Jump to content

News Forum - New Sandboxes announced, but are they redundant after February 1?


Thaiger
 Share

Recommended Posts

(All the information in this article is based on CCSA announcements last Thursday and published articles on the Tourism of Thailand website and other government media) Businesses in the entertainment, nightlife, bar and sex industry in Pattaya are breathing a sigh of relief as international tourists will, again, be able to visit the seaside party town as part of the government’s Thailand Pass updates. Not all of the Chon Buri province are being included in the reboot. From February 1, the CCSA announced they are reopening the districts of Bang Lamung, Pattaya, Si Racha, Si Chang, and Sattahip (but only Na […]

The story New Sandboxes announced, but are they redundant after February 1? as seen on Thaiger News.

Read the full story

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Sandboxes have always had a 2nd PCR test, but not with a 2nd expensive hotel room... That is new and unnecessary indeed.... Just a normal hotel should suffice, although the 2nd hotel on day 5 will be coordinating the 2nd test...  Yet again on the cumbersome side of the fence.... Just keep your masks on and play it safe.... 

tginla

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Todd said:

The Sandboxes have always had a 2nd PCR test, but not with a 2nd expensive hotel room... That is new and unnecessary indeed.... Just a normal hotel should suffice, although the 2nd hotel on day 5 will be coordinating the 2nd test...  Yet again on the cumbersome side of the fence.... Just keep your masks on and play it safe.... 

tginla

Are you confusing Sandbox with Test & Go?  Test & Go previously had a 2nd antigen test, not a PCR test.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the day of the second test must be adapted to the variant, there is not the same incubation period between Delta and Omicron...

the Sand box is not expensive! Thailand wants to attract high-income tourists, mass tourism is over. it's one of the best ways to get there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Oracle said:

Are you confusing Sandbox with Test & Go?  Test & Go previously had a 2nd antigen test, not a PCR test.

No Sir!! The Sandbox in Phuket has always had a 2nd PCR test (and sometimes a 3rd).  I know because I did it last October and paid extra 700 baht (with a CC) for the document to take Singapore Air out 2 days later. Not a big deal...  It was still during my first 7 day hotel stay so easy to take care of without extra cost...  Stock up on 3M N95s; cheapest health insurance you can buy....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

51 minutes ago, Thaiger said:

(All the information in this article is based on CCSA announcements last Thursday and published articles on the Tourism of Thailand website and other government media) Businesses in the entertainment, nightlife, bar and sex industry in Pattaya are breathing a sigh of relief as international tourists will, again, be able to visit the seaside party town as part of the government’s Thailand Pass updates. Not all of the Chon Buri province are being included in the reboot. From February 1, the CCSA announced they are reopening the districts of Bang Lamung, Pattaya, Si Racha, Si Chang, and Sattahip (but only Na […]

The story New Sandboxes announced, but are they redundant after February 1? as seen on Thaiger News.

Read the full story

I have recently been criticised (rightly or wrongly?) for my criticism of the Sandbox program. I see myself vindicated. Obviously, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, and yet TAT and the likes hope for hugely increased visitor numbers (preferably rich ones leaving plenty $$$ on shore). Ok, I also wish for a jackpot in the lottery, but so far that masterplan has not worked out. Why do I come to think that TAT etc. pursue a similar plan?

I cannot help but come to the conclusion that Thailand has not yet found a convincing answer how to attract tourist to come back soon - and in larger numbers.

My observation from this trip: fewer tourists in Phuket, with distinctively more Russians since my last visitb2 yrs ago, and very substantially less tourists in Chiang Mai. Just my impression, cannot back it up with any empiric evidence. 

And to those who say "well, you complain but still you came here" I reply "yes, true. But we have family here, and we had some other personal reasons to come. Actually we initially wanted to come here last November and postponed our trip to January, and if I had known how cumbersome the application for the Thai Pass turned out to be I might have considered to postpone it a 2nd time." So if anyone thinks that all the testing and paperwork is fun: no it is not. And if it weren't for those personal reasons we would not have come here. And looking at the number of tourists currently visiting Thailand I am not the only one.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, vvdb.fr said:

the day of the second test must be adapted to the variant, there is not the same incubation period between Delta and Omicron...

the Sand box is not expensive! Thailand wants to attract high-income tourists, mass tourism is over. it's one of the best ways to get there.

