Agoda gears up for online quarantine booking plan
The Ministry of Public Health is encouraging hotels to join Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) programmes ahead of the expected mandatory quarantine period being reduced to 10 days.
Sathit Pitutecha, Deputy Public Health Minister, said a new collaboration between the ministry and travel agency Agoda has already seen 37 ASQ and Alternative Local Quarantine (ALQ) hotels nationwide joining early in its first phase.
He said the government expects more international arrivals once quarantining is no longer a two-week process and more attractive ways for travellers to spend that time, such as at wellness retreats or golf resorts, are laid on.
However, the ministry said the programme is not exclusive and any agent or resort can apply for ASQ and ALQ status. Even though some provincial hotels with ALQ status haven't received a single guest yet, largely due to there being so few arrivals under the current measures, the ministry wants capacity in place when numbers ramp up.
"Thailand has a better track record in virus containment, but as long as other countries are still facing the spread of the virus, preventive measures, including quarantine under the ministry's supervision, remain necessary and that means more ASQ facilities as well," Mr Sathit said.
John Brown, Agoda's chief executive, said the company is also offering travellers more flexibility than usual in terms of postponements and cancellations due to the uncertain nature of the pandemic and international travel at the moment.