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Long-stay travel packages in the pipeline - quality not quantity

Started by thaiga, April 29, 2020, 03:42:34 PM

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TAT highlights travel promotions for expats in Thailand  tatnews.org
Joins with leading travel associations, golf courses, airlines, spas, and restaurants, as well as an online payment platform to offer deals for expatriate residents in Thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is organising the 'Expat Travel Deal 2020' to offer domestic tourism promotions for expatriate residents to encourage them to travel more domestically, and enjoy Thailand's many attractions.

The event will take place from 11 to 13 September, 2020, from 10.00 to 22.00 Hrs. at the Quartier Gallery, EmQuartier shopping mall in Bangkok. The event is free for interested persons.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of TAT, said, "Thailand has a large expatriate population many of whom have strong links with the kingdom and who express great love for Thailand and its people. TAT and our strategic partners would like to encourage expats to travel further afield and to discover some of the Amazing Thailand experiences that can be enjoyed in every corner of the country."

As of June, 2020, there are a total of 2,459,785 foreigners with permission to work in Thailand, according to the Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour. The total includes 155,193 skilled employees (investors, experts, skilled craftsman, and BOI) and 25,110 foreign students.

The Expat Travel Deal 2020 will showcase travel products and services from all five regions (North, Central, South, East and Northeast), demonstrations of local arts and crafts making skills, such as, ceramic bead bracelets and Thai reed mats, as well as tourism-related talk sessions. Some of the topics include 'Travelling in Thailand During the COVID Era' by Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Asia and South Pacific) and 'The New Era of Elephant Care Tourism' by Mr. Theerapat Trungprakan from Thai Elephant Alliance Association.

Travel agencies from each region will be on hand with customised travel packages at discounted rates. Expat attendees will be asked to present their passports to be eligible for special deals at the event.

Some of the participating businesses at the Expat Travel Deal 2020 will include Michelin-starred restaurants, including Ledu and Blue Elephant; Divana, and the Oasis and Let's Relax spas; Bangkok Airways, Thai Smile, and AirAsia plus various Thai travel associations, golf courses and the Alipay online platform.

TAT will also be rolling out a number of other promotional activities, including joint promotions with Alipay, Thailand-based travel companies, and the airlines.

Moreover, these will be promoted alongside publicity events, including familiarisation trips for members of the foreign media and representatives of foreign travel companies in Thailand. Other forms of publicity include content marketing with online and offline publications for expats in Thailand, focussing on businesses that are certified with the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) standard
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Phuket to reopen on Oct 1 for long-stay tourists
Phuket will open to foreigners from October 1, but in four phases as part of an effort to rebuild its economy and restore confidence in the tourism sector.

Provincial governor Narong Woonciew had proposed the four phases of safely reopening the island to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in August, Vachira Phuket Hospital's director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol said on Thursday (September 3).

The first phase will start with foreigners who have signed up for the "Phuket Longstay" scheme and will stay on the island for at least three months. This phase will be implemented in line with the CCSA's guidelines and standards.

The second phase implemented under the "Safety Tourism" scheme, will see Phuket open to foreigners from low-risk countries, who will be allowed to venture out twice during their 14-day quarantine.

Once authorities have gained enough confidence in Phuket's virus-control measures, phase three will be launched for moderate-risk countries, though tourists will still need to undergo 14-day quarantine.

The last phase will be considered once a vaccine has been found and the pandemic is contained. Under this, arrivals will be tested at the airport, and if they are found to be free of the virus, they will be allowed to travel freely under the "new normal".

"If these guidelines and measures prove to be successful, they can be applied to other destinations nationwide. We are confident that we will have a vaccine by next year, and Covid-19 will disappear in early 2022. Phuket has the advantage of having world-class safety and travel facilities. This is why Phuket is being opened first," Dr Chalermpong said.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Resumption of tourism between China and Thailand 'not happening any time soon'
A senior official of the Chinese embassy in Bangkok has ruled out early reopening of tourism between China and Thailand, as the two countries are not ready to open the sector.

China has been recently reopening for domestic tourism, but has not yet welcomed foreign tourists, or urged Chinese people to travel abroad, said Yang Xin, minister counsellor and deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China to Thailand.

Even Chinese tourists want to visit Thailand, but Thailand is unlikely to open for foreign tourists, he said in an exclusive interview to Nation Multimedia Group.

The Thai government has not yet reopened the tourism sector, as it was still worried about potential import of new Covid-19 cases. The government only plans to allow first 200 long-stay tourists to enter the country next month. About 10 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand annually in recent years out of some 40 million every year.

Yang said that China was currently reopening travel for business persons who could apply for fast lane clearance when they enter China for doing business. Foreign business persons are not subject to 14-day quarantine but they can visit only limited places essential for their business activities.

He said the Chinese government has managed to control the Covid-19 outbreak and now schools nationwide have been reopened after they were closed for eight months.

China this year has not set a target for economic growth but would focus on job creation and people's living standards, he said.

The government has implemented many stimulus packages to support people and businesses especially small and medium-sized enterprises, said Yang.

