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  • Raven
    Originally posted by S Landreth View Post
    Thai tourism ministry proposes vaccine program in 5 tourism hotspots

    Phuket, Surat Thani, Chonburi, Chiang Mai and Krabi.
    They should add Bangkok.

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  • S Landreth
    Thai tourism ministry proposes vaccine program in 5 tourism hotspots

    Thailand’s Tourism and Sports ministry will propose that the Public Health ministry organize an inoculation campaign in 5 tourism provinces and discuss the prospect of vaccination passports.

    Tourism minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said that the ministry has proposed 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines be allocated to people in the tourism businesses in Phuket, Surat Thani, Chonburi, Chiang Mai and Krabi. The priority will be 13,000 employees at the 58 hotels which are being used as alternative local quarantine facilities.

    Thailand is following developments in the WHO’s vaccine passport program, as the country needs to prepare measures that will be in line with Thai standards.

    Phiphat said, if Thailand can begin the vaccine passport program in 2022, or launch some measures that will allow foreigners to travel to Thailand without having to enter quarantine, the ministry expects to welcome at least 5 million foreign tourists.

    Phiphat also said the program, called “Area Quarantine”, will be discussed at the next CCSA meeting. The program allows tourists to spend time in a limited area after 3 days in their rooms. He expects the first group of foreign tourists to enter this program will come from Russia, since : there are some Russian tour companies already showing interest. :

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  • S Landreth
    Vaccine passport up for discussion next week, says DDC

    The option of vaccine passports and the possibility of changing the mandatory quarantine period will be tabled at the March 8 meeting of the National Communicable Diseases Council.

    Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control, said Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has instructed health authorities to provide people who have completed their Covid-19 vaccination course with certificates for overseas travel.

    As for people wanting to enter Thailand with a vaccination certificate, Dr Opas said he was still uncertain about the issue because the World Health Organisation has yet to establish criteria for a vaccine passport. Hence, he said, international negotiations and mutual agreements may need to be completed first.

    This option will also be added to the agenda of the March 8 meeting of the council, which is chaired by Anutin.

    “The mandatory quarantine measures in Thailand will be based on the incubation period of the virus, which cannot be determined yet as nobody knows how the vaccine will affect it. The incubation period can be longer or shorter, as vaccines currently do not provide 100-per-cent protection. This will also be discussed at the meeting,” Dr Opas added.:

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  • S Landreth
    Good news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    • Thailand poised to adopt vaccine passports to kick-start tourism

    The tourism minister has asked the Public Health Ministry for approval to launch a vaccine passport system in a bid to kick-start the tourism industry this year.

    Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said on Monday that the government was waiting for a World Health Organisation announcement on vaccine passports before issuing the measure.He said that adopting a vaccine passport or a similar method of enabling foreign tourists to skip quarantine would guarantee at least 5 million foreign visitors to Thailand this year.

    The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) was also discussing a 14-day quarantine that would allow foreign tourists to leave their hotel rooms after just three days of self-isolation, he added. Russian tourists in Phuket will likely be the first to experience the eased quarantine restrictions. Tour agents in Russia say demand is high enough for regular Phuket flights of 300-400 Russian tourists.

    The Tourism Ministry has also submitted a plan to deliver vaccines to five tourism-dependent provinces – Phuket, Surat Thani, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai and Krabi. The vaccines will be administered to staff at alternative quarantine hotels. The five provinces have a total of 58 alternative quarantine hotels, with more than 6,700 rooms and 13,000 staff.:

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  • S Landreth
    40 million foreign tourists, who spent 1.91 trillion baht
    the vaccine passport would help bring the numbers back up

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  • S Landreth
    Thailand travel without quarantine could be possible soon for vaccinated tourists as country looks to ease restrictions

    Coming measures could include shortening quarantine for vaccinated arrivals from two weeks to three days, or even waiving it entirely, officials say

    From next month, five provinces will host ‘hotel area quarantine’ programmes where visitors can move around within hotel grounds and not be confined to rooms
    Thai authorities are preparing a plan to ease restrictions for travellers vaccinated against the coronavirus, senior officials said on Wednesday, as the country looks to revive a tourism industry battered by travel curbs.

    Measures for vaccinated visitors would be introduced step-by-step and could include shortening the mandatory quarantine for all arrivals from two weeks to three days for those vaccinated, or waiving it entirely, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said.

    “We have to be fast because we want to start welcoming tourists in the third quarter,” he said. The TAT plans to begin selling tour packages after April.

