Oh Thailand. Such a lovely country. Such a lovely people. But its approach to tourism during the pandemic leaves me shaking my head.
Thailand Plans To Resume Tourism With Many Strings Attached
Thailand has been closed to international tourism since March and has largely remained insulated from the pandemic, with only 3,659 reported COVID-19 cases and 59 deaths.
But while shutdown has protected the Thai people from the pandemic, it has unleashed severe economic damage to a nation in which tourism accounts for 17% of GDP.
Last month, Thailand announced plans to re-open to tourism, but mandated a 31-step plan that included:
- A minimum of 104 nights of pre-paid hotel stays (14-nights quarantine plus 90 nights)
- Special health insurance coverage of $100,000+
- Proof of funds to cover charter flights/private jets between cities
Not surprisingly, the plan failed to draw tourists.
Now Thailand is out with a new tourist plans that is relatively better…but still pretty bad.
The new plan seeks to ensure that tourists do not have any contact with Thai locals…by assigning minders to them like you find when visiting North Korea.
Tourists will need to stay away from cities and wear tracking bracelets.
As View from the Wing notes, what’s the point of going to Thailand without the bustling street stalls or interacting with locals? Who wants to fly all the way to Thailand for a game of golf unless you live in the region?
Practically, though, I have to suspect such rules will not be so closely enforced. Time will tell.
I look forward to the day I can return to Thailand…and to other cities in Asia. I have greatly missed East Asia this year. But it seems to me like if Thailand is going to require all tourists to be escorted 24/7 (and probably pay for the privilege), it should just wait and re-open once it truly feels safe enough to let tourism resume in its pre-pandemic state.
Countries like Thailand have no clue what they are doing and the consequences of such draconian measures is still unknown and we may not know for decades. Yes, the virus is dangerous but there are better ways to protect people than living on a cave. Here is a very good article from the WSJ on a similar topic: https://www.wsj.com/articles/public-health-experts-rethink-lockdowns-as-covid-cases-surge-11602514769
Typical of idiots running a country
Same old Thais I got to know during my many years living there. Clueless, arrogant and clearly stupid!
Classic move for a third-worold country like this. Using a hammer to kill a gnat. Meanwhile all the natives suffer.
Careful – I hear authorities don’t respond well to criticism. 😉
LOL. Don’t worry, this absurd North Korean plan (and it’s 15 previous incarnations) are already the laughing stock of the world. Thai authorities can’t do anything about it. It would be great if some Ministers with an IQ above 80 could be employed, because all these schemes are just stupid.
Lunacy, in spades.
This is absolutely absurd. It will be interesting to see how many Chinese actually go for this.
This article should also mention that as soon as 1 person a shows up with covid, they are scrapping the plan.
It continues here in Thailand about the same way as before the pandemic break out.
Just a rip off of the Farangs (Foreigners) here.
As Foreigner in Thailand you will have to pay at most of places much more as the local people here pay, even in hotels, condos or hospitals.
The former “Land of smiles” has become to the “Land of rip off”, or “give us your money and then leave quickly”.
How to open up will be a big problem for every country. Politicians are not going to want to stick out their necks.
The solution might be to open up to countries with similar Covid-19 rates. The UK is similar to the US. Canada is a little lower. Australia and New Zealand have similar rates.
The US could pair up with Argentina, Chile, UK, Mexico, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Sweden.
The low rate countries might include Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan/Republic of China. However, Singapore wants to open up to Indonesia.
The great peace loving country of the DPRK, also known as North Korea, could have a special category because they have zero cases. No wait, they are so great, they have negative cases, which is less than zero.
Why does it matter where you come from if you have to quarantine for 14 days? Makes no sense
The restrictions you state here are slightly misleading. The tourists must do 14 day mandatory quarantine (like any one else coming into the country), but after that the tourists will be allowed to travel freely throughout the country (with a tracking app, but not with a minder). They will be given a 90 day visa, that they may extend two more times if they wish. This move is to encourage long stay tourists (for example the retired or those who work online). It is certainly not ideal, and the tourist industry here is hurting very much. But on the flip side, we are living covid free and without restrictions or lockdowns.
Willing to do it all Steph but……the STV is not available to Canadians or apparently anyone else for that matter……is there an STV or isn’t there????……..very bizarre!
Old, see you all next year.
The fact is that the STV program failed. No one would come to to Thailand to spend 14 days in quarantine.
The countries must find a better way to revive their tourism industry.
