UK operator Chic Locations has teamed up with Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) London and Thai Airways International to offer Thailand holidays in conjunction with the special tourist visa.
This promotion is specifically targeted at "time-rich" clients who are prepared for a two-week hotel quarantine in Bangkok, followed by up to six weeks of travel around Thailand.
The first two weeks are spent in an approved Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel, and Chic has selected four partner hotels in Bangkok — The Lancaster and Maitria Hotel Sukhumvit 18 in the city centre, and Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel and Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort by the Chao Phraya River.
Chic's Quarantine Arrangement package includes arrival transfer, three room service meals daily, 24/7 nurse attendance, two temperature checks daily and at least two Covid tests (usually on the fifth and 13th days). All rooms have TV and Wi-Fi, and the hotels selected offer breakout relaxation areas after a negative test result on day five.
Upon completion of the two weeks' quarantine, clients can travel around Thailand, with a maximum stay of 60 nights. Chic has shown a number of holidays including Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, and a full variety of southern beach resorts.
UK departures will be on Thai Airways from London Heathrow every Sunday, commencing from 6 December 2020 and running through end-May 2021.
Clients must obtain the special tourist visa from the Thai embassy in London, with the normal cost of approximately US$250 absorbed by the TAT UK office.
Chic Locations Director David Kevan said, “Obviously the idea might not appeal to everyone given the length of stay but at least it shows that Thailand is open, albeit in a limited way. And I think we might be surprised how many clients want to escape the harsh Northern Europe winters and swop grey lockdown for some sunshine hibernation."
Kevan added there was so much pent-up desire to visit Thailand this winter. “We received numerous calls especially from repeat clients asking if they can travel yet. These are clients who have travelled to the same resort for the last five, six years. They are understanding but you can sense their disappointment.
"Most now have back-up plans with us to either Maldives or Caribbean but their first choice remains Thailand and they are prepared to wait a little longer to see what happens."
Optimistic of the Thai borders reopening fully by April, Kevan expects Thailand's "more escapist places" such as Khao Lak, Koh Samed, Koh Kood, Koh Lanta and Koh Phangan, where travellers can socially distance at ease, to see the most demand.
Meanwhile, TAT has teamed up with Thai Airways International (THAI), Thai Hotels Association (THA) and Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) to roll out the 'Amazing Thailand Plus' offer, a selection of over 400 packages, inclusive of special fares on international and domestic flights, rooms at government-accredited ASQ hotels, and post-quarantine tours or transfers.
Booking of the Amazing Thailand Plus offer must be made through THAI, and foreign travellers still have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, according to TAT.
Now the question is: would there be any takers for the Amazing offer?