Thailand Now Allowing Tourists From The Whole World (Yes, Even The U.S.)

Thailand has managed the Covid-19 pandemic well. Despite identifying early cases outside of China at the start of the pandemic, the country hasn’t seen significant virus activity and 90% of cases have been asymptomatic. There’s been a recent uptick, attributed to Thais who have snuck across the border back into the country, circumventing the country’s testing and quarantine regime.

The Thai tourist economy has been decimated, and attempts to offer it life have floundered, largely because of how bureaucratic and cumbersome proposals have been. They’ve even proposed assigning government workers to follow tourists everywhere they go to ensure no contact with locals.

The country has offered a special tourist visa for residents of low risk countries. That’s now been expanded to everyone.

Tourists from everywhere are now welcome to visit Thailand, irrespective of their countries’ Covid-19 situation, under a newly amended Special Tourist Visa (STV) long-stay programme.

…The more liberal policy represents a government U-turn and is designed to help the ailing tourism industry.

STVs were previously only available to people from low risk-countries but that stringent condition was blamed for the low number of tourists taking advantage of the programme, with only 825 people from 29 countries and only six luxury yachts using it, said Ms Rachada.

Chao Praya River Would Be Off Limits

Those who take up the opportunity still have significant requirements including application fee; 15 day quarantine and a 15 day minimum stay; proof of insurance; certification the traveler doesn’t have Covid-19. Between fees and quarantine accommodations you’ll be spending thousands of dollars before your trip begins.

That ‘Million Baht Club’ long stay offer from the Bangkok Hyatt Regency is looking better and better though – because a 15 day quarantine amortized over successive Special Tourist Visa stays isn’t as bad as if you’re looking at a 15 day quarantine in order to have a two week holiday.

(HT: Loyalty Lobby)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Jason — I thought that half of the men who go to Thailand are looking for a girlfriend there?

  2. I’m just not sure who they expect this to appeal to with a 15 day quarantine – a hotel room that you may not leave is a jail cell, and solitary confinement at that, no matter how well appointed.

    Perhaps they know what seems so obvious, and that very few will be enticed by this, and it’s only lip service to the desperate people in the tourism industry to make it seem as if the government gives a rat’s behind about them and their families (which it very clearly does not).

  3. I always love to visit Thailand. This time, I’ll wait
    Until al the protocols are over and things get back to normal. Like I always do, I just want to go, cut all the protocols and travel to different cities by train and/bus. I also like to visit any restaurant I want.
    Just make it simple. Unfortunately the country has to do what it has to do. “It is what it is”

  4. My Thai wife and I own a condo in Hua Hin, Thailand, we will stay here in the U.S. until they lift the 14 day hotel lockdown. We feel so sorry for the general Thai population, that are at the mercy of a so called government that does not care about the Thai working class.

  5. Thailand is based on a tourist economy, but the hospitality industry there is suffering. Yes coronavirus cases are down but your measures to achieve these goals are too stringent. The Thai government is cutting off it’s gross domestic product. FOREIGNERS.

  6. The most ridiculous policy in the world given 1 in a million have died. While millions of Thais loose jobs and income foe months on end. Criminal mulitary regime! Criminal monarchy!

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