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Thai tourism full circle: Travel bubble and non-quarantine Chinese tour groups back on the table

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Thai tourism full circle: Travel bubble and non-quarantine Chinese tour groups back on the table



Picture: Thai Rath


After repeated failures to address the devastation caused to Thai tourism by the pandemic there is a chance the authorities will just abandon their fancy schemes and go with an original idea: The Travel Bubble.


Essentially that means engaging with countries where Covid-19 has been under control for at least 2 months and the risk is now. 


And allowing in tourists who would not quarantine at all but be shepherded and insured by tour group companies.


And this can only mean one thing: Chinese tour groups. 


In a Thai Rath article it was clear that after trying everything under the sun the authorities may be faced with going back to their original plan. 


The media outlined the last few months after coronavirus destroyed the Thai tourism industry.


Firstly the travel bubble was deemed to have too many problems associated with it. 


Then came the "Phuket Model" - but the Thai residents on the ground kicked up a stink.


Enter the Special Tourist Visa - with all the hoops and hurdles and high expense this was never going to appeal to short stay tourists. It was even widely ridiculed as a way of getting business people or long stay tourists back. 


"Really opening up to tourism from abroad is impossible," admitted tourism council chief Chairat Trairattanajaratporn who said that the 14 day quarantine that went with the STV was necessary but would put most people off. 


"It was better than nothing," he assessed. But not much more than that. 


Attempts to stimulate domestic tourism had largely failed to yield anything like the required number, he observed, with problems over accessing the stimulus freebies especially among older Thai age groups. 


This has meant the country is now back to square one. With millions unemployed in the sector and possibly millions more soon to lose their jobs, the travel bubble is back on. 


Chairat said that large numbers of businesses like spas, restaurants and massage shops have lobbied the government to look again at allowing Chinese tour groups in without the need for any quarantine at all. 


The tour companies would collectively arrange their insurance and the nature of the business would mean that it would be controlled as the tourists would not stray and would be led around from business to business like they always did. 


They essentially don't have any freedom and don't mix with the Thai public. 


This now looks like a possible way forward.


With businesses who have just held on to this point it could be the answer to avoiding yet more devastating collapse. 


Source: Thai Rath



-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2020-10-14
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Please Lord. Make it stop.

Slight problem there. China doesn't have Covid under control and is currently experiencing a second wave.   Another slight problem there. Zero baht Chinese tours benefit only a select few

So they don't mix with locals in restaurants, shops, massage places, hotels, malls, tourist-attractions, on boats and so on... yeah sure. 

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When oh when will these Muppets figure out that this country's tourism will never be perfect? Ok, so cleaning up Pattaya and Patong would make sense, and this is an ideal opportunity, but they NEED backpackers and families. These young travellers will return in the future, spending more. Unless the country can rely on other forms of income, it needs to open up to tourism fully and soon.


Let's not forget that even those who only indirectly benefit from tourism and those who don't benefit at all need to figure out the long term plan... all the time the government is offering aid packages to affected businesses, there will be a time when taxes will be increased to pay for all this. It could be a substantial hike and long lasting.

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6 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

I can not believe they outdid yesterday's proposal.  Of course they want a no quarantine because most if not all of these Chinese supposed tourists only get 2 weeks off of work. Then thats why the want to put them in a bubble and move them around like cattle in a big group.  However, I feel it will be like hearding cats.

Further, if there's no quarantine how will tourists from countries with very small infection rates / death rates be handled? Will they be allowed to travel in Thailand with no quarantine and same rules as the Chinese tourists?


And what about farang with retirement visas (and others) caught outside but currently located in countries with very low infection/death rates, will they be allowed to enter no quarantine if they stay isolated at their homes in Thailand 14 days? 


And on another angle, when will Thailand take advantage of the many new tests, many will impressive accuracy and results within 15 minutes. Some could be bought at pharmacies. And Thai health ministry changing to a new set of protocols for on-going testing and filing of test reports? 

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12 minutes ago, JonnyF said:

Please Lord. Make it stop.


... 555, we need to get used to it I guess, daily morning ritual now just like that endearing throat-clearing ...

Misfiring synapses, essentially, although less sophisticated folks than moa might just call it 'steaming bullstool', and rightfully so ...


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