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Reopening the country to international tourism will not raise the risks of local Covid-19 transmission from imported infections, says Thailand's Department of Disease Control. However, foreign tourists may face a shortage of Government approved quarantine hotels.
Tanarak Plipat, deputy director-general of the DDC, referring to the cabinet's resolution to allow long-stay international visitors to reach Thailand. He insists that the change would not trigger Covid-19 infections, mainly because the visitors will be subject to a 14-day stay at state quarantine facilities.
The deputy director-general urged companies not to employ illegal migrant workers, especially those centered in the provinces adjacent to Myanmar.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Deputy Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool said visitors with a Special Tourist Visa (STV) recently approved by the Government could fly directly to their destinations in Thailand on flights from overseas.
The TAT expected that under the STV scheme, about 14,400 visitors would visit the country a year, generating income of roughly Baht 12.36 billion a year. Alternative state quarantine (ASQ) hotels in Thailand can therefore be in shortage.
According to the Thai Hotels Association (THA), the additional medical expenses prohibit operators from engaging.
Mr. Nattakorn said ASQ hoteliers are expected to pay an average of 40-50 percent of the package price to corporate hospitals for medical services, including two swab tests per patient, 24-hour nurses, medical practitioners, and other telemedicine services charges.
He said the demand for ASQ is rising: the 120 rooms in Siam Mandarin will be booked entirely until August 20, with a 16-day and 15-night package of 45,000-baht. About 85% of the guests are foreigners in Thailand who have job permits or relatives, and 15 percent are Thai returners who choose not to stay at quarantine hotels and go instead to ASQ hotels, where they can stay at no expense.
Patra Hotel's executive director, Thienprasit Chaiyapatranun, said the demand from returnees is still not high. This is because the Government has not rescinded Thais from free quarantine stays.