Thais don't want foreign tourists yet - poll says

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Gaybutton
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Re: Thais don't want foreign tourists yet - poll says

Post by Gaybutton »

Now they're talking about postponing lifting the international flight ban.
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Overseas commercial flight ban might not end on July 1

Business people likely the first travellers

17 Jun 2020

The ban on commercial international flights might not be lifted on July 1 as originally planned and, if and when the ban is scrapped, business people will likely be the first to be allowed to travel, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

CAAT director-general Chula Sukmanop made the statement after meeting representatives from 10 commercial airlines operating both domestic and international flights, five private jet firms and four airport operators on Tuesday.

Mr Chula said it is not certain if the July 1 planned re-opening of airports to international fights will proceed. The ban went into effect on April 27 at the height of the Covid-19 lockdown.

He reasoned that before the ban is revoked, the Public Health Ministry must evaluate health safety and give the green light. Also, the "travel bubble" scheme will need to be negotiated where travel will resume progressively between Thailand and countries deemed safe from Covid-19 transmission.

Restoring international flights must take into account the issues of travel safety and whether destination countries have reopened their borders to Thai citizens.

Also, the CAAT has determined that not everyone will be able to fly out of the country immediately after the ban is lifted. Business people may be the first group to be permitted to travel overseas.

He said business people and investors will need to undergo health checks before travelling. They are more prepared and better able to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 transmission than tourists, according to Mr Chula.

"They could be the first group allowed to book air tickets on international routes," he said.

Business people are more resilient to the effects of the pandemic. For example, they have the means at their disposal to pay for staying in a foreign country during an extended period of quarantine and if there are associated medical costs.

Mr Chula, meanwhile, said that when the international flights resume, they will conform to safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Authority.

However, airlines will no longer have to leave empty seats on flights to keep passengers apart. The empty-seat measure has been opposed by airlines as it eats into the load factor and profits.

However, passengers will still be required to wear masks during flights and airlines must install effective cabinet air filter systems.

Mr Chula added food and drinks to be served on flights exceeding two hours must be in sealed containers. This is where airlines have raised queries.

Also at yesterday's meeting between airlines and the CAAT, it was agreed in principle that the last three rows in the back of the cabin must be left unoccupied to accommodate any passengers who fall sick during a flight. However, the restriction may not be applicable to flights that are less than one hour long.

Meanwhile, Thai Airways International is prepared to restart commercial flights on Aug 1 on lucrative routes.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... -on-july-1

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Re: Thais don't want foreign tourists yet - poll says

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Gaybutton wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:52 am
Now they're talking about postponing lifting the international flight ban.
That would be irrational.

There's a tourism industry in it's knees. Thai Air is probably struggling. Meanwhile, there are countries like Australia and New Zealand, which had hardly any cases last time I looked. Even with China, despite the cases in Beijing, the reported incidence rate is negligible.

So there's very little risk in permitting flights to a select group of countries, with strict criteria on who can use the flights. For example, only permit people who have not been to a higher risk country within 2 weeks.

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Re: Thais don't want foreign tourists yet - poll says

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Bangkok Post wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:52 am
Business people are more resilient to the effects of the pandemic. For example, they have the means at their disposal to pay for staying in a foreign country during an extended period of quarantine and if there are associated medical costs.
If he thinks that business people with the seniority to get international travel authorised are meekly going to spend 14 days twiddling their thumbs in quarantine, then he is most likely mistaken.

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Re: Thais don't want foreign tourists yet - poll says

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ceejay wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:11 pm
If he thinks that business people with the seniority to get international travel authorised are meekly going to spend 14 days twiddling their thumbs in quarantine, then he is most likely mistaken.
Agreed. The only business people likely to contemplate 14 days quarantine are those who HAVE to be back in Thailand to run a business or whatever. Any avoidable trip will be avoided. Particularly when another 14 days quarantine would be required on returning to their home country (in some cases).

As for tourists, well if I were to hypothetically go to Thailand for 13 weeks this winter, there could be 14 days quarantine in Thailand, followed by 14 days quarantine in my own home.
The latter is just about bearable in return for a long winter break, but 14 days proper quarantine at the start of the trip would be just too much.