Regarding Hong Kong, Yang said that the special administrative region had returned to stability following the enforcing of the security law. He reiterated that China wants to maintain the one country, two systems principle,  but foreign interference was trying to create a two-country system.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Tourists flock back to spectacular Korat peak  nationthailand.com
Pha Sam Kleur viewpoint in Nakhon Ratchasima is welcoming back tourists with its stunning views of Thap Lan National Park's emerald mountains and turquoise Lam Sae reservoir.  Visitors scaled the Khao Makha mountain peak on Monday to bask in the chill between rainy season and winter, when the valleys below are carpeted in lush green.   Pha Sam Kleur means the peak of three mountains – the other two mountains can be seen from its viewpoints. The spot is also renowned as great place to watch the sunset and farmers toiling in the fields below.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) shines the spotlight on Thailand's reputation
as a hub for medical services, holistic medicine and medical tourism, by partnering with hospitality entrepreneurs to offer special deals and promotions at "Expat Travel Bonus, The Healthy Journey" from 10-11 October 2020, 10:00 – 22:00 hrs at Central World.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Crowds of Tourists Enjoy 10-Degree Weather in Chiang Mai

Tourists flocked to Doi Inthanon, the country's highest mountain, to feel the morning temperature of 10 degrees Celsius while local officials predicted booming tourism in this tourist attraction this winter.

For this weekend visitors were impressed with the cold weather and the sea of mist in the Doi Inthanon National Park in Chom Thong district. Temperatures measured 10 degrees Celsius at the popular Kew Mae Pan viewpoint, 11 degrees Celsius on the mountaintop and lower at night.

Local officials expected booming tourism and extremely cold weather at the national park late this year.

They maintained COVID-19 control measures by checking the body temperatures of visitors, requiring tourists to observe social distancing and wear face masks and distributing hand gel sanitizer. (TNA)

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


TAT expects not more than 10,000 tourists coming this year
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn has announced that his agency believes the number of tourists coming to Thailand will not exceed the 10,000 mark by year's end.

The announcement came as the TAT chief confirmed that the mandatory quarantine period had not yet been reduced to 10 days, and that Phuket and Koh Samui had both been chosen to pilot a domestic tourism stimulus plan to host government conferences.

Governor Yuthasak explained that the Ministry of Public Health's proposal to reduce the mandatory quarantine for international arrivals from 14 days had been denied.

Citing studies from abroad, the ministry had proposed to reduce the quarantine for tourists to 10 days' confinement at an Alternative Local Quarantine (ALQ) with arrivals allowed into public areas for the final four days while being tracked.

"With re-opening the country, we have to think of the safety of our citizens as priority," Mr Yuthasak said.

"The TAT has publicized to foreign tourists that they have to quarantine for 14 days before traveling [within the country], but I do think that the quarantine period being reduced may make it easier for foreign tourists to make the decision to come," Mr Yuthasak added.

"However, we expect not more than 10,000 tourists to come to Thailand by the end of this year," he noted.

Mr Yuthasak also announced that the TAT has been encouraging officials at both the national and local levels of government to hold seminars or events in the tourism-dependent provinces in the coming year in order to compensate the loss of income from the lack of foreign tourists who have not been able to come to Thailand.

"TAT officers are still studying and making more plans to stimulate tourism in Phuket and Koh Samui as pilot areas, and then we will move to other provinces," Mr Yuthasak said.

"The tourism support fund for B50-100 billion is still under the consideration by the Ministry of Finance and needs more study," Mr Yuthasak said in passing.

"For domestic tourism, the TAT is looking into adding more privileges for the 'We Travel Together' and the 'Kamlang Jai' campaigns, and will rush to make its proposals to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration [CCSA] in order to stimulate the tourism during the new year holidays," he concluded.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand no longer top overseas destination for Chinese tourists
(BLOOMBERG) - Thailand has lost its spot as the most popular cross-border destination for tourists from mainland China, according to a survey by HSBC Holdings, as neighboring Japan and South Korea moved up the list.

"Barring Hong Kong and Macau, Japan and Korea emerged as the top two preferred cross-border destinations," analyst Parash Jain wrote in a report.

"This reinforces our view that short-haul travel will recover earlier than long-haul international travel."

The survey, conducted from Oct 28 to Nov 2, also found flight bookings are being made further in advance than they were pre-pandemic, which could reflect greater demand for leisure travel than business.

Most survey respondents said they'd need at least six months after quarantine restrictions are relaxed to become comfortable with international travel, and an effective vaccine is key to boosting confidence, Mr Jain said.

The survey also showed people are more confident about domestic travel thanks to China's success in containing the virus.

HSBC has buy ratings on the Hong Kong-listed shares of China's Big Three airlines - Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines - thanks to their large domestic market.

Cathay Pacific Airways, which doesn't have that luxury to fall back on, is rated hold with a price target of HK$6.87 (S$1.20).