I would but, it’s not “available ” to me even though, I’m willing and able to submit to whatever they want…….very bizarre!
Sounds like a joke…cant imagine anyone is desperate ans silly enough to follow through on such a ridiculious expensive plan. Avoid.
I am engaged to a Thai woman and we want start a new life together there. I am tailored made for their STV program but, despite 50 or more calls to the Thai Consulate, the STV isn’t available for me…….is it available or isn’t it? I want to retire there, invest tons of cash, go through whatever scenario they want me to but, “I can’t”……my fiancee like millions of Thais have lost their jobs, I want to go there and help support her and help support the Thai economy but……”I can’t “………..very bizarre indeed!
I too engaged to Thai lady, she brought new house , we want to get married too. Just impossible to get into country!!! This 104 STV will cost in the region of £10,000. Well one can go travel anywhere in the world , beautiful places without being handcuff prisoner. Zero tourists will go to thailand . If the borders were opened to the world free they would be hard to attract 4milluon tourists in 12 months. They have killed off 90% of prospectors.
Check out non immigration O – A visa
That might help you.
Another total sad desperate numpty
I am an Expatriate waiting to return to my little family…I left last October and now has been 1 year since being in the embrace of them due to the closing of borders and required quarrentine….Dual pricing of Thais vs Foreigners is becoming an issue…charging foreigners up to 300% more for a service or an attraction that simply is nothing more than an act of greed and a growing xenophobic culture. Be aware , please complain and don’t patronize these shops and attractions that exhibit and feel no shame in posting inflated prices to those that simply in their opinion can do, since all foreigners are rich and will pay.
I also am engaged to Thai Girl. She is only 24 (i am 32) she lost her job. And i must support her in everything now. Was set to marry there April….. This really sucks. I live in America…. Idk when i will ever be able to go. I would stay years if they would just let me ENTER…
Are you for real dude. I mean i feel your pain but wake up bro.
Keep sending money she find somebody else another numpty
So , even after going through everything to obtain a retirement Visa for Thailand( deposit funds thai bank, medical, criminal check etc, etc. ) you have to check in to immigration every 3 months !! Now this . Unfortunately Thailand has lost it’s way. Government is not in touch with reality. How sad as thia people are so nice …
I had been planning a photo shoot around Thailand this year for about two months. I had planned my itinerary and even had a local set up to translate and show me around (female of course) but it’s all backfired now and I was looking forward to it. Now when 2021-2022 it’s crazy.
I’ve done several of these trips with no problem in the past few years, but now it’s all up in the air.. thanks Covid…
Be assured this smells like a Rat(s) at work to gain from this. If this indeed will work, The Rich Will Get RICHER and the Poor, well their out on the streets.
Another total sad desperate numpty
Chineese will go for this as Thailand sent their Queen over to make a trade deal, which china got, china has now all the major engineering projects , such as the rail road from Pattaya to Laos, motorway links from south to north.
They have also bought damms and resivoirs like they have done in Austrailia.
China is useing Thailand like a puppet , controling them from dealing with the US. All to china’s plan for globalism ,plus Thai royalty and the goverment individualy received a substantial personal thankyou token.
It never ceases to amaze me that they just can’t stop finding ways to embarrasss themselves
The most sensible comment to this post is from Steph who says. “…we are living covid free and without restrictions,..” because Thailand took action quickly to control the pandemic.
I am not a fan of military rule and the government did go over the top a little in March/April, but they got most of it right and protected the people well. Unlike The USA and Europe. If tourism accounted for 17% of the GDP that 83% has become the new 100%.
The hospitals are operating normally, Thais who worked in the tourist industry have gone home to their farming families in the villages, back to their roots where nothing has changed. No-one is starving, and the beaches are cleaner and uncrowded.
People who are heavily invested in tourism will lose out of course. I lost quite a bit myself. But compared to my homeland, UK, Europe and the USA, I know where I’d rather be right now.
There will hardly be anywhere left unscathed and Thailand’s critics, who live elsewhere, need to take a good look in the mirror. This is not about you. To think that tourism in Thailand or anywhere else will resume in its pre-pandemic state, is naive.
It should be obvious that Thailand is not re-opening tourism but is offering something to people who want to come for an extended period and are prepared to pay. I’m sure the government is not stupid enough to think it will open the flood gates. That is not what they want, and the restrictions will ensure it doesn’t happen.
And if the world buries its head in the sand and doesn’t learn from its mistakes, it will happen again and again.