When overseas travel does become an option, of course I'll be looking to see which tropical countries have the most reasonable conditions for visitors.

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Re: Thais don't want foreign tourists yet - poll says

Post by gera »

ceejay wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:11 pm
If he thinks that business people with the seniority to get international travel authorised are meekly going to spend 14 days twiddling their thumbs in quarantine, then he is most likely mistaken.
The whole idea of travel bubble arrangements is that quarantine will not be required. Not that it increases the chances that Thailand will consider bubble travel agreements with countries like UK any time soon. By the way,it appears that Oxford vaccine is leaky. That means that it cannot prevent the infection but makes the disease asymptomatic in most of the people. This means that people who get the vaccine still can potentially spread the infection. Thus getting vaccinated will not help to qualify for an international travel.

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Re: Thais don't want foreign tourists yet - poll says

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Thailand is not the only country looking at delaying international travel
Senator Birmingham told the National Press Club it is “more likely” Australians will be banned from overseas travel until 2021, unless under special exemptions for limited business travel and on compassionate grounds.

“I hope that we can look eventually at some of those countries who have similar successes in suppressing the spread of COVID to Australia and New Zealand, and in working ... with those countries to find safe pathways to deal with essential business travel that helps to contribute to jobs across our economies,’’ he said.

“But I do, sadly, think that in terms of open tourist-related travel in or out of Australia, that remains quite some distance off, just because of the practicalities of the volumes that are involved and the need for us to first and foremost keep putting health first.”

Asked if he was really talking about a travel ban until 2021, Senator Birmingham replied: “Honestly, I think that is more likely the case.”
Coronavirus Australia: Borders likely to stay closed until 2021, news.com.au, June 18, 2020
I’m nervous now when people cough near me, I would be much more comfortable if they would far cough.

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Re: Thais don't want foreign tourists yet - poll says

Post by Gaybutton »

As far as I'm concerned, good! That eliminates the hordes of Chinese tourists and tour buses for the time being. Enjoy it while it lasts.
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Thailand to turn away from mass tourism, target the wealthy

Kingdom considers protocols for return of foreign tourists

19 Jun 2020

The government's tourism-revival strategy is to target big spenders seeking privacy and social distancing in the Covid-19 era, rather than try to attract a large number of visitors, according to Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

The pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the sector, which had become reliant on Chinese groups and backpackers, he said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

Once the country’s borders are reopened and so-called travel bubbles are agreed upon, marketing efforts will be geared toward wealthier individuals who want holidays with minimal risks.

The government will initially allow a small number of arrivals, such as some business executives and medical tourists. It is also working with the travel industry to identify and invite individuals in target demographics, which will probably include previous visitors to luxury resorts in the islands of Phuket, Samui, Phangan and Phi Phi, the minister said.

Phuket is “a prototype” because it has all the needed facilities.

People may be required to pass Covid-19 screenings before traveling and upon arriving, choose a single resort island and remain for a minimum period of time.

The “high-end visitors” will be able to travel freely while they’re on the island and be allowed to leave for home or other destinations in Thailand once the minimum 14 days have passed. The country plans to court such visitors, possibly during the winter months of November-February when European and American travelers seek out warmer climates, Mr Phiphat said.

“One person can easily spend as much as five by staying at the finest hotels,” he said, adding that full and free travel should become a “thing of the past.”

Thailand is not the only country grappling with the question of how and when to reopen for visitors. Across Southeast Asia -- one of the most tourism-reliant regions in the world -- hotels and travel businesses are slowly kicking into gear as countries that have succeeded in flattening their virus curves ease lockdown restrictions.

Thailand’s first few travel-bubble pacts, with nations such as Japan and Australia, probably will not be ready until at least August, Mr Phiphat said. Thailand also is mulling a program to allow visitors from specific Chinese cities and provinces, he said.

Thailand’s borders are currently locked to all but essential travel through June 30. Most restrictions on domestic travel were lifted this month.

The goal is for Thailand to have 10 million foreign arrivals this year -- one-quarter of the 2019 tally -- Phiphat said. Total tourism revenue is forecast at 1.23 trillion baht (US$39.6 billion) this year, down 59% from last year.

