Author Topic: Long-stay travel packages in the pipeline - quality not quantity  (Read 2856 times)

Offline thaiga

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Re: Plan to reopen five islands to foreign tourists by August
« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2020, 12:18:03 AM »
Plan to reopen five islands to foreign tourists by August
The Tourism and Sports Ministry aims to reopen five islands to foreign tourists in three provinces – Phuket, Krabi and Surat Thani – by August.

A ministry official revealed today (June 30) that in response to preparations to allow foreign tourists to enter Thailand by August, which is faster than the original schedule of between September and October, the ministry has discussed with the Phuket governor and tourism operators preparations for reopening of five islands in the three provinces.

“Initially, we will open five islands – Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao,” the official revealed.

“We expect residents in these areas to agree to the move because Phuket relies on tourism revenue when you take into account the province’s gross domestic product,” he said.

 The official also said the criteria to allow foreign tourists to enter the country and travel to these destinations is currently under discussion with the Public Health Ministry.

“To start with, we will limit the number of tourists depending on each area’s capability to effectively screen visitors for Covid-19,” he said.

“We plan to allow tourists to board a plane to a specified destination. If they have to take a connecting flight via Bangkok, for example, they will be prohibited from travelling in Bangkok,” he made it clear.

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Offline thaiga

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2.7 million in Thailand’s tourism sector redundant by September – TTIC
Confidence among Thailand’s tourism business operators fell to the lowest level in a decade during the second quarter of 2020, with about 2.6 million workers already out of work and about another 100,000 expected to be laid off in the third quarter of this year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Mr. Chairat Trairattanacharasporn, president of the Thai Tourism Industry Council, on Tuesday.

The gloomy forecast for Thailand’s travel industry is the result of a survey of 770 tourism business operators between May 10th and 25th.

He admitted that the sector has been hard hit by the lockdown measures, imposed by the Government to stem the spread of the contagion, starting with the imposition of a national state of emergency and the closure of many business and leisure activities. The impacts have caused domestic tourism to contract by about 99%, “because all tourist destinations were closed and there are no foreign tourists at all,” he said.

Tourism operators are, however, more confident about a slight improvement in the third quarter, as the Government has eased most restrictions, with an anticipation that as many as 400,000 foreigners will visit Thailand, generating revenues estimated about 20 billion baht, which is still 96% lower than average.

Unless Thailand opens its borders to allow foreign tourists to enter the country again, he warned that the future would be even bleaker, because most of the sector’s businesses have no access to funding.

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Tourism discount schemes open to public on July 15
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2020, 11:29:29 PM »
Tourism discount schemes open to public on July 15
Domestic travellers will be able to register for discounts on tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants at www.เราเที่ยวด้วยกัน.com from 6am on July 15.

The website will launch the government’s three-pronged scheme to stimulate domestic tourism in the country as the Covid-19 crisis and travel restrictions ease.

The government has injected Bt22.4 billion to subsidise local tourism from July to October, following talks between the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Finance Ministry on discounts for accommodation, restaurants and domestic flights.

The 40-per-cent discounts cover five million accommodation bookings at up to Bt3,000 per night for a maximum of five nights, five million trips to restaurants and tourist attractions and two million flight tickets.

Reservations must be made three days prior to check-in.

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Halt on travel may wipe out tourism dependant nations
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2020, 12:18:56 AM »
Halt on travel may wipe out tourism dependant nations: UNCTAD
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that for every US$1 million a country loses in tourism revenue its national income can drop by up to $3 million and have a dramatic effect on local employment.

Globally, the tourism sector could lose at least $1.2 trillion or 1.5 per cent of the world’s GDP now that travel has come to a virtual standstill for nearly four months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an UNCTAD report published on Wednesday (July 1) said.

In the report, UNCTAD warned that the loss could rise to $2.2 trillion or 2.8 per cent of the global GDP if the halt on tourism lasts for eight months, and as much as $3.3 trillion or 4.2 per cent of global GDP if travel is halted for 12 months.

Tourism is the backbone of many countries and a lifeline for millions around the world, having more than tripled in value from $490 billion to $1.6 trillion in the last two decades, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). However, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought travel to a halt, causing severe economic consequences globally.

Prevailing lockdown measures in some countries, travel restrictions, reduction in consumers’ disposable income and low confidence levels could significantly slow down the sector’s recovery, UNCTAD said.

“These numbers are a clear reminder of something we often seem to forget: the economic importance of the sector and its role as a lifeline for millions of people all around the world,” said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, UNCTAD’s director of international trade.

“For many countries, like small island developing states, a collapse in tourism means a collapse in their development prospects. This is not something we can afford.”

Developing countries could suffer the steepest GDP losses and Jamaica and Thailand stan out in this, losing 11 per cent and 9 per cent of GDP in the most optimistic scenario. Other tourism hotspots like Kenya, Egypt and Malaysia could lose over 3 per cent of their GDP.

Even rich countries are also feeling the pinch. Many popular European and American destinations, including France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United States may lose billions of dollars due to the dramatic drop in international tourism, UNCTAD forecasts.


Changes in GDP: 15 most affected countries, moderate scenario

Impact on other sectors, jobs and wages

Tourism accounts for a significant share of the global GDP and more than half of many countries’ national income. The coronavirus-induced losses in tourism are having a knock-on effect on other sectors that supply goods and services to tourists, such as food, beverages and entertainment.

Hence, UNCTAD estimates that for every $1 million lost in international tourism revenue, a country’s national income may decline by between $2 million and $3 million.

The massive drop in tourist arrivals has also left a growing number of people unemployed or with less income.

UNCTAD estimates show that in the worst-affected countries, such as Thailand, Jamaica and Croatia, employment for unskilled workers could drop at double-digit rates even in the most moderate scenario. Meanwhile, in terms of wages for skilled workers, the steepest drops were seen in Thailand (12 per cent), Jamaica (11 per cent) and Croatia (9 per cent) in the most optimistic scenario.

The effects could be worse for women who are expected to be disproportionately affected by layoffs in tourism due to Covid-19, the report said.

