Omicron effect on tourism

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Gaybutton
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Re: Omicron effect on tourism

Post by Gaybutton »

Folks, I don't think it is necessary for me to quote news articles to point out the obvious. Omicron is very rapidly spreading in Thailand - and the "experts" are saying new cases could quickly jump from around 4000-5000 per day to 10,000-30,000 per day.

That's not good. Whatever hoops people who want to holiday in Thailand currently have to jump through, you can expect more stringent problems before long. So far there is no talk about banning international tourists completely, but if people have to go though all kinds of things before they ever set foot on a plane, and then have to be quarantined or "sandboxed" once they arrive in Thailand, closing the borders would be a moot point.

Already it is apparent that the bars and entertainment venues won't open in January. Personally, I'm not expecting them to open in February either. How much longer the bars pretending to be restaurants are going to get away with it is anybody's guess. The next big event in Thailand will be Chinese New Year - Tuesday, February 1. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt we're going to be seeing parades, shows, fireworks, or food festivals this year. If we do, I'm expecting the holiday to be very subdued compared to previous years.

I hope 2022 will be better than 2021 was, but it's too iffy for me to hold my breath about it. I'm expecting better in some ways, but worse in others.

It is too soon to know what is going to happen, but I think by now we all are well aware of how Thailand's powers-that-be react and what kinds of extremes they are willing to impose without anyone having any idea when, or even if, they will be rescinded. I'm still trying - and failing - to make any sense out of the 2pm-5pm alcohol ban, and they came up with that one long before anyone ever heard of Covid.

When they say no lockdowns, no beach closings, etc, are you going to rely on that?

The point is we just don't know yet what is going to happen, how it's going to happen, or when it's going to happen. But in my view, if anyone thinks the rules and restrictions will remain as they are right now, unchanged, then you're dreaming . . .

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Re: Omicron effect on tourism

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High season 2022 - Kiss it goodbye . . .

Notice that the first article does not specifically mention the Omicron variant. It mentions a surge in Coronavirus cases. The second article doesn't specifically mention the disease at all, but blames the suspension of the "Test & Go" scheme.

In my opinion it doesn't matter where the finger of blame is being pointed. What matters is just when things were beginning to be looking up, the whole tourism crisis seems to be crashing down yet again and it is just too unpredictable at this point to see an end to where this is going and what will happen.

What I hope does not happen is Thailand closing the borders yet again, not only preventing tourists from coming, but once again causing tourists already in Thailand to be stuck yet again without a way to return home. The problem is we all know it happened before and could easily happen again. We all also know there is plenty of precedent for knee-jerk response to quickly go ballistic, without warning.

Some of the powers-that-be are saying dealing with the virus won't be like 2021. That's what scares me. When they have to say it won't be like 2021 that makes me concerned that yes it will be like 2021 - or not like 2021 because it will be even worse. Here I go - being pessimistic again. But I for sure don't see much to be optimistic about just now.

I know several Thai boys currently living in their home provinces who had been planning to return to Pattaya to seek their fortune working in the bars. All who I have spoken to have canceled plans to return to Pattaya any time soon.

An American friend who lives in Pattaya told me just this morning that he had been planning to go back to the USA in February, but will probably cancel those plans because he is afraid, and I think legitimately so, that while he is in the states Thailand will either close the borders or otherwise make things much more difficult and he won't be able to return to Thailand until the "this too shall pass" does pass . . .
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Business leader fears lockdown as Covid-19 cases explode in Pattaya

By Pattaya Mail

January 5, 2022

Coronavirus cases in Pattaya are exploding, with more than 700 reported in just the past three days. But the city’s top businessman says Pattaya can weather the storm.

Chonburi Province on Tuesday reported 499 new Covid-19 cases, the most of any province again. Of those, 336 were found in Banglamung District, which includes Pattaya.

More than 20 percent of those cases are tied to bars masquerading as restaurants and the just-completed Pattaya Countdown, where thousands gathered on Thursday and Friday following the first night of light attendance.

Boonanan Pattanasin, president of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, said the business sector still trusts that city hall will be able to control the situation.

Instead of Covid-19, what Boonanan is concerned about is the government closing down the city again, “which will definitely damage the city’s economy.”

Boonanan urged businesses to comply with disease-control measures and rein in the outbreak themselves without the government stepping in.