    The tourism ministry has also requested 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine for tourism workers in five provinces: Chon Buri, Krabi, Phang Nga, Chiang Mai and Phuket. The provinces will from next month host “hotel area quarantine” programmes offering 5,000 to 6,000 rooms, where visitors can move around within hotel grounds instead of being confined to their rooms, according to tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

    The global vaccine roll-out has given hope to Thailand’s pandemic-hit tourism industry, which makes up about 11 per cent of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy. In 2019, Thailand received about 40 million foreign tourists, who spent 1.91 trillion baht (US$63.6 billion).

    That compared to just 6.7 million visitors last year and revenue of 332 billion baht, due largely to Thailand’s tight limits on international commercial flights and visitors. Since October it has allowed a limited number of tourists to return on long visas, including a group from South Korea for a new “golf quarantine” programme.

    “This year, we expect about 5 million visitors, but next year it should jump because the vaccine will have helped – maybe 15 million,” Phiphat told state television.

    Arrivals could reach 30 million in 2023 and return to pre-pandemic levels the year after, he said.:

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  • S Landreth
    Thailand still one of the top choices for post-Covid tourists, surveys show

    A recent survey conducted jointly by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office in London and global data and market research giant YouGov shed some light on the future of the tourism sector once the Covid crisis is over.

    Of the 4,127 respondents, 75 per cent planning to travel abroad said they were willing to be inoculated if required, with the caveat that people above the age of 55 be given preference.

    Meanwhile, 41 per cent of those planning trips disagreed with mandatory quarantine measures at destination countries, though 52 per cent said they were fine with up to five days in quarantine.

    Of those planning to travel, 62 per cent are above 50 years of age and are considering countries that have had few Covid-19 cases.

    Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT’s deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, said based on this survey, at least 9 per cent or up to 6 million people are hoping to travel to Thailand in 2021.

    Another online survey conducted by TAT’s Stockholm office found that 99 per cent of travellers from the Nordic region are concerned about getting infected after travel arrangements have been confirmed.

    Of those surveyed, 62 per cent said they wanted to spend this winter in Thailand if there are no restrictions. Their top destinations of choice were Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak, followed by Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao, Bangkok and Hua Hin.

    However, 68 per cent of the respondents said they would cancel their plans if the 14-day quarantine is mandatory, while 26 per cent said they would still travel, though 13 per cent said they wanted the quarantine period to be cut to 10 days.

    Separately, a survey in France conducted by the Online Travel Agents platforms, which includes Opodo, eDreams and Go Voy, found that once success with Covid-19 vaccines was announced, visits to tourism websites rose by 15 per cent.

    The most searched for destinations were Dubai (49 per cent), Marrakesh (27 per cent) and Bangkok (25 per cent).

    Of the browsers, 20 per cent checked out cleanliness and safety measures in place at hotels and tourist attractions, 20 per cent checked out tourist destinations, while 18 per cent hunted for last-minute deals.

    A survey in the Americas conducted by MMGY Myriad found that most American travellers did not cancel their bookings, but instead postponed them for seven months to one year. The survey showed that American travellers focused on certificates issued by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and most of them were planning to go on solo trips.

    “Flexibility to reschedule is the top priority for American tourists, followed by safety. These tourists are looking for safety, no quarantine, flexibility and no deposit,” Siripakorn said.

    The Mega Travel Trends report released by media firm Skift Research showed that the travel industry will only recover in 2023 and will only return to pre-Covid levels by 2025.:

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  • S Landreth
    Foreign tourists are now required to download ‘Thailand Plus’ mobile application prior to arrival

    The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to advise all foreign tourists who have received the Certificate of Entry (COE) documentation to Thailand that they are now required to download the ThailandPlus application prior to arrival to use when traveling around the country.

    After downloading the ThailandPlus application from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, travelers are required to enable the GPS and accept the privacy policy. After that, a recent (not more than one-month-old) profile photo needs to be uploaded before inputting the COE number and reference ID obtained from the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate-General. Once all data is verified as correct, the system will direct travelers to the ‘QR code’ page where they can begin using ‎the application.

    Travelers will need to keep the ThailandPlus application on all the time, as they move to different locations around the country. Businesses throughout Thailand prominently display QR codes that are required for check-in and check-out scanning. This includes all types of accommodation, restaurants, shopping centers, and tourism attractions, to mention just a few examples.

    In the event that travelers are in close contact with any confirmed COVID-19 cases, they will be notified and offered recommendations.

    All information collected is only used for public health purposes and is monitored in a way that does not infringe on a visitor’s right to privacy.

