Tourism Ministry Tells Operators to Create Marketing Plans
Published: September 19, 2020 at 10:52 am
The government now wants tour operators to start marketing the Special Tourist Visa aggressively.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry has given tourism operators the greenlight to create marketing plans targeting long stay tourists with the Special Tourist Visa now in full swing.
According to Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, tourism operators can now market to potential tourists as early as this week, with Bangkok as a primary destination in cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and its governor, Yuthasak Supasorn and the Thailand Longstay Co.
Thailand Longstay Co. is the state-controlled entity that was incorporated in order to coordinate long-stay holidays in Thailand as part of the government’s drive to bring back tourism and boost the ailing tourism industry.
Minister Phiphat said that, once the marketing is out, potential Special Tourist Visa applicants can contact the TAT overseas office for more information on how they can apply for the travel plans.
The Minister said that applicants should be able to present the necessary documents, which include proof of payment to their alternate state quarantine hotel, proof of reservation for their post-quarantine hotel or villa accommodation, documentation of chartered or private jet bookings, health insurance, and a clean bill of health stating that they are COVID-19 negative.
These documents will be construed as proof of itinerary by the Tourism and Sports Ministry, which will be grounds for issuance of a certificate of eligibility and the Special Tourist Visa for them to enter Thailand with.
The Special Tourist Visa is aimed towards foreigners who will want to stay in Thailand for at least 90 days. The visa can be extended two more times, so that the tourist can stay in the Kingdom for a total of 270 days, if they so wish.
While other destinations may be available, Bangkok will remain the prime destination as it is where there are an ample number of hotels that can serve as Alternate State Quarantine facilities. These ASQs have already proven their capabilities in handling foreigners that have been in the country for business purposes since July.
According to Minister Phiphat, STV flights can begin operating as early as October 1st.
The reopening of foreign tourism will be gradual. Specifically, the government wants to cap the number of tourist arrivals at only three flights per month, and the number of tourists themselves to be within 1,200 per month.
Minister Phiphat that a significant number of foreigners have already expressed interest in visiting Thailand again, after the country was closed down to foreign tourism at the peak of the pandemic in April.
The Minister expressed confidence that they could reach the 1,200 tourists per month quota in October, and said that they could increase that limit provided that no problems will occur particularly new infections of COVID-19.
The government simultaneously is also keeping a focus on boosting domestic tourism, with two stimulus packages possibly extended through the end of the year and a new stimulus package to be introduced in the near future.
Minister Phiphat said that his office will be submitting the proposals for the extensions in a future Cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha next month.