Well, if you want to get high-income you must do something to attract them. Other than TAT signing that they want to target this segment I fail to see any cohesive plan (not to mention any action!) in this regard.

I don't know if the Sandbox is "cheap". With all the testing I can add 7'000 THB to my travel cost. It's not going to make me go broke, but I could certainly think of better ways to spend my money. With 3 vaccinations my wife and I are having the best protection (albeit not a 100% guarantee not to get an infection, but distinctively better than people w/o vaccination or only one or two shots) one can have nowadays. But no consideration of this under the Sandbox program.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made a comment yesterday on this topic, which bears repeating here. The sandbox program first began with Phuket. Prior to that ASQ was the only way to enter Thailand (14 days quarantine in an ASQ Hotel). Then further sandboxes came into being under the same guidelines as Phuket. With waning/stabilising numbers of infections, test and Go was introduced. Then Omicron looms on the horizon and once in Thailand, Test and Go was suspended. The sandboxes continued. Omicron hasn't suddenly disappeared. But because there hasn't been a meteoric rise in Omicron infections to date, the Government reinstates Test and Go (or should I say, Test and Test and Go).

Considering the Sandbox program has continued (remember when the government said if infections get about 100 per day, they would suspend the sandbox? It never happened. Infections are over 400 per day in Phuket now). For myself, I'm only coming for a holiday in Phuket. I'm eligible for test and test and go, but I'll apply for the sandbox. Why? Because Omicron is coming and because I'm seeing what it is doing in my own country with over 1.1million active cases now. So which program do you think will be suspended first, when Omicron  surges? Sandbox or test and test and Go? So I hope they don't scrap the sandbox programs and only have Test and Go. Because if the scrap it (and I think they will), the only other program is ASQ......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I.e. XXX-BKK-USM without a night in BKK is possible under the sandbox program, but not under test&go.

Under test&go you have to spend the waiting time for the test result on day 5 in your hotel room, while under sandbox program you are free to leave your room. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Thank you Thaiger for all your great news coverage. Have finally decided to chip in. First came here as a backpacker 30 years ago. Now the type of visitor the Thai government wants. Booked Phuket in September but put off by the Sandbox program changes and the risk of being near an infected person on the plane, being quarantined against our will, and losing the hotel cost. Booked hotel cancelled no problem but Qatar Air took our credit card company’s intervention to get a full return. Went to Jamaica in November. Easy. No test after arrival; no insurance required. Here now on T&G only because wife wanted the trip. Happy to be here but would have been just as happy to wait until the entry is normal. Have lived and worked in other countries and T&G/Thailand Pass was the most difficult entry process, by far, I have ever done. All sorts of things didn’t work right. Six weeks of daily headaches. (Got a tourist visa, with issues in that process, too.) No way ordinary tourists, certainly wealthier ones, would put up with all of this. There will be no return to big numbers of tourists until the Chinese come back, and they don’t contribute that much to the local economy anyway. Hard to understand the government’s position, including against resident expats. Xenophobia seems the only possible conclusion. Too bad for the wonderful Thai people, to have a government like this, and the one before, …

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too many negative comments regarding the new revision of the Test & Go and it hasn't started yet, assess the situation first for at least a month when they resume first on Feb 1st, the questions are: are there gonna be false positive on Day 1 or Day 5? How many? Where are those tourists come from? I am sure that there will be false positive because we still in the Omicron variant outbreak. Some of you are eager to come to Thailand even though too many rules and restrictions still need to follow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/22/2022 at 8:19 PM, Fundok said:

I have recently been criticised (rightly or wrongly?) for my criticism of the Sandbox program. I see myself vindicated. Obviously, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, and yet TAT and the likes hope for hugely increased visitor numbers (preferably rich ones leaving plenty $$$ on shore). Ok, I also wish for a jackpot in the lottery, but so far that masterplan has not worked out. Why do I come to think that TAT etc. pursue a similar plan?

I cannot help but come to the conclusion that Thailand has not yet found a convincing answer how to attract tourist to come back soon - and in larger numbers.

My observation from this trip: fewer tourists in Phuket, with distinctively more Russians since my last visitb2 yrs ago, and very substantially less tourists in Chiang Mai. Just my impression, cannot back it up with any empiric evidence. 

