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Thailand sees first trickle of tourists in October as curbs ease

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Thailand sees first trickle of tourists in October as curbs ease

By Orathai Sriring



A man walks on an almost empty beach which usually crowed with tourists following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Pattaya, Thailand March 27, 2020. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun/File Photo


BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand recorded its first 1,201 foreign tourists in October since a ban in April aimed at averting coronavirus outbreaks, as the country gradually opens up to a select number of visitors to help its struggling, tourism-reliant economy.


Southeast Asia's second-largest economy contracted 6.4% in the third quarter from a year earlier after the second quarter's 12.1% slump as most virus restrictions were eased, but an absence of tourists is limiting the recovery.


The 1,201 foreign visitors in October is a fraction of the 3.07 million arrivals in the same month last year.


Tourism ministry data showed the latest visitors included 471 from China, 231 from neighbouring Cambodia, 178 from Middle East countries and 116 from Europe, all travelling on special 90-day visas that require two weeks of quarantine.


Thailand's entry restrictions have helped keep its coronavirus case tally to less than 4,000.


It plans to restart talks with China on a travel bubble to boost an economy the government predicts will shrink by 6% this year.


But the country has yet to agree any such arrangements and previous plans were abandoned in August after coronavirus cases in Asia increased.


New outbreaks have seen several other travel bubbles between Asia-Pacific countries aborted or fail to take off, including between New Zealand and Australia, and Hong Kong and Singapore.


In January-October 2020, the number of foreign tourists in Thailand dropped 79.5% to 6.69 million - there were zero tourists recorded in April-September.


The state planning agency has forecast 6.7 million foreign tourists this year after last year's revised record 39.9 million visitors who spent 1.91 trillion baht ($63 billion), or about 11.3% of gross domestic product (GDP).


It predicts only 5 million foreign visitors in 2021.


($1 = 30.33 baht)


(Reporting by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty)



-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-11-26
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12 minutes ago, webfact said:

It plans to restart talks with China on a travel bubble to boost an economy the government predicts will shrink by 6% this year.

be careful what you wish for, look at the Singapore/Hong Kong travel bubble situation, it says it all




How much risk will a vital hub of global commerce entertain to open an important chunk of the economy? None, appears to be the answer, judging by the suspension of the Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble on the eve of its debut.



Hong Kong, Singapore bubble delay highlights hurdles to travel recovery


SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A delay to Asia's first travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore has hit the shares of their flag carriers and highlighted the challenges facing the global travel industry as it tries to rebound from the pandemic.

The arrangement was postponed on Saturday, one day before it was due to launch, after Hong Kong reported a jump in coronavirus cases.

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The numbers never add up. I recently returned on a flight with 45-60 passengers and  I did not see anyone that looked to be on a holiday.

And we were NOT, just returning ex-pats. And what a pile of you know what to achieve that.🤑

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2 hours ago, madmitch said:

Where have they got these figures from? Totally different from anything else I've seen.


Particularly since they previously announced - less than two weeks ago - that only 331 people entered on the STV in October. 1201 might be the total number of foreigners who arrived during the month, but only 417 of them (per TAT) entered on any type of tourist visa, and of those my guess is that 0% were actual "tourists" - they were people with homes or families or lives here who couldn't get a COE through any other means.


i would also bet dollars to donuts that the 231 Cambodians were laborers, not tourists.

Edited by khunjeff
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4 hours ago, Sharp said:

It's pretty obvious by now most if not all countries are waiting for the vaccine rollout before international travel gets moving of any noticeable degree. 

The problem for anyone from Europe or the US is that even if we are vaccinated we would still need to quarantine . there’s no evidence that tells us that we do not infect others when vaccinated. you are only protecting yourself. you could be a carrier. unless everyone in Thailand is vaccinated tourists will still be subject to quarantine . please tell me i’m wrong because I wish to return but will not quarantine for 2 weeks alone. no way. 

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