Thailand’s authorities have hit on a new idea to inspire tourists who are prepared to go through the quarantine arrangements.
Plenty of rounds of golf!
The Thai authorities were still scratching their heads about whether quarantine should be lessened from 14 days to ten. Many ministries were working on the dilemma and what to offer to tourists.
There were all sorts of plans to couch this in terms of promoting Thailand as a medical hub for tourists on wellness programs.
But the real interest was the idea that groups as large as 200 at a time could be quarantined at golf courses.
The courses would need to be of a sufficient size and have adequate facilities.
These were golf courses that have hotels attached, ones that have club houses with their own restaurant facilities and courses that were isolated from the general population.
It is hoped that such places could be found that could cater to 150-200 golf mad tourists.
The idea was reportedly floated by the tourism and public health ministries chiefly to attract golfers from Japan, Taiwan, China and South Korea. There are 238 golf courses with 5,000 rooms nationwide, and the Sports and Tourism Ministry hopes 20-30 will join the scheme.
Army chief Narongphan Jittkaewtae said he supported the idea as a way to boost this year’s high season and make foreign tourists’ visits from cold countries a more pleasant experience.
In a related development, all 261 foreign visitors who have so far arrived under the Special Tourist Visa (STV) scheme have now completed their 14-day quarantine.
Dr Sophon Iamsirithavorn, director of the Public Health Ministry’s Communicable Diseases Division, said a third group of 84 long-stay tourists who arrived on Oct 28 were due to complete their quarantine yesterday.
The first group of 39 visitors completed quarantine on Nov 2 while the second batch of 138 visitors finished the quarantine requirement on Nov 6. So far, all Covid-19 tests have come back negative, with only the third group awaiting final clearance.
Meanwhile, a plan to bring back 126 Thai-registered vehicles stranded in Malaysia faces a further delay due to a new movement control order to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre was yesterday informed by Thai officials in Malaysia of the measure.
Many Thai workers left their vehicles in Malaysia when they returned home before the border closure in early April.