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Red flags are flying in Thai tourism circles as the expected wave of international travellers is failing to materialise in the expected numbers. With the post-April 1 and Songkran ‘surge’ out of the way, the daily arrivals have been ‘flat’. So the TAT say they’re pivoting their marketing to short-haul tourism as the long-haul markets and traditional travellers to Thailand remain thin on the ground, and unlikely to fill Thailand’s hotels and tour boats anytime soon. There were big changes to the Thailand Pass on April 1 when all Covid testing was dropped, at least for vaccinated travellers. For unvaccinated […]

The story Thailand tourism, innovate or die – OPINION as seen on Thaiger News.

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Indeed. The "lack of recovery" is clearly a confluence of factors. Including, but no solely limited to: masking (people are just not interested in having to deal with masking on holidays) and cost (COVID insurance is just more annoying expense to a trip that is already made expensive by sky high airfares and the cost of just about everything else - restaurants, rental cars, etc.), but also airlines not bringing back international flights to pre-covid levels as quickly as thought (because they too see the market has dried up) makes planning difficult. Add to that global inflation and the increased cost of energy and to simple feed and cloth oneself, etc., more people are opting for stay-cations (or simply remaining close to home). International travel is anemic across the board in Asia. Innovation is always good. But the issues are not going to be solved that easily, not for awhile. And given most Asians general approach to germ (germ phobia), I don't know if short haul is going to add much. Just my opinion. 

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Russian tourists will not return while their cards (Visa and MC) don't work. 

Thailand need to join Russian MIR payment system, to expect Russians.

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The real tourism killer here is that the Chinese (who made up 25% of the 40 million that came in 2019) are not coming back soon ... China's top immigration authority announced on Thursday it will strictly restrict citizens from traveling abroad for 'non-essential reasons. 

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Im waiting for thailand to drop the last 2 requirements namely the TP and (additional) insurance..one, i do not feel like i have to ask for permission to spend my hardearned money in your country.. two, nobody likes being forced into buying something which they already have anyway..ie insurance. My 2 cents.. many im sure feels the same way i do so the ball is in your court thailand 🙏🙏

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The sky high air fares is an interesting situation. It feels like a “chicken an egg” situation with a hint of sharp practice by the airlines. While fuel costs explain half of the increase, what’s driving the rest of it? If it’s demand outstripping supply, then increase flights. 
 

If I was a “normal” tourist looking to visit a tropical island paradise or experience a culture different to my own, Thailand would drop off my lists for the following reasons:

1) Every time I look to develop my plans, the requirements change. Just can’t keep up and hence hassle.

2) What the hell is this Thailand Pass thingy?  looks like hassle.

3) I hear they still make you wear face masks!  No thanks.

4) Why do I have to pay for my flights and my hotel before I can get my Tourist Visa? Surely that’s not right?

5) What’s this extra Covid insurance all about? Is Covid still so rampant that I need additional insurance?  That’s a bit scary so maybe I’ll give Thailand a miss.

6) I hear not much entertainment or night life? Boring.

7) BA don’t have any direct flights to BKK from London and EVA have a 50% schedule. Thai airways are expensive and poor service.

I could add lack of condemnation for Russia and the fact the Thai government is a military government. But that would exclude me from most of SE Asia! 

 

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It is supply and demand. Clinging onto the hope that the demand will rise to meet previous supply levels any time soon is a pipe dream in our current inflationary world. Sure, demand will rise compared to last year but judging any gains against pre Covid days seems like wishful thinking and poor accounting practice to me.

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Looks like toutists don wanna go thailand cos it looks like corona-land.. Here, we almost forgot about covid crisis...no face mask , no restrictions whatsoever, all enetrtainment avenues r open day & night . Life is just as normal as b4 the panedemic.....why would some1 travel to a sick country???? With face mask on , and u get fined if u dont wear it???? No bars open at nights?  No 1 out on street??? No nothing.. going there feels like u r admitted to a huge, expensive, with so much regulations, hospital where chance to catch all kinda viruses is big.please i don wanna go there.happy living freely here.

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Posted (edited)

What is keeping me away at the moment are the sky high airfares, and a lack of confidence that the Thai government won't suddenly flipflop yet again and re-introduce yet another absurd set of entry regulations and conditions. Yes, I can buy flexible flights and make flexible hotel bookings, but these generally come at a very substantial premium. The last flipflop at the end of December last year cost me over £1000 in changed flight and hotel bookings, I don't want to risk that again.