Women are more likely to run tourism businesses and make up about 54 per cent of workers in the accommodation and food services sectors. Since many women in the sector work informally in low-skilled jobs, they are unlikely to have unemployment benefits or other safety nets.

“This is why women are particularly hard hit in this crisis. And this is why policies that help protect the sector also protect the economic empowerment that many of these women have long fought for," Coke-Hamilton said.

Recovery support needed

UNCTAD, meanwhile, is calling for stronger social protection in affected nations to prevent worse economic hardship for people and communities that depend on tourism.

It is urging governments to protect workers, and design subsidies to help workers move to new industries if their workplace is unlikely to recover.

Government should also help tourism companies facing the risk of bankruptcy, like hotels and airlines. One approach may be low-interest loans or grants, the report states.

UNCTAD is also calling on the international community to support access to funding for

the hardest-hit countries.

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Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Halt on travel may wipe out tourism dependant nations
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2020, 08:49:10 AM »
The question remains, what new industries can there be, what is demanded, when tourism has been wiped out to a large extent? What could be the new "relaxation sector", when people cannot go on vacation anymore, a sector that does not require highly-skilled only?

Offline thaiga

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Re: “We Travel Together”
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2020, 12:19:49 AM »
More hotels being added to “We Travel Together” scheme to attract tourists
More hotels would be included this month in the Rao Tiew Dauy Kan (We Travel Together) scheme, with promotions to lure tourists. People can register for the scheme starting next week.

The Thai Hotels Association (THA) said more hotels would reopen in July, but not all rooms would be offered under promotion for now.

The hotels will launch promotions or packages to attract domestic tourists, THA vice chairman Sujin Chianchitlert said.

Asset World Corporation (AWC) director Wallapa Traisorat said AWC would operate two campaigns – Thai Holidays Lifestyle and Gift of Happiness – among its hotels (except Okura Prestige Bangkok and Banyan Tree Samui).

Under the campaigns, the price for rooms and breakfast start from Bt4,999 for two nights, and Bt9,999 for those staying four nights or more. Tourists can avail of discounts at the hotels’ restaurants and spas.

AWC will also offer 50 per cent discount on some rooms in July and August, and 30 per cent in September and October under the Rao Tiew Dauy Kan scheme.

Minor International has also reopened its hotels.

Chief strategy officer Chaiyapat Paitoon said Minor’s Anantara and Avani hotels are launching campaigns to draw tourists.

Meanwhile, Dusit Thani has launched its promotion campaign – Journey Together with Dusit.

Group chief executive officer Suphajee Suthumpun has said that Dusit Thani Hua Hin, Dusit Thani Pattaya and Dusit Suites Hotel Ratchadamri, Bangkok, have opened their doors since late June. DusitD2 Khao Yai, DusitD2 Ao Nang Krabi, Dusit Thani Krabi and Pathumwan Princess Hotel will be gradually reopened this month.

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Operators seek ways to disperse tourists
« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2020, 12:09:12 AM »
Operators seek ways to disperse tourists
Elderly, state bodies potential markets

As most local tourists flock to popular destinations during the weekends, tour operators are asking the government to help fill up weekdays by creating more trips for the elderly and state agency meetings.

Phuriwat Limthavornrat, president of the Association of Domestic Travel, said the association is working on a plan to discuss with tourism-related agencies measures to disperse the flow of tourists.

He said elderly tourists are a potential market that can help support the whole sector as they need to use tourism operators to lead their excursions. Such a programme would help hotels fill vacant rooms from Monday to Thursday.

"The government should consider renewing the 'Shocking Price Weekday Travel' campaign, which was introduced last year, to encourage tourists to travel on weekdays, with more valuable deals on hotels, air tickets and restaurants," said Mr Phuriwat.

Local operators and provincial communities have to cooperate by increasing weekday activities, such as adding 1-2 more night markets or walking streets midweek, instead of holding special events only on weekends.

Tour companies are ready to adopt the Safety and Health Administration standard, ensuring safety and convenience for tourists under new practices, especially for elderly travellers who can travel more freely without family escort.

Mr Phuriwat said another important market is state agencies that have budgets to arrange meetings in the provinces during weekdays, particularly after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered such groups to help stimulate the domestic market.

Gen Prayut mentioned this idea at the cabinet meeting last week as more tourism destinations started to see overcrowding during weekends after the lockdown was relaxed.

For the moral support campaign endorsed by the government, the association aims to offer tourism packages on weekdays with cheaper accommodation prices so tour operators can efficiently manage the 2,000-baht budget requirement with more interesting choices in packages.

Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, said operators have to assess the effectiveness of new tourism stimulus schemes when they are rolled out for a month.

Even though this plan has received positive feedback, it is not enough to salve the whole industry as the domestic market contributes only 30% of total tourism revenue, he said.

The consequences of an outbreak still prevent most people from travelling as many want to save money for other necessary expenditures.

Mr Chairat said the government should commence the travel bubbles scheme as soon as possible.

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Offline thaiga

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Re: cruise goers can't wait to climb back aboard
« Reply #37 on: July 13, 2020, 01:37:06 PM »
Cruise Ships Still Have Their Fans, Even After Coronavirus
The pandemic has thrown a sizable iceberg at the cruise industry, but long-term customer demand won't crash


Ardent cruise-ship fans are already shopping for their 2021 vacations, even as the industry remains in stasis amid the coronavirus pandemic. Here, the Carnival Panorama sits docked in Long Beach, California in April. (Photo: Reuters)

Landlubbers who wrote this industry off for dead just don't get it.

Cruise lines have navigated their share of hardships over the last several decades, but now they face what some see as a true existential threat from a mix of canceled business, heightened regulations, lawsuits and cleanup costs amid the pandemic.

Fortunately for them, it seems hard-core cruise goers can't wait to climb back aboard. Their loyalty should eventually resuscitate battered shares of major operators Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line -- as long as they can stay afloat financially in the meantime.