And to those who say "well, you complain but still you came here" I reply "yes, true. But we have family here, and we had some other personal reasons to come. Actually we initially wanted to come here last November and postponed our trip to January, and if I had known how cumbersome the application for the Thai Pass turned out to be I might have considered to postpone it a 2nd time." So if anyone thinks that all the testing and paperwork is fun: no it is not. And if it weren't for those personal reasons we would not have come here. And looking at the number of tourists currently visiting Thailand I am not the only one.

 

People who say this won't bring back 2019 pre-covid tourism miss that maybe they don't want it back. 

If they don't catch the right 'quality' fish they'll adjust the net and/or use better bait. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Appreciate all the information provided here! We had hoped to finally revisit Thailand but this new testing regime is unacceptable. Why do they need to add another day of being confined to an expensive hotel on day 5? The pandemic is now endemic, and if you’re vaccinated (such as us with 3 shots)  you pose no undo risk to Thailand’s health.  I’m afraid this latest change will further sink the tourism industry. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Jmnasoc said:

Appreciate all the information provided here! We had hoped to finally revisit Thailand but this new testing regime is unacceptable. Why do they need to add another day of being confined to an expensive hotel on day 5? The pandemic is now endemic, and if you’re vaccinated (such as us with 3 shots)  you pose no undo risk to Thailand’s health.  I’m afraid this latest change will further sink the tourism industry. 

"testing regime is unacceptable. Why do they need to add another day of being confined to an expensive hotel on day 5" 

Maybe this is a trick to get rid of "cheap charlie" tourists? 

Or maybe it's a response to tourists who agree to abide by COVID restrictions and then wander off? 

Who knows? It won't be around forever. I give it a few months at best. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, Jmnasoc said:

Appreciate all the information provided here! We had hoped to finally revisit Thailand but this new testing regime is unacceptable. Why do they need to add another day of being confined to an expensive hotel on day 5? The pandemic is now endemic, and if you’re vaccinated (such as us with 3 shots)  you pose no undo risk to Thailand’s health.  I’m afraid this latest change will further sink the tourism industry. 

Does not matter, there are still a lot of unvaccinated locals/farangs too that can spread COVID-19 to the vaccinated ones, that's the reason COVID still exists and still in the Omicron variant outbreak, look at the rules and restrictions right now of getting to Thailand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simple answer to the question posed...

I figure there are only two positives/reasons for the Sandbox model to have been retained.

1. A fall back position should the T&G need to be suspended again. All that work to get this established, why abolish it prematurely. 

2. Tourists who are simply looking to get away for a few weeks at the beach in Thailand. Tourists who are happy with, feel more comfortable with, have a perception (valid/correct or not) that they are more cocooned/safe within that model and have no need to travel into the city centers or the rest of Thailand.

Edited by Freeduhdumb
Grammar correction additional content.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Freeduhdumb said:

Simple answer to the question posed...

I figure there are only two positives/reasons for the Sandbox model to have been retained.

1. A fall back position should the T&G need to be suspended again. All that work to get this established, why abolish it prematurely. 

2. Tourists who are simply looking to get away for a few weeks at the beach in Thailand. Tourists who are happy with, feel more comfortable with, have a perception (valid/correct or not) that they are more cocooned/safe within that model and have no need to travel into the city centers or the rest of Thailand.

An excellent analysis.

So many comments go for "racist corrupt Thailand that hates foreigners and wants to pour quid into to hands of some friend or associate." as an simple formula to explain everything they don't like or understand. 

You are actually thinking Khun @Freeduhdumb! Thank you. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

useless  waste  of time things,  vaccinated  OR had  covid = free to do what you want, anything else  is  total  ballcocks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Freeduhdumb said:

I figure there are only two positives/reasons for the Sandbox model to have been retained.

1 Money

2  Money

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/23/2022 at 1:58 PM, Jason said:

I made a comment yesterday on this topic, which bears repeating here. The sandbox program first began with Phuket. Prior to that ASQ was the only way to enter Thailand (14 days quarantine in an ASQ Hotel). Then further sandboxes came into being under the same guidelines as Phuket. With waning/stabilising numbers of infections, test and Go was introduced. Then Omicron looms on the horizon and once in Thailand, Test and Go was suspended. The sandboxes continued. Omicron hasn't suddenly disappeared. But because there hasn't been a meteoric rise in Omicron infections to date, the Government reinstates Test and Go (or should I say, Test and Test and Go).