Edited by Grumpish
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49 minutes ago, Fanta said:

but judging any gains against pre Covid days seems like wishful thinking and poor accounting practice to me.

Or Thai business planning as it’s called there. 

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Do TAT ever ask foreigners what’s actually keeping them away? Or do they just ask their staff at tourists offices for their second hand opinion? 
 

Don’t wish to sound radical and a blue sky thinker, but isn’t asking potential customers for opinions what proper businesses normally do? 

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How would you go about asking a representative group of people who aren't here why they aren't coming to Thailand?

Seems like an almost impossible task....

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3 minutes ago, astro said:

How would you go about asking a representative group of people who aren't here why they aren't coming to Thailand?

Seems like an almost impossible task....

You could try asking people via email, websites and local Thai tourist offices abroad going out and asking people. In all the years I’ve been applying for visas, work permits, air fares, I’ve never once been asked to complete a survey.  Posting a link in Newspapers or a QR code on TV advertising. It’s really not difficult.  

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8 hours ago, Thaiger said:

Red flags are flying in Thai tourism circles as the expected wave of international travellers is failing to materialise in the expected numbers.

Read the full story

Well, the mask restrictions play a big part, a holiday to a warm climate where you have to wear a mask every time you set foot outside your hotel room not only doesn't sound inviting, it suggests that the health issues aren't really under control in Thailand.

There are plenty of other tourism options on the table and they will be more than happy to eat Thailands lunch.

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Inovative can't help.

sincerely?

Ticket are expensive, but methamphetmine is spreading as other crimes too. And.. too many scams targeting tourists, as taxi drives, tuktuk mafias, etc. 

some shootings are becoming more normal... and its a big problem. whole world see thailand as a paceful country.

And at the end:

They do a military coup and don't expect bad reactons? of course the thai reputation lose...

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1 hour ago, Soidog said:

If it’s demand outstripping supply, then increase flights. 

One of the airline industry issues is  lack of pilots. Across the board. So they are making dicisions on routes based on that

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They are making it difficult for people like me who want to spend the winter in Thailand. Too much red tape to get a long stay visa. Many countries issue a 90 day Visa on Arrival which can be renewed simply by leaving the country and re-entering. Why does Thailand restrict the length of stay to 30 days ? And why do they restrict the number of times it can be renewed ? It is stupid. The longer people stay the more money they spend. 

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14 minutes ago, Bangkok_Gary said:

They are making it difficult for people like me who want to spend the winter in Thailand. Too much red tape to get a long stay visa. Many countries issue a 90 day Visa on Arrival which can be renewed simply by leaving the country and re-entering. Why does Thailand restrict the length of stay to 30 days ? And why do they restrict the number of times it can be renewed ? It is stupid. The longer people stay the more money they spend. 

the biggest issue they had was burden on the hospital system, then the crime,bad guy's out remember, People wont pay for health insurance 1 or 3 months at a time,

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Tim Newton nails it again with an incisive well-written article. Why would I want to travel to somewhere which takes me back to what it was like here in Australia a year ago - masks, quarantines, testing, dowloading and uploading documents, closures etc etc. When I travel I like most tourists do so for pleasure not place themselves in uncomfortable, uncertain and inconvenient situations. And for what is all this for? Tourists will not bring in any more virus than is already in Thailand. And what was all the vaccination and teh propaganda that goes with it for if not to free us all of these restrictions? It is because of all this panic-mongering and totally disproportionate response that we are where we are. Try going to Ukraine and compare what danger and risk is all about! Thailand, get over it, make coming easy and smiley again and we will be back. 

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i have been living in thailad 6 months each year up till march 2020.for the last 19 years!! and even now  all the red tape crap is alful.insurance that cant be bought if your over 70 or 75.expensive!!even i have usa insurance that thai wont accept without their form filled out by my insurance company which they will not do as its not in line with their legal policy.so im screwed.im not super rich but i spent over one million baht per trip.then the hoops to get a thai o/a visa .plus a thai pass to wait on ,not knowing when its coming.down load a bunch of things,then upload,some gets rejected,start over,make new pass word and user name.its just too much.ill try again at end of june and if it fails,then im done.ill look else where.and who wants a vacation wearing a mussel when most of the world dont.its just a hassel putting up with all this crap when mail in  for visa was so easy and simple.someone needs to get their act together and stop with the crazy games.thats how you will get tourtist back.chock dee everyone.