Research by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) shows the number of cruise passengers has grown each year for the past decade, with a cumulative 30% growth in passengers over the past five years. This growth has come even in the wake of recent disasters like the 2012 capsizing of the Costa Concordia, which killed 32 people, a 2013 engine room fire-turned-sewage flood and frequent instances of mass illness onboard.

While that streak will be broken in 2020, cruise goers are like Moby-Dick's Ishmael: drawn to the sea, no matter how it throws them. Analysts estimate about 30% are repeat customers. Carnival says the majority of its guests are, with many taking at least one cruise every year and some taking two or more. As with casino patrons, status in loyalty programs is a big draw, earning repeat cruisers anything from a lapel pin to a private dinner with their ship's captain.

The market has been expanding, too. UBS analyst Robin Farley notes that, while cruises are historically known to attract an older cohort, millennials are actually the fastest-growing segment of the market in absolute and percentage terms. Indeed, from high-end to budget, cat-themed to gothic, it seems there is now a cruise for literally anyone.

Clearly, the coronavirus has put the industry into a holding pattern without a definitive end and eroded some trust as well.

A Wall Street Journal investigation found cruise ship operators initially played a role in Covid-19's spread, sailing on despite passengers and crew showing symptoms of the disease. Regulations as a result of the disease's spread have since sidelined new voyages.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no sail order for large cruise ships that will stand until at least late July. CLIA has issued a voluntary suspension of sailings from U.S. ports until September 15, and Carnival has now canceled all North American cruises through September 30.

When ships set sail again, the experience could look quite different. Packed bars, shows, pools and onboard buffets will have to wait until there is minimal risk of infectious disease.

Despite that, cruise loyalists are moving forward with plans for their next journey, even while ships remain docked. Carnival recently reported growing demand for cruises due to set sail next year, and not just from people trying to redeem the credits they got for canceled cruises earlier this year.

In a six-week stretch ending May 31, about two-thirds of Carnival's 2021 bookings were from people without those credits, the company said. Royal Caribbean recently said it was also seeing acceleration in 2021 bookings, exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

Indeed, 85% of cruise travelers in a May survey by UBS said they are likely to cruise again, 62% said they will cruise just as often in the future and more than half said they expect to cruise again in the next 18 months. A June survey from Cruise Critic, a travel website, shows 32% of its readers are already looking to book their next cruise.

Cruise executives say they expect re-entry to be staged a few ships at a time rather than all at once. Analysts say an easy start will be shorter trips to private islands, which alleviate cross-border regulation risks and allow companies to control who comes and goes, all while enabling enhanced social distancing once onshore.

Carnival owns two private islands and Royal Caribbean recently made a major splash in the industry, investing $250 million to turn a Bahamian beach into a theme park featuring the tallest waterslide in North America and the largest wave pool in the Caribbean.

Regulatory and legal risks do muddy the waters. Tensions between cruise lines and the CDC have been mounting, according to people familiar with the matter. Meanwhile lawmakers are investigating the role of cruise operators in spreading the coronavirus, while plaintiff's attorneys are reportedly pursuing potential class-action class action claims over alleged consumer and shareholder fraud, as well as potential employment law violations.

Liquidity also becomes more of a concern the longer cruise ships are docked. But Carnival said it ended its fiscal second quarter with $7.6 billion in available liquidity, which at its average monthly burn rate would support operations for about a year without service.

Royal Caribbean said last month it has roughly $5.2 billion in total liquidity -- enough to get through what Chief Financial Officer Jason Liberty describes as a "prolonged out-of-service period," plus some leftover cash to ready itself for service.

Shares of all three major cruise lines plunged by more than 80% from mid-January to mid-March. While they have recovered some of those losses, shares of all three major cruise corporations are down well over 50% from pre-Covid levels.

U.S. regulators have long been concerned about the cruise industry's issues managing health outbreaks on board. Now, Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio says he is concerned Carnival in particular "is still trying to sell this cruise line fantasy," ignoring future threats to public health.

Call it what you will, but it is the industry's most loyal customers who are fantasizing about their next stroll on the lido deck.

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Registration for “We Tour Together” promotion kicks off today
« Reply #38 on: July 15, 2020, 03:40:03 PM »
Registration for “We Tour Together” promotion kicks off today
While Thailand remains closed to foreign tourists, as part of the anti-coronavirus restrictions, starting today (Wednesday), Thai citizens can apply online for significant discounts on air tickets, hotel accommodation and food bills. The project is part of the Government’s efforts to boost domestic tourism.

Under the “We Tour Together” program, the tax payer will subsidize 40% of hotel rates, up to 3,000 baht per applicant, and 40% of air fares and food expenses.  Two million discount air tickets and five million discounted hotel rooms are available.

Each applicant can book up to five rooms or five hotel nights and pay 60% of the bill, with the rest being covered by the scheme.  Once bookings are made, however, there are no refunds for cancellations.

For discount air tickets, applicants must pay 60% of the fare first and the balance will be wired to bank accounts on the 15th or 30th of each month.

So far, only about 200 hotels have joined this program, partly because many of them remain closed due to a lack of foreign tourists, especially hotels in the southern and northern regions.

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Offline thaiga

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Re: “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” More than 5,000 rooms booked in an hour
« Reply #39 on: July 18, 2020, 01:04:26 PM »
More than 5,000 rooms booked in an hour of new scheme opening for registration
Eligible people have used 5,088 privileges to reserve rooms under the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) tourism stimulus package within one hour of it opening for applications.

"Rao Tiew Duay Kan" is a government package, which is a combination of "Tiew Pan Suk" (Trips to share happiness) and "Rao Pai Tiew Kan" (Let's travel together) packages to encourage Thai people to travel across the country within four months, from July to October, this year.

Saturday (July 18) is the first day that the government has allowed eligible applicants to receive a 40 per cent discount on rooms subject to a maximum of Bt3,000 per room or night. Each applicant can reserve up to five rooms for five nights.

As of 7.30am, the remaining privileges were 4,994,912, down 5,088 from a total of 5 million.

Eligible applicants can check-in at hotels from July 21 onwards, while they can reserve rooms until October 28 this year. The project will end on October 31.