He agreed with the current plan of having all restaurant staff test daily for Covid-19 and requiring customers also to produce proof of a negative test as it will be better for Pattaya in the long run.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... aya-385245
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High season ends early

Test & Go halt sees mass cancellations

By Dusida Worrachaddejchai

January 6, 2022

Tourism operators in popular destinations face more cancellations as the prolonged suspension of the Test & Go scheme is dampening enthusiasm for the remainder of the high season.

Pongsakorn Ketprapakorn, president of the Tourism Council of Phangnga, said around 60% of bookings in January from 36 Phangnga hotels have been cancelled. Hotels have already lost more than 100 million baht, he said.

Travel agents in Europe, particularly Scandinavia, have pivoted to other destinations such as Vietnam, Bali and the Maldives as the Test & Go suspension is likely to be extended until at least the end of this month.

The average occupancy rate hit 50-60% late last year, before collapsing to 20-30% now, said Mr Pongsakorn.

He said even if the scheme resumes in February, foreigners are unlikely to return until March as they have to plan trips and apply for Thailand Pass, which is a time-consuming process.

"If more sandbox areas cannot be opened during the suspension of Test & Go, we might lose the high season opportunity and have to wait until the end of the year," Mr Pongsakorn said.

The cancellation rate in Krabi increased by 30% from the end of December to January, and there are no new bookings because of the Test & Go suspension and the viral outbreak overseas, said Charintip Tiyaphorn, president of the Tourism Council of Krabi.

She said the average occupancy rate is now 20%, but more guests will cancel their plans if Krabi is not included in the sandbox areas.

Most tourists have opted for refunds for their plane tickets and hotel room bookings because it is easier than applying for the Phuket sandbox programme, said Ms Charintip.

She said the hotel business will hit rock bottom this month, with single-digit occupancy rates as seen prior to the country's reopening. Bookings in February and March hover around 35-40%.

Ms Charintip said hoteliers may not see new bookings in the next two months without the resumption of the Test & Go scheme.

Phisut Sae-Khu, president of the Thai Hotels Association's eastern chapter, said the government should open the Thailand Pass system for tourists to pre-register under Test & Go.

Tourists should be able to plan their trips and enter the country later when the pandemic situation improves, which is a better option for the industry than cancelling their plans, he said.

The average hotel occupancy rate for Pattaya in January will not exceed 30% because of weak tourism sentiment, said Mr Phisut.

A viral surge in Chon Buri also worsened the situation for domestic tourism as hotels received more cancellations.

He said his association is amassing 5,000 rooms to act as hotel isolation facilities or "hospitels" in order to help curb the infection rate.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/22 ... ends-early

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Re: Omicron effect on tourism

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Thailand reports first death from Omicron coronavirus variant

16 January, 2022

Thailand has reported its first death from the highly contagious Omicron coronavirus variant, a Public Health Ministry official said on Sunday.

The death, a 86-year-old woman from the southern province of Songkhla, came after the country detected its first Omicron case last month that led to the reinstatement of a mandatory Covid-19 quarantine for foreign visitors.

"The woman is a bed-ridden, Alzheimer patient," ministry spokesman Rungrueng Kitphati told Reuters.

Such a death was expected as the country has so far reported over 10,000 Omicron cases, Dr Rungrueng said, adding that Thailand would not need further containment measures.

The provincial public health office in Songkhla said the woman lived in Hat Yai district and was infected by her grandson after he returned from Phuket. The woman had received two Pfizer shots at Na Mom Hospital in Hat Yai, it added.

The government reported 8,077 new infections and nine deaths on Sunday, taking the tally to more than 2.3 million cases and nearly 22,000 deaths since the pandemic started in 2020.

About 66% of the estimated 72 million living in the country have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccines, but only about 14.9% have received booster shots.

On Tuesday, the Bank of Thailand said the economy would take a 0.3% hit from Omicron, although it should be managed by the first half of the year.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... us-variant
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Thailand announces first known death from Omicron Covid-19 variant, 86-year-old bedridden patient with health conditions

By Nop Meechukhun

17 January, 2022

Thailand reported the first known death of an Omicron infection from the Southern province of Songkhla yesterday, January 16th.

According to the Songkhla Provincial Public Health Office, the fatality was an 86-year-old bedridden woman who was recorded with a health condition of Alzheimer’s. She already received two doses of Pfizer, according to her vaccination records.