Cathay Pacific's shares were down 4.1 per cent at HK$6.84 as at 3.39pm in Hong Kong on Monday (Nov 23), heading for their biggest loss in two months. The stock fell after the launch of a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore was postponed.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand will remain closed to general tourism until at least the 2nd quarter of 2021 – Minister
Kiss any resemblance of general tourism to Thailand goodbye, at least until march next year, at the earliest. That's the outlook for Thailand's beleaguered tourism industry from the usually optimistic Minster for Sports and Tourism, Pipat Ratchakitprakan.

So, apart from the STV and the modified 60 day Tourist Visa, and a few other options – all involving quarantine and a lot of red-tape for now – there's not much good news on the horizon for people wishing to get back to Thailand right now. The minister's outlook wipes out any hope of any tourism resurgence for the 2020/2021 high season.

The Thai Hotel Association and The Thailand Travel Agents Association have been lobbying, even demanding, the Thai government to drop its mandatory quarantine provisions and urgently negotiate travel bubble with provinces in China and other nations that are currently "low risk" for Covid-19, including Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan.

But Pipat says everything is on hold at this stage and that the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is urging caution in regards to any wholesale easing of restrictions.

"The country will continue with opening to businessmen, technical experts, high level workers and those in the medical field for now. 14 day quarantine will continue for now with many countries still in the grip of the pandemic."

He also noted that even Chinese officials are advising caution and suggest waiting until the hot season next year (mid year).

There was small outbreaks in 3 cities in China over the past few weeks, less than 10 cases in each city, where Chinese health officials rolled out quick response lockdown teams for the affected communities.

The Minister, indeed the Thai government and the CCSA, appear to be bowing to survey after survey which shows Thai people, around the country, are in favour of keeping the borders closed for now, despite the country's tourism and hospitality industry being decimated by the government's policies.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Travel subsidy promotion paused, widespread false claims exposed
The second phase of the government's Rao Tiew Duay Kan (We Travel Together) tourism promotion campaign has been postponed after widespread corruption was found in the first stage.

More than 500 participating hotels and shops were found to have profited from abusing the scheme.

Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the TAT had acted after receiving complaints.

TAT officials consulted the private sector, tourism associations, the Finance Ministry and the Fiscal Policy Office.

The investigation found that 312 hotels and 202 shops participating in the state-backed promotion were involved in alleged irregularities.

The TAT decided to postpone traveller-registration for the second phase of the We Travel Together campaign, which was due to start on Wednesday, he said. It was planned that up to one million travellers would benefit.

Travellers who registered for the first phase can still claim unused benefits.

According to media reports, the alleged abuse included:

- Hotel rooms were booked at cheaper prices via phone apps. There were check-ins without people staying there, but benefits claimed from cash coupons.

- Hotels increased room rates and colluded with restaurants in claiming benefits. No travel occurred. Those who sold their benefits would send the last four numbers on their ID cards and their mobile phone numbers for use in hotel check-ins. They did not not stay.

- Hotels existed and registered to participate in the tourism campaign, but did not open for business. The operators had sought state subsidies for fake room bookings.

- Groups of registrants checked in and stayed at hotels, but the hotels set the room rates higher than normal rates.

- Participating hotels gave false information about the number of rooms they had. For example, a hotel had 100 rooms but claimed it had 300 rooms.

Launched on July 15, the Rao Tiew Duay Kan tourism promotion is part of the government's effort to spur domestic travel, with foreign tourists still largely barred from entering the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government subsidises 5 million nights of hotel accommodation at 40% of normal room rates, with the subsidy limited to 3,000 baht per night for up to five nights. Tourists must  cover the other 60%.

Subsidies for other services, including food, are capped at 600 baht per room per night. The subsidised tourist facilities must be outside the tourists' home provinces to qualify and are limited to 40% of actual expenses, with tourists paying the rest.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Axe to fall on subsidy-cheating tourism operators
The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand on Wednesday asked police to prosecute operators of 312 hotels and 202 shops for fraud in the government's "We Travel Together" subsidy scheme.

Yuthasak Supasorn filed his complaint with deputy national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapat at the Royal Thai Police Office. He said the TAT found fraudulent transactions at 312 hotels and 202 shops, and some customers were also involved.

The government initiated the "We Travel Together" scheme to stimulate tourism heavily hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic. It paid 40% of room rates for travellers and offered e-vouchers worth 600-900 baht for their daily spending.

Instances of fraud found by the TAT included hoteliers and restauranteurs unusually raising their prices to increase obtained subsidies, and fake hotel bookings -- including at hotels that were no longer open.

Mr Yuthasak said the government body had to take legal action against those responsible for fraud since there is a second phase of the "We Travel Together" scheme.

Pol Gen Damrongsak said the Crime Suppression Division would handle the case because the crimes were committed nationwide.

The people who conspired with fraudulent tourism-related operators and received a share of illicit gains would also face legal action, he said.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


The uneasy quiet of Chinatown
With the holiday season nearing, the once-bustling travel hotspot in Thailand is quieter this year. Small businesses around the country's tourism attractions are suffering from the absence of foreign visitors amid the raging pandemic.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

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