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More than 5,000 rooms booked in an hour of new scheme opening for registration
Eligible people have used 5,088 privileges to reserve rooms under the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) tourism stimulus package within one hour of it opening for applications.

"Rao Tiew Duay Kan" is a government package, which is a combination of "Tiew Pan Suk" (Trips to share happiness) and "Rao Pai Tiew Kan" (Let's travel together) packages to encourage Thai people to travel across the country within four months, from July to October, this year.

nationthailand.com

Over 3.6 million hotel rooms booked under tourism stimulus campaign
The number of hotel room bookings under the "Rao Pai Tiew Gun" (Let’s travel together) campaign has reached 3.6 million as of Sunday.

Traisuree Taisaranakul, the deputy government spokeswoman, said on Sunday that travellers are still booking hotels in the major tourism cities, most of them in the western and eastern regions. People mostly booked hotels near the seaside for mostly one-night stays. For long-period travel, people mostly booked hotels in the southern provinces, especially Krabi, for an average of two nights.

She added that the booking process that opened on Saturday was going well and people would start travelling from July 24 as the long holiday period would be from July 25-29.

The Rao Pai Tiew Gun campaign is one of the government's tourism stimulus measures, providing 40 per cent discount per night (but not exceeding five nights) to 5 million travellers.

The spokesman warned hotel operators to desist from cheating or inflating the room price. There are government agents scanning and comparing the prices. Any hotel found to be cheating will be disqualified immediately, the spokeswoman said.

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Second phase of “We Travel Together” in the pipeline
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2020, 06:46:40 PM »
Second phase of “We Travel Together” in the pipeline
With the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) tourism stimulus scheme opening for public registration last week, the Tourism and Sports Ministry aims to now propose a second phase of the scheme to the Cabinet for approval in a further boost to domestic tourism.

As of Saturday (July 18), the first day for hotel reservations, 87,960 people booked accommodations under the scheme.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said he would take two weeks to consider the second phase, if the ministry’s remaining finances were enough for this.

The minister said it was too soon to conclude that public purchasing power was low.

He said the discount for accommodation in the second phase will be more than 40 per cent. He mentioned that he had initially spoken to the prime minister about the second phase and the PM did not reject the idea.

Under Rao Tiew Duay Kan, eligible registrants can receive 40 per cent discount on hotel rooms and restaurants. They will also receive an e-voucher when checking into a hotel as well as a 40 per cent flight refund when they check out.

Once registration is completed, eligible people will get a SMS confirming their right within three days. They can then book hotel rooms, and once the discounted amount is paid to the hotel or resort, the benefits they are entitled to will be updated in the system.

Fiscal Policy Office director-general Lavaron Sangsnit has said that more than 1,000 hotels and restaurants had registered for the scheme.

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Cabinet boosts weekday tourism vouchers to Bt900/night
« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2020, 10:36:08 AM »
“I noticed that a small hotel [in the scheme] has increased its room rate from Bt600 to Bt900,” realy :o

Cabinet boosts weekday tourism vouchers to Bt900/night



The Cabinet today agreed to improve the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) domestic tourism scheme by increasing the value of weekday accommodation vouchers from Bt600 to Bt900 per day, to encourage travel between Monday and Thursday.

It also decided to boost the remedial effects of the scheme by including One Tambon One Product (OTOP) items on the list covered by food vouchers. The vouchers offer 40 per cent discounts on purchases of up to Bt600 per day.

The increases would not raise the scheme’s budget limit of Bt20 billion, said deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul.

The Cabinet has also agreed to expand the scope of accommodation operators that can participate in the project to those whose licence expired before January 1 but have already applied for licence renewal, operators whose licence expired since January 1, and others within the tax system.

Meanwhile, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said he had ordered relevant agencies to check whether hotels were raising their room rates to take advantage of the scheme and to blacklist wrongdoers. He was responding to reports that many hotels are price gouging.

“I noticed that a small hotel [in the scheme] has increased its room rate from Bt600 to Bt900,” said Prayut. “If anyone increases the price, they will be blacklisted. All businesses must help each other. If we do not do well, hotels and your own business will not benefit. We should be honest with each other. The government needs to manage a large number of people in many other sectors as well.”

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Offline thaiga

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Re: Strong bookings revive hotels
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2020, 10:53:17 AM »
Strong bookings revive hotels
Tourism fires up for long holiday weekend


All aboard: Cars queue up at a pier waiting to board a ferry to Koh Chang in Trat yesterday, the first day of a four-day holiday. Hotels and resorts on the island were about 90% booked.

Heavy bookings at hotels and resorts have reignited hopes of a speedy revival of tourism deeply bruised for months by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Accommodation in the southern provinces in particular are packed with holidaymakers this long weekend.

The hotels and resorts in some coastal provinces in the East and seaside provinces in the South have reported a surge in bookings to 80% and 90% over the four-day long weekend which kicked off yesterday, according Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

In Rayong, where a Covid-19-infected Egyptian airman had stayed and sparked a public scare about two weeks ago, a large banner was put up in Muang district thanking people nationwide for supporting the province through the crisis.

It has been 14 days since the latest scare and none of those who came into contact with the Egyptian airman came down with an infection. Rayong is now free of Covid-19, said Thawip Saengkrachang, president of tambon Taphong administrative organisation.

Rayong people and tourism business operators appreciate the moral support from other provinces and positive coverage by the media. Many visitors also took a trip to the province to help the tourism industry, he said.

"That has been nursing Rayong's tourism back to health again. We Rayong people now feel more encouraged to move on," he said.

Phong-amon Chanphrai, director of the TAT office there, said Rayong, one of 10 provinces which makes more than 30 billion baht in tourism income each year, suffered a heavy slump from the Egyptian airman-triggered scare.

Hotel booking rates are mostly back to normal.

In Pattaya, several large beachfront hotels say their bookings have jumped to a strong 90% from July 24-28, according to a local tourism industry source.

