The Tourism Association of Koh Samui is about to present a rather unworkable plan to the CCSA (Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration in Thailand) on how to allow international tourism arrivals to their holiday island.
Many destinations that are heavily dependent on international tourism have been especially hard hit by the various travel, transit, and entry bans. There is no clear timeline set for Thailand to allow international arrivals outside of residents, Thai citizens, some business, and healthcare sector travelers.
Now, the Tourism Association of Koh Samui has come up with the following plan according to the Bangkok Post:
1. Only visitors on Thai Airways operated flights would be allowed to enter the country (often the most expensive airline to fly to Thailand).
2. Guests would be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to Koh Samui.
3. You would then be required to quarantine for the 7-days inside your room and not allowed to roam through the resort/hotel facilities even if your test is negative.
4. Between 7 – 14 days, you are allowed to use hotel facilities outside of your room/suite, but not allowed to exit the hotel grounds.
5. After 14-days, you could leave the hotel grounds but only with a unique wrist band.
6. You need to exit Thailand within 30 days of your arrival (the maximum allowed to stay without a visa).
This is probably the craziest idea from tourism operators that I have come across. Are they this detached from reality?
How can anyone even remotely think that tourists would entertain this kind of a hassle to “vacation” in Koh Samui when you are essentially a prisoner for the first 14 days and then allowed to roam with a special wrist band attached?
I understand that some of these hotels are becoming desperate due to lack of revenue, especially in Koh Samui that is an expensive destination within Thailand to fly to because Bangkok Airways owns the only airport (and I would assume charges monopolistic prices to other airlines).
It is unclear when Thailand is going to reopen again for international tourism arrivals. It isn’t easy to see this taking place anytime soon. Plans like the one above won’t generate any meaningful results even if miraculously implemented.