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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand to rebrand itself as “trusted” tourist destination

Jack Burton

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Thailand to rebrand itself as “trusted” tourist destination | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Tourism in Thailand, like most of the world, has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns and travel restrictions. Now, though, capitalising on its relative success in containing the outbreak, Thailand is preparing to position itself as a “trusted” destination for international tourists after travel restrictions ease. As the first country to report a Covid-19 virus case outside of China, Thailand wants to build on its reputation and remake its image to bring back big tour groups.

“After COVID eases, we plan to refresh the country’s image to a trusted destination where tourists will have peace of mind,” according to the TAT.

The PR campaign, to be launched later this year, will be aimed at “affluent young travellers” from places that are now considered low-risk such as China, South Korea and Taiwan, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s deputy governor for marketing and communications.

“It will highlight scenic beaches and parks, part of a ‘tourism bridge’ that could emerge in Asia including Hong Kong and Japan.”

The government has rolled out a health certification system for hotels and restaurants so that travellers can be reassured.

“The certificate is a tool to build trust and showcase Thailand as your amazing, trusted destination.”

Thailand, with Southeast Asia’s second largest economy, has so far reported just over 3,100 cases and 58 deaths – far less than other major regional economies, with the exception of Vietnam. Local transmission has dropped to 0, with the last recorded case on May 25. The tourism industry, which accounts for up to 18% of the economy, collapsed after the outbreak. Thailand had 39.8 million foreign tourists last year, and projects around 14 million for 2020.

Thailand has banned international flights until at least June 30, and foreign tourists aren’t expected until later in the year due to rumoured quarantine requirements and other restriction that the government is likely to impose when they first nudge open the international borders.

In the meantime, the government is drawing up a stimulus package to promote domestic tourism from July to October. When international travel resumes, Thailand will promote the “trust” concept, as hotels safety measures and offer special packages. Central Plaza Hotels, which manage 46 hotels and resorts across Thailand, will seal rooms once they are cleaned and disinfected so guests will be confident, according to its deputy CEO.

“We may limit occupancy at 50% on some properties so guests experience social distancing that they are comfortable with.”

SOURCE; Reuters

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Tourist number limitations mulled for tourist spots after reopening

Jack Burton

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Tourist number limitations mulled for tourist spots after reopening | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Culture Trip

As the government considers allowing the resumption of more businesses and activities, the Department of Health, under the Ministry of Public Health, is pushing for measures to curb the number of visitors to tourist spots, to prevent a surge in Covid-19 transmission. The DOH director-general says that even though some restrictions on domestic travel have been relaxed, travellers should adopt “new normal” practices and maintain social distancing and safety precautions, including as wearing masks and regular handwashing wherever they go.

She says that, during the Phase 4 of lockdown easing, it may be necessary to issue measures to curb the number of visitors to tourist attractions, similar to the limits placed on the number of people going into stores at shopping malls.

She stressed that local authorities should come up with measures to control the number of visitors to beaches in their respective provinces to prevent overcrowding, and says tourists and workers in the service industry should also be required to wear masks while on the beaches.

On Wednesday Chon Buri’s Bang Saen Beach was re-opened and was ‘invaded’ by pent-up demand with traffic jams up to 2 hours leading to the main beaches. Authorities promptly closed down the beach and then re-opened them again yesterday.

“Adequate hand sanitisers should also be provided for beachgoers, while toilets and bathrooms at public beaches should be cleaned every 2 hours, and visitors must check in and out at beaches so they can be traced, among other measures.”

The director-general says the department has monitored every phase of relaxation and found that while people continue to wash their hands regularly, they are tending to wear face masks in public less. She also said moviegoers aren’t actually prohibited from eating popcorn and in cinemas, but they are urged to take precautions and wear masks all the time.

Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said yesterday that some businesses and activities will be allowed to reopen ahead of schedule in the final phase of the relaxation of the Covid-19 lockdown, provided they can give proof that they have plans to prevent virus transmission.

Taweesilp says the CCSA has regularly discussed the fourth and final phase of relaxation for businesses and activities that are in the “red” or high-risk category, like pubs and bars.

He quoted PM Prayut Chan-o-cha as saying that any businesses and activities that come up with satisfactory plans to prevent transmission may be permitted to reopen ahead of Phase 4 of relaxation, which will effectively lead to a complete reopening of the country.

The government plans to completely lift the lockdown on all businesses and activities on July 1 nationwide. This includes lifting interprovincial travel restrictions and ending the Emergency Decree and curfew.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

9 arrested for sharing “fake news” about Covid-19, government handouts

Jack Burton

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9 arrested for sharing “fake news” about Covid-19, government handouts | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

9 People have been arrested for sharing “fake news” on social media, from May 25 to yesterday, according to Thailand’s Anti-Fake News Centre. 3 were connected to false stories about Covid-19 and a further 6 made bogus claims about the government’s cash handouts to the needy.

The AFNC, together with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, said yesterday that fake news has been on the wane since January. But they stressed that people can be jailed for up to 5 years for spreading fake news and/or fined 100,000 baht. Fines and jail time are also in place for spreading rumours about or breaking the Emergency Decree.

The details of the 9 cases (names withheld) are:

  • A woman claimed that another woman fell down from Covid-19 at a shopping centre in Rayong
  • A man in Suphanburi claimed that garlic could cure the virus
  • A woman in Chon Buri shared a story about ginger, honey and other extracts curing Covid-19
  • Cases 4-9 all related to stories across 6 provinces in which people claimed that information submitted to receive the 5,000 baht government handouts was being used by the state to extract tax payments

SOURCES: thaivisa | Daily News

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