Pattaya is one of the most popular seaside destinations when it comes to spending a holiday as it is close to Bangkok. The heavy hotel bookings are believed to be a result of sales promotions and the Rao Thiew Duay Kan (Let's Take A Trip Together) tourism campaign where the government offers subsidies for people's holidays, the source said.

In Trat, hotels and resorts on Koh Chang and Koh Kut islands were close to booked out. The province's two ferry piers were yesterday jam-packed with cars waiting to board a ferry to the islands.

A tourist from the northeastern province of Si Sa Ket said the long queue did not bother her because, after coming out of the Covid-19 lockdown, she looked forward to taking a holiday.

In Phuket, Naphason Khakhai, director of the TAT's provincial office, said about 6,000 mostly Thai tourists visited the resort island during the previous long weekend from July 4-7 when more than 30 million baht circulated in the province.

She said she expected the current long weekend will pump even more tourism money into the local economy.

The province also expects about 50,000 medical and health workers to tour the province and take advantage of the government-sponsored Kamlang Chai (moral support) tourism programme. it provides a discount for 1.2 million medical and health workers nationwide as incentive for them to travel.

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Re: Dusit hotels offering 40% discount via govt tourism scheme
« Reply #44 on: July 28, 2020, 12:22:38 AM »
Dusit hotels offering 40% discount via govt tourism scheme


dusitD2 Ao Nang

Dusit International has joined government efforts to boost domestic tourism with its nationwide subsidy programme, “Rao Tiew Duay Gan” (We Travel Together).

From July 18 to October 31, rooms at Dusit Hotels & Resorts in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket, Khao Yai and Krabi are available with government subsidies of 40 per cent – up to Bt3,000 per night – for up to five nights per person.

Guests will also receive a Bt600 e-voucher per room per night to use for dining in the hotel or at participating standalone outlets.

Subsidies are available for eligible Thai nationals who have registered at เราเที่ยวด้วยกัhttp://xn--q3c.com/ (or via the Paotung mobile app) before booking direct via

www.dusit.com/specialoffers/rao-teaw-duay-kan.

Upon booking, a payment link will be sent to the app so the recipient can receive the saving.

Guests booking via dusit.com can take advantage of current promotional offers, such as room rates starting from Bt999 net per room per night.

Several Dusit Hotels & Resorts in Thailand will also offer additional exclusive benefits for guests who book weekday stays (including Sundays) using Rao Tiew Duay Gan. This includes a guaranteed room upgrade, 40 per cent discount on spa treatments (where applicable), and 20 per cent discount on food and beverages.

nationthailand.com
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Re: TAT focus on expatriates living in Thailand
« Reply #45 on: July 30, 2020, 11:22:00 AM »
TAT plans to boost domestic tourism among three target groups
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will seek Cabinet approval for its plan to boost domestic tourism by targeting affluent Thais, who can afford overseas trips, adding that between 12 and 13 million Thais travelled abroad last year, spending an estimated 400 billion baht, according to the authority’s Governor, Mr. Governor Yutthasak Supasorn today.

The TAT will also focus on expatriates living in Thailand, who can afford to travel around the country, as well as people attending seminars organized by state agencies.

Mr. Yutthasak said that the TAT’s plan aims to promote tourism to locations which are over 300km from potential customer’s homes or points of arrival, in the case of incoming foreign visitors, because this will help to distribute tourism revenues.

During the recent long weekend, from July 25th to 28th, he said that almost two million Thais travelled domestically, spending an estimated 6.8 billion baht.

Meanwhile, spokesman for the Finance Ministry, Mr. Lawan Saengsanit, disclosed that 4.5 million Thais registered online to participate in the “We Tour Together” scheme on July 27th, while hotel bookings since July 18th reached 250,000 rooms, including about 48,000 during the long weekend.

Altogether 6,607 hotels, 58,247 restaurants and 1,560 tourist attractions have joined the We Tour Together project.

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Ministry now aims to roll out travel promotions for expats in Thailand
The Tourism and Sports Ministry aims to introduce travel packages to lure around two million expats in Thailand into travelling around the country to boost domestic tourism, with price promotions for accommodations and attractions equal to those offered to Thai tourists, Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said today (August 5).

The minister explained that because of the present Covid-19 situation, foreign tourists were unable to visit the country, “so we decided to stimulate domestic tourism through foreign expats in our country”.

The ministry will also discuss with the prime minister the need to reduce ticket prices for expats who visit various attractions and national parks.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects the tourism sector to benefit to the tune of Bt10 billion from this expat travel package.

Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said TAT would issue special cards to expats to show at accommodations and attractions so they can avail of discounted prices.

TAT will discuss the issue with hotel operators this week.

Yuthasak also said that TAT aimed to increase revenue generated in the tourism industry this quarter, in order to urge more businesses in the sector to reopen.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry reported that 6.7 million foreign tourists visited Thailand in the first half of the year – a decrease of 66 per cent compared to the same period last year.

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Are people that desperate to get to Thailand in the middle of a pandemic, sounds like the tourism authority thinks so, they might be in for a surprise. having to quarantine, wear masks on a long flight, not the brits idea of a holiday.

UK tourists would rather cancel a trip than enter quarantine or wear masks
YouGov poll is bad news for travel industry as uncertainty around Covid restrictions causes swathes of cancellations and redundancies

Most UK holidaymakers would cancel a holiday if they had to wear a mask in public on a trip, according to a new report. A YouGov survey released this week found that two-thirds of people (65%) would cancel if masks were mandatory at all times, 43% would still cancel if only compulsory inside, while 70% would scrap the holiday if they had to quarantine on return.

The results come as the industry continues to face cancellations and redundancies, after Spain was removed from the UK government’s travel corridor list on 26 July. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has forecast 3 million job losses across the UK tourism sector with “uncoordinated” restrictions deterring travellers.

The survey also found that 93% would cancel if quarantine was required on arrival in their holiday destination. Rules on quarantine measures and masks vary from country to country, and can change without warning, as spikes in some regions result in restrictions and safety measures being reinstated. Travellers are being advised to carry a mask at all times, and be prepared to wear it in public and in some hotels.