The tourism sector will account for about 6% of gross domestic product in 2020, down from 18% last year, Phiphat said. The dearth of travelers is one reason Thailand’s economy is forecast to contract as much as 6% this year. The government is rolling out stimulus worth 15% of GDP, according to World Bank estimates.

A lockdown, social distancing, tight control of borders and near-universal adoption of face masks enabled Thailand to restrict its official virus tally to just over 3,000, with 58 deaths.

The government has recently relaxed the lockdown and has detected no local transmission of the novel coronavirus for more than three weeks.

Mr Phiphat said Thailand sees the crisis as an opportunity to address problems that existed before the pandemic, including over-crowding at some beaches and temples and environmental destruction.

In the quiet months without foreign travelers, sea turtles have returned to lay eggs on Thai beaches, pink dolphins have been seen frolicking with fishermen and manatees swam to shore to snack on sea grass, Phiphat said.

“If we don’t use this chance to create the most benefit for the industry, Thailand will lose out,” he said. “This is an opportunity to reset the entire tourism system.”

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... he-wealthy

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Re: Thais don't want foreign tourists yet - poll says

Post by gera »

Bangkok Post wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:04 pm
People may be required to pass Covid-19 screenings before traveling and upon arriving, choose a single resort island and remain for a minimum period of time.

The “high-end visitors” will be able to travel freely while they’re on the island and be allowed to leave for home or other destinations in Thailand once the minimum 14 days have passed. The country plans to court such visitors, possibly during the winter months of November-February when European and American travelers seek out warmer climates, Mr Phiphat said.
I doubt that such an arrangement would be attractive for many. E.g. despite the horrific current situation in US , I can freely travel to destinations like Jamaica (not that I want to). If they really want to attract affluent tourists , they should allow people who own property in the country to self-quarantine in there with perhaps some additional requirements like health certificates should be applied.

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Re: Thais don't want foreign tourists yet - poll says

Post by DragonMaster »

My first impression when I read this in the Post, was how well this strategy would fit in with the desire to get rid of the undesirable entertainment venues in order to create the family friendly environment. The Covid-19 pandemic has given the government an opportunity to further promote this strategy without being overtly critical of the sex industry here in Pattaya. This will only make it more difficult for bars to survive IMO.
The government's tourism-revival strategy is to target big spenders seeking privacy and social distancing in the Covid-19 era, rather than try to attract a large number of visitors, according to Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
Notice the wording below, “to identify and invite individuals in target demographics, which will probably include previous visitors to luxury resorts in the islands of Phuket, Samui, Phangan and Phi Phi, the minister said.”

The largest resort area in Thailand is conspicuously missing here in favor of island resorts. Much easier to isolate visitors on an island.
The government will initially allow a small number of arrivals, such as some business executives and medical tourists. It is also working with the travel industry to identify and invite individuals in target demographics, which will probably include previous visitors to luxury resorts in the islands of Phuket, Samui, Phangan and Phi Phi, the minister said.
This next section does not bode well for all of the travelers coming to Pattaya for their annual fill of booze and boys. I’m pretty certain most of the gay crowd does not book their stays at the finest hotels.
“One person can easily spend as much as five by staying at the finest hotels,” he said, adding that full and free travel should become a “thing of the past.”
So much for a general return of visitors during high season, even if conditions are optimal.
The country plans to court such visitors, possibly during the winter months of November-February when European and American travelers seek out warmer climates, Mr Phiphat said.

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Re: Thais don't want foreign tourists yet - poll says

Post by bkkguy »

DragonMaster wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 7:39 pm
This next section does not bode well for all of the travelers coming to Pattaya for their annual fill of booze and boys. I’m pretty certain most of the gay crowd does not book their stays at the finest hotels.
ignoring the realities of what class of tourist Pattaya may or may not be able to attract long term, I am curious why people may think that governments of any county should be happy to attract travelers "for their annual fill of booze and boys" without contributing significantly to other sectors of the tourism sector of the economy?
I’m nervous now when people cough near me, I would be much more comfortable if they would far cough.

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