BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Call for a careful tourist reopening

BANGKOK: The country’s reopening needs to continue with a more cautious approach amid concerns over the new Omicron variant, says the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT).

tourismeconomicsCOVID-19
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 8 December 2021, 08:53AM


Tourists have their documents checked by workers wearing PPE suits at Suvarnabhumi airport, as detection of the Omicron variant in Thailand raised concerns among operators.  Photo: Somchai Poomlard / Bangkok Post

Tourists have their documents checked by workers wearing PPE suits at Suvarnabhumi airport, as detection of the Omicron variant in Thailand raised concerns among operators.  Photo: Somchai Poomlard / Bangkok Post

 

After detection of the first Omicron case in the country, local communities should not panic, but instead follow advice from public health experts such as the World Health Organization and the Public Health Ministry, said TCT President Chamnan Srisawat.

He said the detection of the variant means screening measures remain effective and the reopening should be allowed to continue as vaccine rollouts in Thailand increase, while daily cases continued to drop, reports the Bangkok Post.

TCT also agrees with the decision to delay the use of antigen test kits for arrivals until the country has more details on the new strain.

“Tourism operators are about to start up again after almost two years of waiting during the crisis, as we gradually see signs of a tourism rebound,” Mr Chamnan said.

“The Omicron variant certainly raises more concerns, but our battered industry will not be able to handle any more flip-flops about the country’s reopening.”

Thailand welcomed 133,294 international arrivals from Nov 1 to Dec 6, of which 15,614 travellers came from Germany, followed by the US (10,917) and the UK (10,802), according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

EPL predictions

Meanwhile, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, President of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, said the reopening will take time to generate a healthy number of tourists, and enforced closures could put the industry back to zero.

He said the government should follow the situation carefully. If the variant proves to be more dangerous, then it should consider tightening travel regulations or reimposing border closures in the worst-case scenario, said Mr Sisdivachr.

He said the most stringent measures for land border crossings are vital to prevent illegal migrant workers who intend to avoid health screening.

Suksit Suvunditkul, chief executive of Deevana Hotels and Resorts, said year-end bookings saw slower growth than expected because of new COVID waves in Europe, as well as the Omicron variant’s impact on tourists’ travel decisions.

Deevana Patong Resort and Spa has a 35-40% occupancy rate this month, compared with 90% in the same period in 2019.

Mr Suksit said room rates had dropped by 50% from 2019 levels, even during the peak holiday season, as there is limited demand.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket Town pedestrian crossings get safety makeover

@christysweet What are 'presto people?'...(Read More)


Scathing Phuket hospitel report spurs action

...white light restaurants, and must renew permits for the silly reason the alcohol time window goes...(Read More)


Phuket Town pedestrian crossings get safety makeover

Without traffic lights pedestrian crossings in any country are a hazard for everyone involved Stop...(Read More)


Scathing Phuket hospitel report spurs action

Very good famous journalist Jonathan Miller shines his view about the sloppy nonsense Phuket hospit...(Read More)


Phuket vows tough action on unmasked tourists

You would think in all fairness that all people not wearing masks would be prosecuted, not only tour...(Read More)


Scathing Phuket hospitel report spurs action

Cue inbound 'defamation' charges for the Sunday Times exposing the truth. The whole thing is...(Read More)


Foreigner shot at Patong resort

@JohnC- nice bit of casual racism going on there. Any proof to back up your comment? One wonders why...(Read More)


Scathing Phuket hospitel report spurs action

most of those hospitel do not even have proper hotel licence.... that a fact......(Read More)


Scathing Phuket hospitel report spurs action

thos hospitel are all local run businesses, therefore they all are holes and crappy places....there ...(Read More)


Phuket Town pedestrian crossings get safety makeover

Things can change - and quickly. Look at Times Square in NY City. The Mayor started enforcing the s...(Read More)