed by the TAT’s Thanet Petchsuwan, who will…

  • Covid-19 News

    Hong Kong does a U-turn, reverts to 21-day quarantine for high-risk countries

    Hong Kong has backtracked on a reduction in mandatory quarantine from 21 days to 7, just 2 months after it was introduced. According to a Bloomberg report, the U-turn has seen the city’s quarantine facilities inundated with enquiries from anxious travellers trying to change their bookings. “The Ovolo Hotels’ switchboard was swamped with calls. The operator of 2 facilities in…