TTAA Meeting ‘Thai to the World Tourism Dialogue’
Meeting minutes from NTO and Embassy meeting
‘Thai to the World Tourism Dialogue’
TTAA president – Mr. Suthiphong Pheunphiphop welcomed the participants from NTOs and embassies and introduced the committees presented during the meeting with the MC – Ms. Rotjanakorn Klawkasetkorn run the meeting by engaging the participants for the updates on the current Covid-19 concerned situation, upcoming plans, and procedures for inbound tourism from each participant’s country, both presented in the TTAA meeting room, and in the Zoom meeting.
- Macao Government Tourism Office (by Ms. Benjawan Saengkaset, Senior Trade Executive, and Ms. Wannaporn Sittidej, Senior Marketing)
- COVID-19 case: 55 imported infections; 0 deaths. No local transmission case more than 400 days.
- Vaccination: More than 35% of the residents have the 1st jab vaccinated already. 3 vaccines available in Macao: Sinopharm, BioNTech, and AstraZeneca. Phase 1: Frontline workers, high risk people visiting the country with high pandemic condition, and 6,000 casino staff; 1st jab on June, ad 2nd jab should be done by the end of August; Phase 2: Macao residents; Phase 3: non-Macao resident workers, ID holders, and other non-residents with authorization to stay in Macao.
- Travel restrictions: EU lifted travel restrictions for travelers from Macao.
- Airlines: 2 with direct flights: Air Macao suspended flights until the end of August; Air Asia expected to resume flight on the 1st of August. Flight schedules will be reduced.
- Traveler measure: Still no travelers allowed; Travel bubble with Hong Kong (only with no new cases for 14 consecutive days.
- Health quarantine requirements: residents from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan can enter Macao; if visiting from Guangdong, travelers must show the negative COVID-19 test result (validity of 48 hours.)
- 2021 events: Art Macao (Jul. to Oct.,) Food Festival (Nov.,) and Macao Grand Prix (Nov.)
- Tourism Malaysia (by Ms. Mazreena Mohd Yusof, and Ms. Paveena Pattanasitthiseri)
- COVID-19 case: Still considered as phase 1 with 6,000 cases a day; hope that the situation will get better with 4,000 cases a day, the government can pass to phase 2.
- Travel restrictions: Even domestic traveling is still not allowed in Malaysia.
- Traveler measure: Business travelers allowed with visa (work permit;) no mass tourism allowed.
- Health quarantine requirements: travelers from Pakistan and India need 21D quarantine, the rest 14D.
III. Embassy of The Republic of Indonesia (by Mrs. Nur Rokhmah Hidayah, Minister Counselor)
- COVID-19 case: 25,000 up to 30,000 cases a day; the government started new regulation today (6th) for foreigners arriving in Indonesia.
- Travel restrictions: Emergency public activities implemented restrictions: not easy even domestic traveling; Bali was targeted to open by the end of July or the beginning of August but with current situation, it must be rescheduled until further notice. Hope to study from the outcome of Phuket Sandbox.
- Traveler measure: Fully vaccinated foreigners travelers allowed with resident or work permits in Indonesia; Diplomatic and service passports, working under the government national strategic projects.
- Health quarantine requirements: 8D quarantine in the facilities assigned by the government; 2 PCR tests required: first when arriving, and the second one on the 7th day.
- Hong Kong Tourism Board (by Mr. Pote Skuntalak, Manager – Thailand/Trade Representative)
- COVID-19 case: less than 20 cases a week; all imported cases.
- Health quarantine requirements: 21D quarantine.
- Embassy of Ukraine (by Mr. Pavlo Orel, Charge’d Affaires)
- Before the pandemic in 2019, 40 million travelers visited Thailand, 100,000 from Ukraine. While several hundreds of Thai people visited Ukraine annually. Pavlo, then presented ‘Why Ukraine?’ should become the popular tourist destination (as per the attached document no. 1.)
- COVID-19 case: sharp drop of the daily cases and lifted many domestic restrictions already. As of the 5th of July, only 244 new cases a day with 419 recoveries.
- Traveler measure: Very simple; a tourist must have health insurance OR present a negative PCR test result of COVID-19 (validity of 72 hours) OR a document confirming of fully vaccination against COVID-19 (which vaccines approved by WHO) OR a rapid test of a SARS-CoV-2 antigen (validity of 72 hours.)
- Embassy of Sri Lanka (by Ms. Chaminda Colonne, Ambassador)
- Before the pandemic in 2019, Thai and Sri Lanka’s correlations are dated back to many centuries based on the Buddhist culture values. Thai visitors are visiting Sri Lanka for pilgrim purposes. The embassy’s primary goal is to increase the no. of Thai tourists to Sri Lanka. Madam ambassador introduced all the participants from Sri Lanka: Ms. Madubhani Perera, Acting Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB,) and Mr. Dushan Wickramasuriya, Director – Marketing (SLTPB;) Mr. Thilak Weerasinghe, President of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO,) Mr. Mahen Kariyawasam, Immediate Past President (SLAITO,) and Mr. Nalin Jayasundera, Hony, Secretary (SLAITO;) Mr. Sanjeewa Ediriwickramasuriya, Vice President of the Thai-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Sri Lankan Association in Thailand.
