SKÅL Bangkok’s Wood cautions of a deep crisis on Thailand tourism

Published on : Tuesday, December 8, 2020

It’s becoming more and more obvious that the harm being inflicted on the travel and tourism industry of Thailand is quite critical with deep long lasting structural economic dent that would definitely get worse rather than improve.

With the current mindset of allowing the industry to be forgone; thrown to the covid wolf with no significant financial lifelines as such, left to take care of the situation on its own and potentially fail. With zero hope of borders not opening by mid 2021, even with the introduction of vaccines, there is bewilderment everywhere.

I request our industry leaders and government to follow one voice – keep away from conflicting information and mixed messages. One official voice only. All statements to be made and sanctioned from this ONE source.
Let us have our personal Centre for COVID-19 Tourism Situation Administration (CCTSA), chaired by the Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha and travel and tourism leaders.

Confusion is widespread. Previously, the PM had declared that tourism would not open before mid 2021 however both the MOT&S and TAT gave varying opening dates whatsoever.

At present, any entry to Thailand by tourists has to face 14 day quarantine. I am sure I am not the only person to say this. However, let me be loud and clearly those tourism promotions with 2 weeks quarantine WILL NOT SUCCEED. Now vaccines are starting to be introduced. Let’s look at other low risk options for borders to be gradually opened. I plead to the government to allow this.

Hotel owners are really thoughtful. Vitavas Vibhagool, chief executive of Grande Asset Hotels and Property, explained yesterday that all six of its hotels require strengthening occupancy rates as Thailand has closed mass tourism. “We’ve never experienced an occupancy rate as low as 3-4% like this year, as the usual rate is 70%” said Mr. Vitavas.

“This crisis is the most severe in our history, with the company offering 10 million baht (USD 332,000) in financial support per hotel per month.”

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