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It is not rocket science, the reasons are clearly obvious and not all the blame lies with the Thai authorities. 

However forever changing stupid rules and all the red tape foreigners have to go through have been major contributing factors. Thai pass, covid insurance and the forever changing rules and flip flops etc.  Also Thailand has this want for westerners money but this often open resentment of westerners who have been the bigger spenders so they need to understand a few basics if they want western dollars!! They openly woo the Chinese and claim 25% of the tourism sector but probably less than 10% of the tourist dollar with cheap charters flights, budget hotels, prearranged venue's and meals all prepaid in China so the actual value Thailand gets from 95% of the Chinese mainland tourists amounts to little. For short haul flights they should be wooing Japanese, South Koreans, Singaporeans, Taiwanese, Australians & Malaysians who spend more per head, frequent restaurants, bars & massage parlours etc and the money actually stays in Thailand. 

There is still the day of reckoning coming over the real origin of the Covid virus which has destroyed much of Thailands tourism sector operators and the very people that made up the 40 odd million visitors annually.

So like it or not Thailand westerners are the bigger spenders on average by far so you cannot have your cake and eat it as the saying goes. Get over your insecurities and go after the tourists that will help restore your failing tourism sector. Hopefully the Russian invasion of Ukraine will end sooner rather than later and European visitors will start to flow again. Sadly for the Russian and Ukrainian people their economies will take some time to recover so dont expect the surge of Russians like we had earlier this year, my experience of Russian tourists was that they spent big and were mostly really nice people country to my former beliefs!!!

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56 minutes ago, farang said:

i have been living in thailad 6 months each year up till march 2020.for the last 19 years!! and even now  all the red tape crap is alful.insurance that cant be bought if your over 70 or 75.expensive!!even i have usa insurance that thai wont accept without their form filled out by my insurance company which they will not do as its not in line with their legal policy.so im screwed.im not super rich but i spent over one million baht per trip.then the hoops to get a thai o/a visa .plus a thai pass to wait on ,not knowing when its coming.down load a bunch of things,then upload,some gets rejected,start over,make new pass word and user name.its just too much.ill try again at end of june and if it fails,then im done.ill look else where.and who wants a vacation wearing a mussel when most of the world dont.its just a hassel putting up with all this crap when mail in  for visa was so easy and simple.someone needs to get their act together and stop with the crazy games.thats how you will get tourtist back.chock dee everyone.

Couldn't agree more. Whilst most of the World is making strides to return to something like 'normality', the Thai Government continue to drag their collective heels and insist you jump through unnecessary hoops. 

Time to catch up Prayut and his cronies. Another article claims they are anticipating 1 million tourists by October though failed to mention which year. At this rate, they are being very optimistic or plainly unrealistic.

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Posted (edited)

 

It is not rocket science, the reasons are clearly obvious and not all the blame lies with the Thai authorities. 

However forever changing stupid rules and all the red tape foreigners have to go through have been major contributing factors. Thai pass, covid insurance and the constant changing rules and flip flops etc.  Also Thailand has this want for farang's money but often open resentment of farang's who have been the bigger spenders so they need to understand a few basics if they want farang dollars!! They openly woo the Chinese and claim 25% of the tourism sector but probably less than 10% of the tourist dollar with cheap charters flights, budget hotels, prearranged venue's and meals all prepaid in China so the actual value Thailand gets from 95% of the Chinese mainland tourists amounts to little. For short haul flights they should be wooing Japanese, South Koreans, Singaporeans, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Australians & Malaysians who spend more per head, frequent restaurants, bars & massage parlours etc and the money actually stays in Thailand. 

There is still the day of reckoning coming over the Covid virus & its origin which has destroyed much of Thailands tourism sector operators and the very people that made up the 40 odd million visitors annually.

So like it or not Thailand farangs are the bigger spenders on average by far so you cannot have your cake and eat it as the saying goes. Get over your insecurities and go after the tourists that will help restore your failing tourism sector. Reform your entry rules & your entire immigration system and you will reap the rewards. Hopefully the Russian invasion of Ukraine will end sooner rather than later and European visitors will start to flow again. Sadly for the Russian and Ukrainian people their economies will take some time to recover so dont expect the surge of Russians like we had earlier this year, my personal experience of Russian tourists was that they spent big and were mostly really nice people!!

 

Edited by Paulw
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