PHUKET, 1 October 2020: The first group of Chinese visitors are due to arrive in Phuket 8 October aboard a Thai Airways International flight from Guangzhou.
A tour operator close to travel firms in Guangzhou forwarded an outline of the trip details to TTR Weekly that suggested Tourism Authority of Thailand officials in Guangzhou and Kunming had confirmed a group of 150 business travellers for the Phuket visit. They are due to stay for 90 days.
TTR Weekly filed questions with the TAT office in Shanghai, Wednesday, asking for further clarification and confirmation of the details provided by the tour operator.
Details are sketchy, but the message sent to TTR Weekly suggested participants were “business travellers invited by Thailand’s Board of Investment.”
The reliable source identified the guests as “CP Group business travellers” saying they constituted a corporate or “incentive travel group” not your typical leisure tourists.
Some local news reports suggested Thai AirAsia would fly the group to Phuket, but the Chinese tour company in Guangzhou claimed the travel arrangements were managed by Guangzhou Panda Inter Travel Service, while THAI would provide the charter flight to Phuket. The practical details, including visa requirements, are being coordinated by the Thailand Long-Stay Company, a fully-owned subsidiary of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
According to the reliable source who shared details on a ‘Line’ post the Chinese guests will pay around THB173,500 for the 90-day visit which includes 14 days quarantine with three meals a day and three Covid-19 tests during their five-star resort stay in Phuket. The package also includes the THAI airfare, 90 days medical insurance cover and the long-stay visa also for 90 days.
In Thailand, veteran tour operators told TTR Weekly the project was “admirable in concept as something needs to be done urgently to kick-start travel from a relatively safe market such as China.”
But they cautioned: “Business travellers willing to stay 14 days in quarantine who are described as guests of a major conglomerate such as the CP Group technically do not fit what we would consider as being normal tourists.”
Meanwhile, reports surfacing in Thai media claimed a group of 120 Scandinavian visitors are due to visit Phuket, 1 November, travelling on a Thai Airways International flight.
The government has approved more hotels to join the Alternative State Quarantine programme after public health officials visited Phuket to inspect and certify hotels.
There are now nine hotels in Phuket offering 14-day quarantine programmes in cooperation with the Bangkok Hospital Phuket that conducts Covid-19 tests during the stay and assigns medical staff to each property around the clock.
The nine hotels are:
Laguna Holiday Club;
Anantara Mai Khao.