New surge in Covid-19 cases slow hotel bookings for ASQ

New surge in Covid-19 cases slow hotel bookings for ASQ

Officials and workers clean the Central Shrimp Market, a source of the new coronavirus outbreak, in Muang district of Samut Sakhon province on Tuesday. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Officials and workers clean the Central Shrimp Market, a source of the new coronavirus outbreak, in Muang district of Samut Sakhon province on Tuesday. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

New local transmissions from Samut Sakhon province, the epicentre of the current Covid-19 outbreak, have slowed alternative state quarantine (ASQ) bookings as foreigners waver on whether to wait until the situation is resolved.

"After the new surge, hotel bookings for ASQ facilities dropped, but the situation is not serious," said Teeranat Phaoharuhan, vice-president of the ASQ-ALQ Club Thailand.

He said foreign tourists voiced concerns over the situation in Thailand, especially if the country undergoes another lockdown and tourists cannot travel to other provinces during their stays.

Hoteliers are urging the government not to impose such an order, rather implementing a partial lockdown in provinces or areas that need a high level of control.

Mr Teeranat said the government should make a clear announcement on management to prop up tourism confidence. Returning Thais and international arrivals having special purposes will remain the main targets for ASQ operators, as leisure tourists stay away.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced a "Covid control zone" to give people a clearer picture of how to plan a hometown visit during the New Year, said Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

He said tourism sentiment needs to be beefed up for upcoming festivals such as Chinese New Year in February and Songkran in April.

Mr Yuthasak said the previous lockdown kept people at home, but should not this time around. Any measures should be decisive and have a clear time frame to control the outbreak.

He said if the country can bring back international tourists by the third quarter next year, the goal of more than 10 million foreign arrivals is still within sight.

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