The patient reportedly proved positive with an ATK (Rapid antigen) test on January 6th, possibly infected from her grandson who was previously found infected with the Omicron variant after returning from Phuket. She was transferred and isolated at Hat Yai hospital.

Her RT-PCR test also confirmed positive for the virus on the 7th. Her health condition was worsening with severe pneumonia and eventually pronounced dead on January 12th, at the same time as her virus was confirmed as the Omicron variant.

The case marks the first known death of an Omicron-infected patient from a local transmission in Thailand. TPN media notes that NOT every single case of Covid-19 in the country is individually sequenced to identify the variant, however.

https://thepattayanews.com/2022/01/17/t ... onditions/

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Re: Omicron effect on tourism

Post by Jun »

One known death in over a month of Omicron and it sounds like she had a limited life expectancy anyway.
Meanwhile, the number of road traffic deaths will be well into double figures again today.

Most of us will die from something other than COVID.
The biggest problem is not the disease, but the government restrictions.

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Re: Omicron effect on tourism

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For your reference I picked up, I'm assuming it was Omicron, on NYE, annoyingly so after nearly two years being careful. The test I took when symptoms appeared was negative, apparently this happens often. I got over the symptoms amazingly after a couple of days so thought I couldn't have really been infected, it must have been a cold, then decided curiously to test myself a few days later, it was positive. Did another different test which was positive. Symptoms were so minor, stuffy nose, sneezing, slight headache, slight irritated throat. Banned from work for 10 days, banned from getting a travel pass on the NHS website, understandable. The UK system of recording this etc is a joke. The only good thing apparently is that I'm now super immune.

Anyway why am I telling you this, because Malaysia in certain instances are letting people in who have been vaccinated and caught the virus. Novel I suppose.

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Re: Omicron effect on tourism

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whitedesire wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:30 am
The only good thing apparently is that I'm now super immune.
I hope so. I'm glad you didn't have anything worse happen.

Jun wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:27 am

The biggest problem is not the disease, but the government restrictions.
I think so too, although I do think Omicron should be taken seriously. I may be wrong, but it seems to me they are imposing the wrong kinds of restrictions on the wrong kinds of activities. I believe the face masks, hand lotion disinfectants, and social distancing should be plenty. The problem with that is more and more people are caught violating the imposed restrictions, which only inspires more strict enforcement and more rules.

We are now two days beyond January 15 - the day when everything was supposed to reopen. Obviously that didn't happen and now there is no telling when it will happen.

The tourist industry wants to make Pattaya become a "sandbox". I doubt the powers-that-be will go for it because there are more stories of people who are supposed to be quarantined just walking out before they are supposed to and there are too many ways those kinds of people can escape Pattaya.

While nobody enjoys the restrictions and as frustrating as they are, I wish everybody would obey them. I believe if everybody did, then the venues would have reopened long before now and before January 15 and many of the restrictions would have been rescinded. The actions of a selfish few ruin it for everybody else.

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Re: Omicron effect on tourism

Post by Jun »

There were 13 COVID deaths reported today in Thailand.

By a quick bit of calculation, I reckon over 1500 people die every day in Thailand normally.
So just under 1% of deaths are from COVID.
That 1% includes people too dumb to take a vaccine.

Government policies to tackle the other 99% of deaths would be more effective than wasting their time on COVID restrictions.

Even if Thailand had no restrictions at all, perhaps the daily COVID death rate might account for 5% of deaths, for a very brief period.

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Re: Omicron effect on tourism

Post by KeithAmbrose »

Worth pointing out that the deaths reported are deaths of people with Covid, not necessarily from Covid.

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Re: Omicron effect on tourism

Post by RichLB »

KeithAmbrose wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:49 pm
Worth pointing out that the deaths reported are deaths of people with Covid, not necessarily from Covid.
That's a good point. I never thought of that.

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Re: Omicron effect on tourism

Post by gerefan »

Jun wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:27 am

Meanwhile, the number of road traffic deaths will be well into double figures again today.
Covid has been here in Thailand since March 2020. That’s 2 years, give or take.

In that time 40,000 have been killed on Thai roads.

In the same period 21941 have died of covid.

So Thais have about 100% more chance of being killed on the roads.

Why not shut the roads, halt bus services, close motorway restaurants, etc etc?

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