Virtual tours

The 3D virtual tour inside a prayer hall of Wat Mahathat in Nakhon Si Thammarat. (The Tourism Authority of Thailand)

Aiming to promote tourism during the Covid-19 outbreak, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched 3D virtual tours for 13 attractions in nine provinces.

The 3D technology is owned by the California-based company Matterport; as a result, each link contains the company's name. Unfortunately, there is no single access point that groups every virtual tour into one link. When clicking on each link, it will lead you directly to the destination.

At the bottom left, you will see icons for viewing the floorplan and using measurements. At the bottom right, a virtual reality icon is displayed. When you visit each place on your screen, you will have a 360-degree view and can walk around by using your cursor. Unfortunately, only some places have information about its historical background or details of the displayed items.

The 3D virtual tour may give you a picture about the place, which may encourage you to visit some of them in the future. The attractions are categorised by regions as follows:

The North

* Wat Sri Chum in Sukhothai (my.matterport.com/show/?m=ruEmMGCJm4F)
* Wat Nantaram in Phayao (my.matterport.com/show/?m=jDKip5q2De5)
* Khum Chao Luang in Phrae (my.matterport.com/show/?m=8EAcEFrHGnK)

The Northeast

* Phimai Historical Park in Nakhon Ratchasima (my.matterport.com/show/?m=V44VuGQKkpi)

The Central region

* Wat Bang Kung in Samut Songkhram (my.matterport.com/show/?m=UQFG5gdnchr)
* King Narai's Palace in Lop Buri (my.matterport.com/show/?m=m55sbctmG5A)
* Somdet Phra Narai National Museum, which consists of two links: my.matterport.com/show/?m=RctaFCRs9SQ and my.matterport.com/show/?m=S29EzkBGR73 for the two exhibition halls.

The East

* Prasat Sdok Kok Thom in Sa Kaeo (my.matterport.com/show/?m=317LDPNkbeP)
* Aow Khung Kraben in Chanthaburi, which comprises two sites: my.matterport.com/show/?m=1wz5skawDQU and my.matterport.com/show/?m=YcBUfyy5oFS for different zones of mangrove trails.

The South

* Residence of Phatthalung's ruler in Phatthalung (my.matterport.com/show/?m=81eMh2nMA3p)
* Ban Than Khun in Nakhon Si Thammarat (my.matterport.com/show/?m=JieH2gXeFU3)
* Ban Nang Talung or the puppet shadow house in Nakhon Si Thammarat (my.matterport.com/show/?m=tMwFoApoP3G)
* Wat Mahathat in Nakhon Si Thammarat (my.matterport.com/show/?m=nsqFQXikdVe).

To make sure you can visit the places virtually, you need to have a web browser that supports Web Graphics Library, a JavaScript API for rendering high-performance interactive 3D graphics, or visit the support service of Matterport at bit.ly/3eNfXVN.

Tourism decline predicted

The number of international visitors in the Asia Pacific region this year will reduce to fewer than 500 million, taking the volume of arrivals back to the level last seen in 2012, according to the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

Due to Covid-19, the visitor numbers may reduce by 32% year-on-year. The impacts are expected to be most severe in Northeast Asia, which is now predicted to lose 50.8% of its visitor volume between 2019 and 2020. South Asia will follow with a reduction of 30.9% in visitor arrivals, Southeast Asia (21.8%), the Pacific (17.7%) and West Asia (5.9%)

Northeast Asia is predicted to lose more than US$123 billion (4 billion baht; 47.6%) under this most likely scenario, followed by South Asia (a $13.3 billion loss, or 33.3%), Southeast Asia ($34.6 billion, or 20%) and the Pacific ($18 billion, or 17.6%).

At this stage, growth is expected to resume in 2021.

Visit pata.org.

AIRLINES UPDATE

- Bangkok Airways will resume its service on May 15, postponing from May 1. It will start with two daily flights between Bangkok and Samui before expanding the service to other destinations in June. The tentative routes are from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Krabi, Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Pattaya, Phuket, Samui, Sukhothai and Trat.

For international flights, the service is expected to start around the end of October. Visit bangkokair.com.

- Nok Air resumes its domestic flights. The airline flies from Bangkok to Buri Ram, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Khon Kaen, Lampang, Mae Sot, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phitsanulok, Phuket, Sakon Nakhon, Surat Thani, Trang, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani.

The international flights will be operated in June, starting with flights from Bangkok to Hiroshima, Osaka and Sapporo while the flights between Bangkok and Narita will start in July. Visit nokair.com.

- Thai AirAsia will also resume its domestic flights on May 1. It will fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Hat Yai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Roi Et, Surat Thani, Trang, Ubon Ratchathani and Udon Thani. It will also offer flights from Chiang Mai to Hat Yai. Visit airasia.com.

- Thai Lion Air will also start some of its domestic flights on May 1. It will fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen and Ubon Ratchathani. Visit lionairthai.com.

Thai Smile Airways will resume its domestic flights in June. Visit thaismileair.com.

- Thai VietJet will operate domestic flights starting on May 1 from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Krabi, Phuket and Udon Thani. Visit vietjetair.com.


Email karnjanak@bangkokpost.co.th if you have any commetns to share.