- Presentation on Sri Lanka, and updated COVID-19 situation by SLTPB (as per the attached document no. 2:)
- COVID-19 case: with the HELLO AGAIN website (www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/) they launched to update all tourism stakeholders about Sri Lankan health protocols and guidelines. Active cases remain 28,231.
- Vaccination: 4% of the population were vaccinated and increased day by day. The government planned to vaccinate the people in capital of Columbo, and the western province by the end of July.
- Traveler measure: Open for international tourism since 21st of Jan. 2021, but now there is a temporary lockdown which is expected to be removed within the next few days. All tourists are required to apply and obtain online tourist visas, and COVID-19 covered health insurance. Tourists can only stay at ‘Safe and Secure’ certified hotels. Tourists must carry a negative PCR test result of COVID-19 prior to arrival, do another PCR test on arrival, and the other one within 7 to 10 days (USD 40.)
- Travel restrictions: Tourists can visit tourist attractions in a bio bubble environment. However, if the tourists have full dose of vaccinations, they can go into the communities as the locals do. Public transport is not encouraged to be used by tourists. Everything is constantly changing, so tourists can keep updating via Hello Again website.
- Thilak Weerasinghe, President of SLAITO encouraged the tourism re-opening even in a bubble travel situation and mentioned his great pleasure together with his two colleagues presenting today too.
VII. South African Embassy (by Ms. Neliswa Nkani, South Africa Tourism)
- COVID-19 case: Active cases as of yesterday was 185,417 from total of 2 million with recovery rate of 88.1% (1,827,821.) Out of the 9 provinces, there are 2 landlocked countries: Lesotho, and Swaziland. Up until a month ago, the COVID-19 situation in South Africa was in Level 1, but then shifted to Level 3, and as of 2 weeks ago it was moved to Level 4. Yet, they are open, not banning international travel, from Jan. to Apr, South Africa received over half a million tourists (mainly from Africa, Europe, and Asia.)
- Vaccination: Total vaccinated: 3,459,660. Currently using Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.
- Travel restrictions: With the massive surge of new infections, South Africa was placed on Alert Level 4 from 28th of June: Inter-provincial travel: In and out of Gauteng (the largest no. of infection province,) is permitted only for work, goods transportation, funerals, or returning home; however, traveling between other provinces is allowed; Gatherings: all gatherings of any size are prohibited. Restaurants may only serve food for take-away, or delivery. Outside of work, people must meet only with family members; Closure of Schools: closing 1 week early for winter break; Keeping the economy moving: Working from home, and rotate people in only 50 people in the office at any given time, funerals too at a maximum of 50 people; Curfew: stay indoors from 9 pm to 4 am; No alcohol is able to be sold; and Mandatory mask wearing.
- Tourism: Back in Mar. 2020, the first case in South Africa, all the marketing budgets were returned to head office, those funding was given to Small/Medium enterprises (particularly previously disadvantaged people) in the tourism business (each of them got about 50,000 rands.) Then, they went to the UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund,) so people can get some income. The most impacted ones are tour guides, DMCs, and hotels. They spent the last whole year to make sure that the brand South Africa is breathing, not losing sight of who they are, with all the updated workshops with those in SE Asia, engaging with the Singapore Airlines, recovery plan to reengage and reignite country, and finalizing the charter to/from India. Lack of engagement will lose all the hopes in this industry.
VIII. Korea Tourism Organization (by Ms. Arinchaya Lertwatthanachai, Marketing Manager)
- COVID-19 case: daily cases are around 700 to 800 but compared to last year, the no. is getting higher. The government put more restrictions such as banning the gathering of 5 or more in public area.
- Vaccination: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. 30% got the first vaccine with the plan to up to 70% by the end of October.
- Traveler measure: Tourists were not allowed in Korea as everyone needed to apply visa with quarantine in Korea. But at the end of June, Korea signed travel bubble with Saipan; therefore, by the end of July or August, those with fully vaccination (between these two countries) can travel in a packaged tour without quarantine. Travel bubble with Singapore, and Thailand are still with the government’s consideration. It depends on the no. of daily cases too, so they will keep updating.
- Embassy of Nepal (Mr. Lekh Nath Gautam, Deputy Chief of Mission)
- COVID-19 case: The no. of cases has been dropped gradually 2,622 (3.9% out of the total cases) while recovery rate at almost 95%, and death rate below 2%. The pandemic had subsided in the recent days, the government decided to gradually reopen the country for foreigners.
- Traveler measure: a tourist must present a negative PCR test result of COVID-19 (validity of 72 hours,) must register online before traveling to Nepal, and 7D quarantine. Visas can be from the embassy, and on arrival.
- Traveler restrictions: 2 air routes are available now. But all suspended visa services have been resumed at the Department of Immigration at Kathmandu already.
- Vaccination: Over 3 million people have been vaccinated so far. And the 2nd phase of vaccination started today.