Across France, fines can now be imposed for not wearing a mask in places such as parks, markets and city centres; wearing one is already mandatory in enclosed public spaces and shops. Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain and Turkey have also made it mandatory in many public spaces, but enforcement and fines vary.

In the Netherlands, masks are compulsory only on public transport; it’s the same in Portugal, Switzerland and Greece – Greece also requires masks in medical facilities and lifts, while they are only “strongly recommended” elsewhere in public. Across the majority of the Nordic region, Estonia and the Czech Republic, masks are not compulsory, but advisable for situations where you cannot socially distance.

The UK government changed its advice for Spain on 26 July – with all arrivals to the UK from the country now facing a 14-day self-isolation period. Many tour operators and airlines subsequently axed swathes of holidays and flights planned for the coming weeks.

Jet2 has cancelled all flights to mainland Spain and the Balearic and Canary Islands until 17 August. Tui has cancelled all UK holidays to the islands until 10 August and to mainland Spain until 17 August – but has added more flights to Greece and Turkey. EasyJet expanded its summer schedule across the rest of Europe after a surge in demand as holidaymakers switched away from Spain.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren called for a more nuanced approach to quarantine, however: “We urgently need to target quarantine requirements to where spikes have occurred rather than at national level.”

The WTTC has forecast that the pandemic could cost nearly three million tourism jobs in the UK, and 197 million in the sector globally if barriers to global travel, such as a mishmash of quarantine measures and anti-travel advisories, remained in place.

WTTC chief executive Gloria Guevara said this week: “It’s heartbreaking to see our worst fears for the UK and global travel and tourism sector coming true. While we acknowledge the UK government’s efforts to support travel and tourism during this crisis, the UK alone looks set to lose three million jobs in the sector, creating an economic black hole of £142bn in the country’s finances. This is due to an international failure to implement proper coordination to combat the pandemic.”

In contrast with the YouGov poll, the WTTC believes masks would encourage more people to travel, if rules were consistent across the world. Guevara said: “We still have time to turn this around if we act together now and replace ineffective quarantines with comprehensive rapid testing, a worldwide accepted standard of contact tracing and widespread face mask usage. Employing the latest technology, combined with mass adoption of protective face coverings, will help restore confidence to the traveller.”

One of the most recent companies to face cuts is Hays Travel, which announced this week that it was in consultation on almost 900 redundancies. The company took on more than 2,000 Thomas Cook employees when the venerable firm went under last October, but have said that they “had no choice” following the government’s decision to advise against travel to Spain, and with imminent changes in furlough conditions.

Owners Irene and John Hays said on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday: “There’s clear evidence that just before a week ago last Saturday [the day before rules for Spain changed] the figures were coming back steadily and we were really pleased with the return of new bookings – not just for 2021, where we’re actually performing quite strongly, but steadily coming in for summer 2020, which would have helped recover the position in terms of staffing.

“We believe a more nuanced approach would be more appropriate. The Canaries and Balearics have low infection rates. We believe the government could still change that and we could recover the summer.”

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Re: PM: Tourism Promotion Must Continue
« Reply #48 on: August 07, 2020, 08:08:24 PM »
PM: Tourism Promotion Must Continue

(TNA) — Tourists’ reservation of about 200,000 hotel rooms was still not enough and the government would come up with new tourism campaigns, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said.

He said that he was, however, pleased to learn media report that about 200,000 hotel rooms were booked in both major tourist provinces and less popular ones.

Gen Prayut said the government was trying to raise the expected number of tourists from 2 million to 10 million this year.

“From now on, solutions must be figured out. Understanding must be created especially at the local level to prevent conflicts,” he said.

“All parties must understand how to stimulate the local economy. If foreign tourists are allowed in, there must be good preventive measures,” the prime minister said.

tna.mcot.net
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Re: Video: Krabi and Phi Phi ready for tourists
« Reply #49 on: August 14, 2020, 01:31:50 PM »
Krabi and Koh Phi Phi were ready for Thai and foreign tourists. everything in order virus wise, must admit do look the part for a getaway
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Re: Thais opt for domestic tourism in the next 12 months: Agoda survey
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2020, 01:18:56 PM »
Thais opt for domestic tourism in the next 12 months: Agoda survey
A survey conduced recently by tourism platform Agoda showed that Thai people tended to travel within their country, and the top province to visit was Chiang Mai.

The survey was conducted in numerous countries, under the campaign "GoLocal". The survey showed that people in Thailand, Indonesia, and the US had given priority to travelling domestically.

The top three destinations Thai people wanted to visit the most were: Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hua Hin.

Around 65 per cent of tourists in several countries under this campaign said they wanted to travel within their countries within the next 12 months while 35 per cent preferred overseas travel.

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Re: Plans to reopen Phuket form
« Reply #51 on: August 18, 2020, 11:23:29 AM »
Plans to reopen Phuket form
The Tourism and Sports Ministry aims to introduce its "Safe and Sealed" tourism plan in Phuket by Oct 1, while operators in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai are teaming up as a northern hub for long-stay travellers.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Tourism and Sports Minister, said the ministry will join a meeting with Public Health, Interior, Foreign and Transport ministries on Aug 27 about the plan to open the country to tourists from low-risk cities or provinces who seek an excursion to Thailand.

After a plan is developed, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) must approve it before launching the scheme.

Mr Phiphat said one possible solution is to provide 1-2 kilometres of beach area near state quarantine villas, such as in Patong, to let tourists step outside hotels and enjoy the beach during the 14-day quarantine.

The CCSA team already visited the province last week to assess the readiness of the destination, but the ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand have to conduct another survey among locals a week after the CCSA visit.

He said even though tourism-related businesses get more use out of beach areas than locals, the government must listen to people who live in other areas due to the possibility of extending the tourism area to the city of Phuket.

"The country is still not back on track, even though we effectively controlled the outbreak," Mr Phiphat said.

"We need to find ways to help the economy recover from the fallout."

The Tourism and Sports Ministry as part of the economic situation administration centre approved by the cabinet meeting last week is planning to push the Safe and Sealed scheme as a priority task.