    ThailandPlus is the evolution of Thailand’s contract tracing efforts that started last year with the ‘Thai Chana’ and ‘Mor Chana’ applications. All three use GPS and Bluetooth to detect locations visited via a mobile phone combined with QR code scanning that records a traveler’s journey.

    First announced in November last year, the ThailandPlus application was developed under collaboration between the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Digital Government Development Agency (Public Organisation). ‎ThailandPlus is available for download in both the Apple App Store and Google Play or by visiting

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  • S Landreth
    TAT wants vaccine passport policy

    Thailand should have a clear-cut plan on a vaccine passport by June if plans to reopen the international market by the fourth quarter are kept, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

    Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, said the government policy would have a tremendous effect towards international market plans, particularly on the long-haul market, which is progressing rapidly in terms of mass vaccination programmes.

    The opinions of overseas agents and recent surveys in key markets showed tourists are ready to be inoculated or participate within a vaccine passport policy if this would allow them to travel abroad once again, he said.

    "TAT plans to bring back international tourists by the fourth quarter but that will depend largely on our policy development too," Mr Siripakorn said.

    In order to achieve the target, the country should start soft launches in two phases -- marketing campaigns launched before the third quarter, followed by the introduction of an area quarantine policy within the third quarter, he said.

    The two phases have started to take shape as the first batch of arrivals landed in Phuket and went into "villa quarantine" on Feb 21. This quarantine concept is similar to the area quarantine proposal.

    He said Qatar Airways requested the relaxation of the 14-day quarantine at beach destinations during the third quarter. The airline is ready to operate international flights to Phuket if Thailand loosens mandatory quarantine by March.

    But the policy on vaccinated tourists is seen as a more critical condition as the survey TAT conducted among 4,127 British people found that 75% agreed to be inoculated if it became a mandatory requirement among destination countries.

    However, 41% of them disagreed with inoculation if a quarantine policy remained in place.

    A similar result showed up in a survey among Finnish people as 99% said vaccines were important in relation to traveling abroad, while 68% indicated they would not take any trips if a country still had a mandatory quarantine policy.

    "Those surveys clearly told us that the government must accelerate a concrete plan for a vaccine passport by June in order to receive inoculated tourists, or else we could miss a huge opportunity as some countries have already started quarantine-free programme for vaccinated travellers," said Mr Siripakorn.

    He said many long-haul markets still rate Thailand as the preferred destination, with 62% of the Finnish people surveyed would choose Thailand as their ideal destination in the winter.

    A group of 20 Finnish tourists who booked inbound trips under the golf quarantine scheme this month postponed their plans due to uncertainties over the quarantine period in the first 3-5 days of arriving.

    The TAT's London office also introduced the Linger Longer campaign under which 60 packages were sold. Buyers plan to visit the country during the Easter holidays.

    Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT deputy governor of marketing for Asia and South Pacific, said the short-haul market also purchased holiday packages in advance.

    TAT's offices in Mumbai and New Delhi reported that there are two groups of 200-300 Indians who want to hold wedding ceremonies in Thailand at beach hotels. Each group is expected to spend at least 10 million baht.

    Last week, the country welcomed the first group of 41 Koreans into golf quarantine at Artitaya Golf and Resort in Nakhon Nayok.

    I agree. Every country should OK a vaccine passport policy. And do it NOW:

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  • S Landreth
    ^I don’t think I would but some tourists are

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  • serrollt
    Yeah, Europeans will be lining up to spend their vacation in an allocated, overpriced quarantine facility.

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  • S Landreth
    Thailand’s first group of tourists arrives in Phuket

    Thailand’s first group of foreign tourists arrived in Phuket on Sunday after undergoing Covid-19 tests and are now completing their 14-day mandatory quarantine at Sri Panwa Hotel.

    The 59 tourists from different European countries flew from Indonesia. This is in line with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s resolution last year to allow foreign tourists to return to Thailand, provided they complete their 14-day quarantine in an allocated hotel.

    Phichet Panapong, deputy Phuket governor, said the group will be monitored and evaluated during the 14-day period and if everything goes well, this will be used as a model to help with the recovery of Thailand’s tourism sector.: -

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  • S Landreth
    Arrival recovery hinges on state managing vaccines

    Thailand's tourism recovery depends on the government's ability to distribute vaccines widely to create herd immunity, says the government think tank.

    Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said the government should formulate a better vaccine distribution plan focused on using human resources to inoculate people working in the tourism industry to build the confidence of foreign visitors.