- Tourism: The government is preparing to operate Gautam Buddha Airport near Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
- Singapore Tourism Board (Mr. Pasit Tinthanom, Manager Thailand for Singapore Tourism Board, and Mr. Joe Choo, Director Thailand for Singapore Tourism Board)
- COVID-19 case: the no. of cases is down to single digit, today with 6 cases only.
- Vaccination: 65% of the population have been vaccinated for the 1st dose, and 38% for the 2nd/complete doses. The plan is to be fully vaccinated until they got herd immunity by September.
- Traveler restrictions: Only few countries can travel to Singapore (Brunei, Mainland China, and New Zealand.)
- Tourism: Singapore government learned to live with COVID-19 with these strategies: increased testing of the population, increase tracing, and increase vaccination, to gradually our border.
- Philippines Department of Tourism in Thailand (by Ms. Suthida Himinkool, representative)
- COVID-19 case: up to 5,000 to 6,000 new cases a day, with 5 variants of COVID-19. Therefore, the president issued the proclamation of the State of Calamity until 21st of September.
- Vaccination: Out of 100 million population, almost 12 million were vaccinated; 1st dose 9 million, and 2nd dose 3 million. 3 priority phases: Priority 1: Front liners, Heath Facilities workers, senior citizens, people with comorbidities (such as diabetes, or cardiovascular diseases;) Priority 2: teachers, social workers, government workers, and overseas Filipino workers; Priority 3: the rest of the Philippines.
- Traveler restrictions: Now not open for tourism, consequently all international flights to/from are allowed only for essential purposes. 7 countries not allowed to travel to the Philippines until 15th of July, to prevent the Delta variant (1st detected in India:) India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. However, there are eligible arrivals: Filipinos and relatives; foreign nationals will have valid certificates or an eligible visa.
- Health quarantine requirements: for eligible arrivals must take the PCR test upon arrival, followed by 14D quarantine, which on the 7th day of the quarantine, they will be tested again. The first 10 days they will be observed at quarantine facilities, while the remaining 4 days, at home quarantine. Children and infants are not exempted from quarantine or any testing requirement.
- Summary of the meeting via video conference on 28th of June by the Inter-Agency Task Force: (as per the attached document no. 3) the Inter-Agency Task Force or IATF had approved the recommendation on the implementation of Phase ‘Green Lanes’ for fully vaccinated individuals, effective from 1st of July, for all inbound international traveling to any port in the Philippines of all the individuals fully vaccinated in either the Philippines or abroad, can arrive with the exempt of the PCR test upon arrival, for those who have been fully vaccinated and in green countries, will spend only 7D quarantine.
- Green countries: low risk countries/jurisdictions based on incidence rate (listed 57 countries) among us today are Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and most countries from the South Africa. Fully vaccinated individuals: more than or equal to 2 weeks after their 2nd dose of the 2-dose series vaccine, or more than or equal to 2 weeks after their 1st dose of the single dose series vaccine. The approved vaccines: included in the WHO list (most of the vaccines we are well known of.) Proof of the vaccination status: vaccinated in the Philippines, to carry the vaccination card; those vaccinated outside the Philippines, to present their international certificate of vaccination, these documents must be presented to the representative for re-verification at the Department of Transportation OSS (One Stop Shop) upon arrival; 7D quarantine: PCR test upon arrival, and on the 5th day, with negative result, they will stay until complete their 7D quarantine, but if positive, they will follow the isolation protocol. Quarantine Certificate: upon completing the 7D quarantine, the Bureau of Quarantine will issue the quarantine certificate also indicating those individuals’ vaccination status.
XII. Thailand situation (by Mr. Chaiyaporn, Registrar of TTAA)
- TTAA considered to be the leading association of outbound tourism, and we followed the government policy of reopening the country in 120 days. All tourism associations in Thailand must work together to promote the industry. Now TTAA have started the badge designed ‘We’ve Got VACCINATED Against COVID-19’ to represent the Safety Travel Agent when traveling abroad. On the other hand, the badge in Thai language for domestic traveling in Thailand.
- Thailand is now the leader of reopening the country by the Phuket Sandbox Model. 10 Cities will be re-open in this model.
- TITF 27th Fair on the 7th floor of Icon Siam during 2nd and 5th of September 2021.
XIII. Taiwan Tourism Board cannot participate today.
Q & A Section
|I Can the TITF promoting video be shared in public channel?||Singapore Rep.||Mr. Pasit||The video will be sent to all participants later.|
|II Do TTAA have in plan to create any project for the NTOs and the embassies to make us visible to the local people like CSR, to help promote our own country?||Malaysia Rep.||Ms. Mazreena||TTAA already have the CSR Project called TTAA Foundation for Humanity for 6 years now. And TTAA would be more than happy if any NTOs would like to join this foundation, and any other CSR you would want to start with us. Tomorrow we will run the project to save the people affected by the chemical factory explosion.|
|III Is TITF in September on virtual format as well or only the physical participation?||Sri Lanka Rep.||Ms. Madubhani||Mainly the physical participation but TTAA will share the channels to all the participants who would like to participate virtually later. As opening this fair to the public, TTAA expects the goal of total 200,000 participants. The occupancy of the TITF booths is 90% already.|