He said the Phuket tourism model has been acknowledged and received positive feedback from Supattanapong Punmeechaow, the deputy prime minister who leads the economic policy team.

Mr Phiphat said he has talked with Predee Daochai, the newly appointed finance minister, about a 100-billion-baht tourism fund, but the idea requires further discussion with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the economic policy team first.

He said the ministry has to monitor the outcome of the "We travel together" stimulus campaign through the end of August before coming up with the next phase of measures.

The number of room nights redeemed is expected to surpass 1 million out of 5 million rooms that are eligible, said Mr Phiphat.

TAT is set to come up with a tourism campaign to boost the number of trips during the upcoming four-day weekend on Sept 4-7.

Kitti Tissakul, adviser of the Association of Northern Tourism Federation, said Chiang Rai province would like to be included as a destination for long-stay tourists in northern Thailand, starting with Chiang Mai.

Mr Kitti said the province also suggests the government help connections with official sister cities such as Gunma in Japan to strengthen a long-term tourism network by arranging direct flights or imposing travel bubbles scheme with the city.

bangkokpost.com
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Re: Tourists around the globe - Lots of Locals Don't Want Them back
« Reply #52 on: August 19, 2020, 10:28:34 AM »
Coronavirus Chased Off Tourists--Lots of Locals Don't Want Them Ever Flocking Back
In places such as Japan's Kyoto, people are split on whether the visiting masses were worth the trouble.

The bustle of tourists has disappeared from this ancient capital--only to be replaced by dissension over whether they should ever be welcomed back.

Mimiko Takayasu, 80 years old, is proprietress of a century-old tea house where geisha entertain wealthy Japanese with traditional music and dance. Until the coronavirus pandemic, the streets of Gion, Kyoto's high-end entertainment district, were packed with amateur paparazzi trying to get snapshots of apprentice geisha called maiko.

"All of Gion was turned into a visitor attraction, like an amusement park, and maiko were treated like Mickey Mouse," Ms. Takayasu said.

She said she doesn't want tourists around even after the pandemic eases. Others in Kyoto, however, say their livelihood depends on restoring the pre-pandemic tourist trade.

The debate is playing out in some other cities, particularly in Europe, where the current quiet has sometimes inspired a desire to return to the days before cheap air tickets allowed the masses to flood the globe's cultural centers.

"Kyoto is not a tourist town," said Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa, 69. "We're not going to go back to pre-corona tourism."

Mr. Kadokawa would like it to be known that Kyoto is also a thriving technology hub with headquarters of companies like Nintendo Co. and Kyocera Corp. Still, it's hard to give up the $3 billion that foreign visitors spent last year in the city.

Masamitsu Fujita, 43, built two guesthouses several years ago for backpackers. He needs about $15,000 a month to pay back loans, although he has put off creditors for now with government help.

Bringing back foreign visitors is "a matter of life and death," Mr. Fujita said. "I will never understand the feelings of people in Gion."

Between 2011, the year of eastern Japan's great earthquake, and 2019, the number of foreign visitors to Japan quintupled to about 32 million. Many found their way to Kyoto, famed for sights such as the Temple of the Golden Pavilion and the Nijo Castle, home to emperors for centuries. Foreign hotel brands rushed to cash in. A Park Hyatt opened last year with a basic room going for about $1,000 a night.

Even before the pandemic, Kyoto had begun to take steps to limit visitors. It imposed a small tax on overnight stays, and business owners, putting aside traditional Kyoto hospitality, started posting signs admonishing visitors to behave themselves. The Gion business district kept out dollar stores and burger stands.

So far, the mayor and the peace-and-quiet camp have yet to propose any additional sweeping curbs on tourism, figuring they have some time because Japan's ban on foreign visitors due to the pandemic is likely to remain for at least several months.

But Mr. Kadokawa said he wanted to limit visits by those who might think of chasing maiko on the streets for photos or walking in forbidden areas.

"I would like those who appreciate the culture and history of Kyoto to come and spend a relaxing time," he said.

A similar mix of sentiments has emerged in Amsterdam. Before the pandemic, it had already raised taxes and banned tours of the red-light district over concerns about crowds.

Now people there enjoy the quiet, said Heleen Jansen, a spokeswoman for the city's marketing agency. The city is talking about finding a better balance and last month prohibited room rentals in certain areas, but it also doesn't want to present a hostile face to the world.

"We are also in an open, international society," said Ms. Jansen. "It's strange to say, 'You can't come.'"

At the 400-year-old Nishiki Market in Kyoto, Hiroko Takemoto, 86, and her husband of 60 years sell locally grown red and black beans. Tourists "just talk loudly and take pictures but don't buy much," she said. "Some of our old-time customers who were saying before that they couldn't come because of the crowds, have returned to us."

She keeps handwritten signs in English and Chinese among the beans that tell visitors not to touch items because they break easily.

Keisuke Tagami, a 74-year-old real-estate investor from southern Japan, said he had visited Kyoto dozens of times for sightseeing but had stayed away for the past few years because he believed there were too many Chinese tourists in large groups.

He came back recently. Holding a small bottle of local sake he had just bought, Mr. Tagami said, "The way Kyoto is now is the best."

Nishiki Market fish shop owner Fusao Mita, 79, didn't agree. He said Chinese visitors were among his best customers because they enjoy grilled eel--a dish that Western visitors tend to find less appetizing. He said people were more polite after the market put up signs in Chinese and English asking them not to eat while walking.

Mr. Kadokawa, the mayor, said the city wasn't singling out anyone as it rethought tourism. "It's wrong to exclude Chinese," he said.

Business owners in Gion, the high-end entertainment quarter, gathered on a recent afternoon at a cafe to discuss Kyoto post-pandemic. They nixed a proposed business that would rent tourists a kimono and allow them to experience the tea ceremony. The group feared tourists would walk outside wearing the garments in ignorance of proper kimono style, a Gion gaucherie.