Considering the Sandbox program has continued (remember when the government said if infections get about 100 per day, they would suspend the sandbox? It never happened. Infections are over 400 per day in Phuket now). For myself, I'm only coming for a holiday in Phuket. I'm eligible for test and test and go, but I'll apply for the sandbox. Why? Because Omicron is coming and because I'm seeing what it is doing in my own country with over 1.1million active cases now. So which program do you think will be suspended first, when Omicron  surges? Sandbox or test and test and Go? So I hope they don't scrap the sandbox programs and only have Test and Go. Because if the scrap it (and I think they will), the only other program is ASQ......

I agree with nearly all you say. The only thing I don’t think will happen is a surge in cases in way we have seen in Europe and US. Of course the case numbers are not the meagre 8,000-10,000 they report,  but I just don’t see it happening. Life in Thailand is outdoors for many. They still have the majority of people wearing face masks in nearly all settings and they still have restrictions on close entertainment venues. The problem Thailand has is how to move on from it all. As soon as they do relax restrictions and as soon as they do stop wearing face masks and checking temperatures etc, rising cases will return. With a population that isn’t getting the facts on what real infections are, then 10,000 a day seems apocalyptic to them and it’s back to restrictions and scrapping Test & Go. Like all things in Thailand, they will get there in the end, it will just take a lot longer and at what financial cost to the people? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/23/2022 at 3:34 PM, wtrw said:

Thank you Thaiger for all your great news coverage. Have finally decided to chip in. First came here as a backpacker 30 years ago. Now the type of visitor the Thai government wants. Booked Phuket in September but put off by the Sandbox program changes and the risk of being near an infected person on the plane, being quarantined against our will, and losing the hotel cost. Booked hotel cancelled no problem but Qatar Air took our credit card company’s intervention to get a full return. Went to Jamaica in November. Easy. No test after arrival; no insurance required. Here now on T&G only because wife wanted the trip. Happy to be here but would have been just as happy to wait until the entry is normal. Have lived and worked in other countries and T&G/Thailand Pass was the most difficult entry process, by far, I have ever done. All sorts of things didn’t work right. Six weeks of daily headaches. (Got a tourist visa, with issues in that process, too.) No way ordinary tourists, certainly wealthier ones, would put up with all of this. There will be no return to big numbers of tourists until the Chinese come back, and they don’t contribute that much to the local economy anyway. Hard to understand the government’s position, including against resident expats. Xenophobia seems the only possible conclusion. Too bad for the wonderful Thai people, to have a government like this, and the one before, …

I fully agree with your comment.

The stance of TH seems ambiguous: on the one hand side they want to increase the number of tourists, and on the other hand it is pretty cumbersome to even overcome the paperwork required to obtain the "Thai Pass" entry document. I am used to work with legal documents professionally so I am by no means computer illiterate. Back to my application: my SHA+ hotel erroneously forgot to include the airport transfer in the pro forma invoice so my application was rejected (side note: the application of my Thai wife was approved with just the "booking.com"-receipt - double standards?). So I got a new receipt from the hotel, converted it from PDF to JPG because the app does not accept PDF format and then had to lodge a completely new application rather than just adding the one missing document to the existing application. I have rarely seen a less user-friendly app provided by a government. And this, I suspect, is another thing to keep potential visitors away.

I did overcome all the obstacles and am now enjoying my time in Chiang Mai and have not regretted coming here. But I would wish that the entry process would be revised (which can be done without compromising the need to monitor the visitors with regards to Covid prevention).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Vince said:

People who say this won't bring back 2019 pre-covid tourism miss that maybe they don't want it back. 

If they don't catch the right 'quality' fish they'll adjust the net and/or use better bait. 

You take an interesting stance on such matters @Vince I note you are critical of the position that the government is always looking to make money from the volume tourist model and they don’t want volume and prefer quality over quantity. If that was the case, why are they spending billions on expanding Suvarnabhumi, Krabi, U-Tapao airports. What do they see as the source of this increased traffic volume if not tourism? 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Soidog said:

You take an interesting stance on such matters @Vince I note you are critical of the position that the government is always looking to make money from the volume tourist model and they don’t want

What I am most critical of is the statement it's all like before or "no tourism". Every gogo bar must be reopened or "no one" will go to Thailand. That's just not so. 

