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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Thailand delays hosting of first foreign tourists since April

    BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand is pushing back plans to receive its first batch of foreign tourists due to administrative issues, a senior official said on Thursday, adding to uncertainty about when it will welcome back visitors vital to its economy.

    Processes involved in applying for and issuing special visas is delaying the soft reopening, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters, adding that about 100 tourists were expected to arrive this month.


    Foreign arrivals stopped in April after the government banned commercial flights to keep the coronavirus at bay.


    In September, the TAT said some 120 tourists on special long-stay visas would fly directly from Guangzhou to the resort island of Phuket this week, but their travel has been delayed.


    Chinese media has questioned the identity of those tourists, however, with reports unable to confirm any Thailand travel bookings among agents in Guangzhou.


    Operators in Phuket are also puzzled.


    “We have not been notified about the arrivals,” Phuket Tourism Association President, Bhummikitti Ruktaengam told Reuters.


    “Phuket is ready, but we need clarity, where are they from, how many and where will they stay?” Bhummikitti said, adding that more information would help create confidence among the local community.


    Authorities last month announced that a limited number of long-stay visitors would be allowed from countries deemed low risk and their trips must include two weeks of quarantine at their resort.

    Thailand has just over 3,600 confirmed cases, among the lowest in Asia, but its economy could contract by a record 7.8%.


    The tourism-reliant country could see just 6.7 million foreign visitors this year, the government predicts, after a record 39.8 million in 2019, whose spending made up about 11.4% of GDP, or 1.93 trillion baht ($61.88 billion).


    Authorities had earlier shelved a “travel bubble” plan to allow movement of travellers between countries with low infection rates.


    ($1 = 31.1900 baht)

    Thailand delays hosting of first foreign tourists since April | Reuters

  2. #2
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Looks like they've overlooked one important factor.

    They're just assuming that when they grant permission the rush will be overwhelming...in the depths of low season / no season.

    Some ego trimming might be needed.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    Looks like they've overlooked one important factor.

    They're just assuming that when they grant permission the rush will be overwhelming...in the depths of low season / no season.

    Some ego trimming might be needed.
    They haven't said when they're letting any others in yet. Just that they are delaying this bunch of "super-tourists".


  4. #4
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    The 100 are probably the Chinese advance party. Chinese Travel agents, hoteliers and tour bus drivers/guides.

  5. #5
    Lone Monarchist
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    Seems that they will drag their feet just long enough to push this segment into the abyss.

    Crime will pick up and that will make the headlines. Then ppl will be concerned about crime and will be hesetent to come. This is Mexico style shooting yourself in the balls.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat

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    Why does this junta persist with the silly fiction these Chinese are " tourists" when they are palpably not?

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
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    Like 600 chinese tourists is going to make up for the millions of European ones that are missing

    they are beyond delusional,

    they don't even know what hit them, they will find out next year with millions of unemployed asking for change

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat

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    The problem, Butters, is that the opposite is true. Twenty years ago the revenue from US/European/Nip travellers accounted for a significant share of the foreign tourism pie contributing to GDP but those days are long gone and the ASEAN/domestic tourists with the Chinese, Indian and Russian demographic have eclipsed those earlier trends - one of the reasons why Thailand is no longer the attractive place it once was when Bangkok et al was a fascinating kaleidoscope of fun, chaos, happenstance and unpredictable but usually serendipitous events.

    Pattaya is perhaps the best illustration of the phenomenon. 20-25 years ago the foreign demographic was predominantly EU, American, Australian contributing a majority to a visiting population of around 3 millions. The last pre-covid figures for Pattaya 2019 was 9.3 millions, 35% were Thai but by far the greater proportion of foreign tourists were Chinese, ASEAN ( huge number of Koreans ), with equal numbers of Russians, Indians and Germans each sending around 400,000. The remainder of EU countries are statistically insignificant.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    The problem, Butters, is that the opposite is true. Twenty years ago the revenue from US/European/Nip travellers accounted for a significant share of the foreign tourism pie contributing to GDP but those days are long gone and the ASEAN/domestic tourists with the Chinese, Indian and Russian demographic have eclipsed those earlier trends - one of the reasons why Thailand is no longer the attractive place it once was when Bangkok et al was a fascinating kaleidoscope of fun, chaos, happenstance and unpredictable but usually serendipitous events.

    Pattaya is perhaps the best illustration of the phenomenon. 20-25 years ago the foreign demographic was predominantly EU, American, Australian contributing a majority to a visiting population of around 3 millions. The last pre-covid figures for Pattaya 2019 was 9.3 millions, 35% were Thai but by far the greater proportion of foreign tourists were Chinese, ASEAN ( huge number of Koreans ), with equal numbers of Russians, Indians and Germans each sending around 400,000. The remainder of EU countries are statistically insignificant.
    The chinkies don't contribute much to Pattaya. They stay in chinky-owned hotels, eat in chinky-owned restaurants, shop in chinky-owned shops and shuffle up and down walking street, a vacuous look on their faces, taking pictures of neon without spending a satang.

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