Isokazu Ota, a leader of the group, told his companions, "Gion is now back to the good old days. You must be enjoying it." As people around the table chuckled, Mr. Ota went on, "But if we don't do anything, they'll swarm back like before."

bangkokpost.com
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Re: Economic recovery team to propose deeper tourism subsidy
« Reply #53 on: August 20, 2020, 07:35:03 PM »
Economic recovery team to propose deeper tourism subsidy

(NNT) - The government’s economic recovery center has approved urgent measures to promote domestic tourism, encourage spending, solve unemployment, and provide better access to capital by SMEs. The center will next week propose to the Cabinet an increase in subsidies offered in the current Travel Together tourism campaign.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Supattanapong Punmeechaow, announced today that the government’s center for post COVID-19 economic recovery, has agreed to extend the current Travel Together tourism subsidy campaign, by further expanding the eligibility from individual persons to include corporations as well, increasing the duration of hotel stays from 5 to 10 nights, and doubling flight discounts from 1,000 to 2,000 baht.

The decision to increase the benefits offered in the campaign is due to a lower than expected number of participants, especially in remote provinces where only 10 percent of eligible persons actually made their trip.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is now assigned to draft more details of the increased allowances, which will be proposed at the mobile Cabinet meeting in Rayong on 24-25 August for approval.

Meanwhile, the economic recovery center has approved financial measure allowing SMEs to have access to more sources of capital, and campaigns promoting employment among new graduates and unemployed persons affected by the COVID-19 crisis. These campaigns will be funded by the 400 billion baht Emergency Loan, and are expected to create 600,000 to 700,000 jobs in addition to the 750,000 vacancies currently available.

The center has also approved measures promoting spending among members of the general public, and called for related agencies to submit detailed plans on these measures in two weeks.

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Coronavirus forces tourism rethink in world's most visited city
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Bangkok tourist destination Khao San Road is usually heaving with people on weekends, its cheap beer bars, tattoo parlours, street vendors, hostels and buzzing nightlife drawing budget travellers and tour group alike.

On a recent Saturday evening, the street was deserted except for a few dozen locals who wandered past boarded up shops, ignoring restaurant staff calling out meal and drink deals.

Khao San Road clearly shows the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Bangkok, the world’s most visited city for four consecutive years before a ban on international travel.

“I have never seen it like this. Usually we don’t have time to stand for even a minute,” said a waitress who goes by the name Pookie.

“Lots of businesses have shut here, and if we don’t see foreign tourists coming back soon, we may also shut. There are some locals coming on the weekends, but that’s not enough to keep us all going,” she said, pointing to the empty tables.

After a record 39.8 million foreign visitors last year whose spending accounted to 11.4% of gross domestic product, Thailand had looked to welcome more than 40 million tourists this year.

But with flight bans and quarantines, the central bank expects only 8 million visitors this year.[]

The effect is keenly felt in Bangkok, where most tourists spend a night or two before heading to sandy beaches and hilltop Buddhist temples, with questions over whether the city should ditch the mass tourism model it has come to rely on.

It is a question many cities are grappling with, as the future of urban tourism is “deeply uncertain” in the short to medium term, said Tony Matthews, a senior lecturer in urban and environmental planning at Australia’s Griffith University.

“Cities that rely heavily on tourism are facing an extraordinary crisis. Do they wait it out until mass tourism is viable again, or do they start developing major new industries and economies?” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“But you can’t easily retool an urban economy, and moving away from a tourism-dependent economic model is not easy unless there is something else ready to take over that’s at least as beneficial.”

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

With cheap air travel fuelling a boom in tourism in recent years ...

lots more here reuters.com
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Re: Jungle Bubbles
« Reply #55 on: August 24, 2020, 01:21:26 PM »
JUNGLE BUBBLES
Discover the elephant outside your room.



Special price:
THB 12,000 Net, per night for two people (until October 31, 2020)
THB 13,500 Net, per night for two people (November 1, 2020 - 20 December, 2020)
THB 15,000 Net, per night for two people (December 20, 2020 - 31 December, 2020)
Regular price: From THB 20,000 Net, per night for two people  :-[

*The Jungle Bubble experience does not replace hotel accommodation and has to be purchased as an overnight activity only for resort guests.

anantara.com
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Re: Jungle Bubbles
« Reply #56 on: August 24, 2020, 05:14:29 PM »
Wow, enormous prices just to see a few elephants.  I wonder how many takers they will get, especially when the country is closed to overseas tourists.
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Re: Jungle Bubbles
« Reply #57 on: August 24, 2020, 05:35:03 PM »
Wow, enormous prices just to see a few elephants.  I wonder how many takers they will get, especially when the country is closed to overseas tourists.
Hi T.T. There is a desperate bid to boost the tourism sector  :-[ wouldn't have thought many will take that offer, you have to be a guest at the hotel to get in the bubble, has to be purchased as an overnight activity only for resort guests. makes you wonder how much that would be.
Spend an unforgettable night, from dusk till dawn, thinking of the price.
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Re: 6 Countries That Will Pay You To Holiday There
« Reply #58 on: August 24, 2020, 07:53:35 PM »
6 Countries That Will Pay You To Holiday There
Countries hit badly by the coronavirus are now offering to pay tourists to visit them post lockdown in order to boost their economies. As the number of cases declined, countries have slowly begun opening up for tourism. Besides, they are also offering a suite of offers to lure tourists. Here are 6 counties that will pay you for a holiday after Covid.

Jun 17, 2020
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Holiday subsidies doubled after tourism scheme fails to lure travellers

Ministers at today’s mobile Cabinet meeting in Rayong agreed to upgrade the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) tourism stimulus scheme after it received a disappointing response from travellers. Only 660,000 of the 5 million nights of subsidised accommodation offered by the scheme have been booked by travellers since it started operating in July.

In response, the Cabinet agreed to extend the period of subsidised stays for each traveller from five nights to 10 nights and the air-fare subsidy from Bt1,000 support to Bt2,000.

Large companies will also be invited to take advantage of the scheme by organising training seminars and events in popular destinations around Thailand.

Details of the changes made to the We Travel Together scheme will be officially announced later.

nationthailand.com
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