    "The recovery of the tourism industry depends on the government's capability to arrange vaccine distribution," he said.

    "The faster the government distributes vaccines, the better the country's tourism industry recovery as well as Thailand's economic growth."

    According to Mr Danucha, the government is being urged to prioritise vaccinations at key tourism destinations and manufacturing production bases, in addition to its public health concerns.

    The agency expects the government to be able to provide vaccinations in the fourth quarter this year, saying this distribution should allow easing of the strict quarantine requirements for foreign visitors.

    The government may allow tourists to arrive from countries that have effective Covid-19 vaccinations, said Mr Danucha.

    As of Feb 15, the agency downgraded its forecast for foreign tourist arrivals this year to 3.2 million from 5 million, made on Nov 16 last year.

    The downgrade stems largely from the second wave of Covid-19 infections in Thailand, the unabated spread in many other countries and uncertainty over vaccine quality.

    "The new wave of Covid-19 spreading in countries such as Italy, Finland, Brazil, Turkey, Iran and our neighbouring nations like Malaysia and Indonesia will definitely freeze the recovery of Thailand's tourism industry," he said.

    Mr Danucha said the agency expects new infections in Thailand will reach an apex in February, with the government projected to get infections under control by March.

    The NESDC also expects developed countries to distribute vaccines to cover at least 50% of their populations in the first half this year, rising to 75% for the whole year.

    Developing countries are projected to distribute vaccines to cover 50% of their populations this year, and 75% of their populations within the first half of 2022.

    Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Monday the first Covid-19 vaccine shots in Thailand should be distributed by the end of this month, with the first 200,000 doses of China's Sinovac vaccine scheduled to arrive on Feb 24.

    China's Sinovac Biotech confirmed that production of 200,000 doses for Thailand are ready for shipment on Feb 20, said Mr Anutin.:

    Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
    Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

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  • S Landreth
    Vaccine passports inject new hope for Thai tourism

    A “vaccine passport” has emerged as the best hope for Thai tourism businesses devastated by COVID-19. The passport, which could exempt inoculated tourists from the mandatory 14-day quarantine, might help the tourism industry slowly get back on its feet.

    What is a vaccine passport?

    In essence, a vaccine passport is documentation – very likely an e-document in this increasingly digitalised world – to prove the holder has already been inoculated against a disease. In the current context, vaccine passports will focus on COVID-19, which has so far infected 110 million people and killed 2.42 million since first emerging in December 2019.

    Global agencies such as the International Air Transport Association are already busy developing vaccine passports or an equivalent.

    The concept is not new. The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, also known as the Yellow Card, has been around for decades. The Yellow Card records vaccination against diseases such as yellow fever and is required for entry to several countries around the world, including Nigeria.

    Is it necessary?

    The answer is an overwhelming “Yes” for Thai businesses such as hotels and airlines, many of which are on the verge of collapsing under the weight of the COVID-19 fallout. Social distancing and travel restrictions have left businesses across several industries teetering on the edge of failure.

    Thailand, where tourism accounted for 16 per cent of gross domestic product in 2019, has been hit hard by the virus.

    In response, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently proposed luring back foreign tourists with new measures – including an offer to waive mandatory 14-day quarantine for those who can produce a vaccine passport.

    Faced with quarantine and other COVID-19 measures, only around 10,000 foreigners visited Thailand between October and December last year. The same period a year earlier saw more than 10 million foreign arrivals.

    But Thai tourism and related industries are now threatened by talk of extending the quarantine period. The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration recently suggested that it may be necessary to impose a 21-day quarantine on passengers arriving from Africa, where a fast-spreading variant of the virus is responsible for most COVID-19 cases.:

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  • S Landreth
    Villa quarantine in Thailand could be allowed soon

    The CCSA will consider a new quarantine measure, called “Villa Quarantine”, with a luxury hotel in Phuket being the first to implement it.

    During today’s press briefing, Dr. Taweesin Wissanuyothin said that Sri Panwa, a luxury hotel in Phuket, has proposed “villa quarantine” for 70 foreign tourists travelling from Indonesia.

    The tourists have been swab-tested for COVID-19 up to 6 times and are scheduled to arrive in Phuket on a charter flight on February 21st.

    These tourists will be under state quarantine for the first five days, after that, they may be allowed to quarantine in a hotel villa, where they can enjoy the facilities there.

    This is the first time that such a measure would be introduced.

    The measure must be proposed to and approved by the CCSA sub-committee meeting tomorrow, and then by the main CCSA committee on February 22nd.:

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