14 minutes ago, Soidog said:

 volume and prefer quality over quantity. If that was the case, why

Statements about 'quality tourists', tightening requirements, the new visas, suggest a general plan... To me. 

14 minutes ago, Soidog said:

 are they spending billions on expanding Suvarnabhumi, Krabi, U-Tapao airports. What do they see as the source of this increased traffic volume if not tourism? 

Public works projects are ways to create jobs. Note the "transportation" spending. It pumps money into multiple sectors - unskilled laborers, skilled laborers, engineers, etc. And yes, some quid no doubt is made by all. 

I don't see the airport as a sign they must follow the volume model. I think they can get their money back from low "quality tourist" usage levels. 

But I haven't crunched their numbers and don't plan to. So it's all fun opinions

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Vince said:

What I am most critical of is the statement it's all like before or "no tourism". Every gogo bar must be reopened or "no one" will go to Thailand. That's just not so. 

I agree with that. I think the country is slowly opening and in fact it is pleasant right now in traditional tourist areas. I say pleasant from my perspective, not those who’s livelihoods depend on tourism income. 

27 minutes ago, Vince said:

Statements about 'quality tourists', tightening requirements, the new visas, suggest a general plan... To me. 

I don’t see it that way at all Vince. I see it as two sides of the same coin. On the one side it maintains a general direction of anti-foreign mentality. Something totally at odds with a progressive nation. On the other, it tries to portray a strategy which will bear fruit in years to come and attempts to placate those who’s lives are being destroyed by poor tourism policies. 

30 minutes ago, Vince said:

I don't see the airport as a sign they must follow the volume model. I think they can get their money back from low "quality tourist" usage levels. 

I don’t see any other reason why they would expand airport capacity unless it was to aim for 45-50-60 million tourists. You can build lots of other infrastructure projects to create jobs. Flood protection in Bangkok and water management in general, the much touted dual track HST, improved power and sustainable energy projects etc etc. This government has only one aim. To remain in power for as long as possible. I wouldn’t credit this government with anything like the ability to think strategically. 

  • Cool 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Soidog said:

I agree with that. I think the country is slowly opening and in fact it is pleasant right now in traditional tourist areas. I say pleasant from my perspective, not those who’s livelihoods depend on tourism income. 

I would say I don't think the quality tourism approach is being done to maximize benefit to those who depend on tourism. 

But as the documentary by DW points out mass tourism has a price https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=78xdMXOx7Rw

 

24 minutes ago, Soidog said:

I don’t see it that way at all Vince. I see it as two sides of the same coin. On the one side it maintains a general direction of anti-foreign mentality. Something totally at odds with a progressive nation. On

 Progressive nations - as all nations - must control their borders. 

24 minutes ago, Soidog said:

 the other, it tries to portray a strategy which will bear fruit in years to come and attempts to placate those who’s lives are being destroyed by poor tourism policies. 

If mass tourism is a "good tourism policy" it has its price. Nothing stops it from coming back. It might very well do so anyway. It's not just mass tourism or nothing though. 

 

24 minutes ago, Soidog said:

I don’t see any other reason why they would expand airport capacity unless it was to aim for 45-50-60 million tourists. You can build lots of other infrastructure projects to create jobs. Flood protection in

Ok numbers. I hate maths. If this is correct 2019 saw 30m in 2019.

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ST.INT.ARVL?end=2019&locations=TH&start=1995&view=chart

So you're saying adding capacity means they want to exceed pre-covid tourism and maybe even double it to 60m with one airport expansion? 

Maybe. Need more numbers. Thailand has a few airports.

24 minutes ago, Soidog said:

 Bangkok and water management in general, the much touted dual track HST, improved power and sustainable energy projects etc etc.

Yes. Good point. I don't think this precludes those does it? This headline made me think those were still on the table:

https://thethaiger.com/hot-news/transport/transportation-the-focus-of-2022-for-thailand-with-1-4-trillion-baht-budgeted

 

24 minutes ago, Soidog said:

 

This government has only one aim. To remain in power for as long as possible. I wouldn’t credit this

Unlike other governments who don't

 

24 minutes ago, Soidog said:

 government with anything like the ability to think strategically. 

Ok, if I agree (and you may be right) why would a government that wants only short term gains and can't think strategically be - as you suggest - also strategically planning to expand tourism with an airport expansion? 

Is some other government doing this? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By posting on Thaiger Talk you agree to the Terms of Use