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First group of Chinese visitors arrive

THAILAND: The first group of Chinese visitors since the COVID-19 outbreak forced the closure of Thailand’s borders in March arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport from Shanghai yesterday (Oct 20), according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 21 October 2020, 07:47AM

Chinese tourists on the new special tourist visas arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport from Shanghai last night (Oct 20). They will be put in quarantine for 14 days before they can go out and about. Photo: Somchai Poomlard.

Chinese tourists on the new special tourist visas arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport from Shanghai last night (Oct 20). They will be put in quarantine for 14 days before they can go out and about. Photo: Somchai Poomlard.

The 41* Chinese visitors on a Special Tourist Visa (STV) - which was recently approved by the cabinet to restart the country’s pandemic-battered tourism industry - arrived on a special Spring Airlines flight at 5:10pm yesterday, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said.

Mr Yuthasak said the tourists have entered the 14-day mandatory quarantine in Bangkok. “Most of them planned to visit the beach and they already reserved hotel rooms,” he said.

Upon arriving, the tourists were required to download a tracking app on their smartphones. The STV allows them to remain in the kingdom for up to 90 days, and is renewable twice.

Mr Yuthasak said more Chinese visitors are on their way, with 147 due to arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport from Guangzhou on Oct 26. TAT estimated that each tourist would spend around B800,000 during their stay in Thailand.

A group of 120 visitors from Guangzhou were supposed to arrive in Phuket on Oct 8, but their trip was postponed as the island’s authorities were concerned they might not have the manpower to deal with the tourists’ arrival, which coincided with Phuket’s annual vegetarian festival, according to the Sports and Tourism Ministry.

Meanwhile, Thai Airways International (THAI) announced it will fly 120 Chinese visitors with STVs to Thailand on Oct 28, the airline announced.

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The special flight will pick up tourists from Shanghai, along with individuals of various nationalities with a medical visa, as well as Thais returning home from China, said Wiwat Piyawiroj, THAI’s executive vice president for commercial operations.

The flight will depart Shanghai at 5:20pm on Oct 28 and arrive in Bangkok at 9:15pm on the same day.

Chinese tourists accounted for most of last year’s tourist arrivals, with 10.99 million visitors arriving last year.

The TAT governor said the return of foreign visitors signalled a recovery, which has been made possible by a raft of tourism-related incentives.

*this figure was later confirmed as 39 by official sources

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keno16 | 22 October 2020 - 08:23:28

Also add Australia to your list 

Fascinated | 21 October 2020 - 13:56:20

I thought the visit of 120 was cancelled as no one actually applied for it?

stevet | 21 October 2020 - 12:31:58

This is a good start, but the STV plan will not enable most travel-related shops, restaurants and hotels to resume operations in the short term.  If these businesses cannot be resumed in the coming high season, it will cause many social problems.  The Thai authorities must actively contact low-risk countries and simplify entry procedures to attract tourists to Thailand to solve emergency situation

stevet | 21 October 2020 - 12:06:41

41 tourists or 1,200 STV visits per month cannot quickly solve the current economic and tourism difficulties in Thailand.  During the pandemic, it is impossible to recover 30,000,000 passengers per year, but it should be possible to get three or four thousand safe passengers per day.

DeKaaskopp | 21 October 2020 - 12:05:29

Agree stevet ! Add Singapore,Taiwan, Vietnam,Japan ,NZ and parts of China to it and at least it would be a start.  

stevet | 21 October 2020 - 11:00:28

Many people who plan to travel to Thailand have cancelled their plans because they cannot purchase or where to purchase travel insurance that covering covid-19, especially for the elderly.

stevet | 21 October 2020 - 10:18:11

If Thailand and Hong Kong reach a non-isolated tourism bubble plan and simplify entry procedures, thousands of tourists will come here every day.  Our strong consumption and investment capacity is no less than that of any other region, and we will make a huge contribution to Thailand's tourism and economy.  Can’t wait, Thailand’s economy is collapsing


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