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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawWhen Will Bangkok and Pattaya Be "Sandboxes"?

When Will Bangkok and Pattaya Be "Sandboxes"?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are asking the question, "When will Bangkok or Pattaya get Sandbox status?" I thought they had it before but the vagueness with all of this and the shifting sands, makes it difficult to ascertain where anything sits at any given time these days. 

A recent article from the Bangkok Post,, the article is titled: Bangkok, Pattaya Eye Sandbox Deal. Quoting directly: "Tourism operators in Pattaya and Bangkok have expressed concerns about unequal opportunities to welcome tourists because they are not in a sandbox scheme as the Test and Go programme is suspended indefinitely."  We have done other videos on this Test and Go. Boy, things were looking really up at the end of December, middle of December and then that was suspended. We have now gotten further word that it is effectively suspended into the foreseeable future although I would make a note that we may see something similar sort of renamed pop up down the road. We have seen multiple programs that are effectively very, very similar, effectively the same thing; one will fall away and another one will pop up and it has a new name, so maybe we will see something like that or maybe I am being overly optimistic. Quoting further: "These operators have a negative business outlook and expect more job losses." Well yeah, I mean Bangkok and Pattaya have been cut off. People can't get in here and people aren't going to want to do a quarantine. For the most part most folks don't want to go through this quarantine scheme and then it is leading to a situation well anybody that is coming in, we are seeing a lot of folks rerouting through Phuket so they can avoid going through quarantine, or going through traditional quarantine if you want to call it that but the upshot is Bangkok and Pattaya are economically neglected, heavily. Quoting further: "Thanet Suphornsahasrungsi, acting President of the Chon Buri Tourism Council, said the tourism sector in popular areas such as Pattaya and Bangkok has to brace for further slowdown without inclusion in the sandbox scheme." Yeah, I think he is absolutely right. 

They go on in this article to talk about how may be a change needs to be made on this. I really think, again one man's opinion but I think it is time to really rethink this whole thing just from the ground up. If we were dealing with what we are dealing with now back in March of 2020, if we knew all the data and we knew what this thing was now where it has even been described as similar to a cold or a flu, would we be doing all of this? Would we be closing down, literally eviscerating our economies? I mean I have quoted in other videos from the Bangkok Post that the estimate GDP 2018 from tourism was an estimated 20% of GDP. That went down to 1.67% if I recall; we were rounding up in that video so called it 2%. It went from 20 to 2% between 2020 and 2021. I can't imagine numbers are going to change that much here in 2022 if we don't see a radical change. Meanwhile what is the threat? It is my understanding, yes this thing is much more transmissible, it's more virulent but it is not more lethal and in fact it is substantially less lethal. I don't want to get into all that. It is sort of beyond the bailiwick of this channel but it does beg the question is this the right thing to be doing or more pertinent to this particular video, should we seriously be looking at giving Pattaya and Bangkok "sandbox" status so that some tourists can get in here without having to go through prolonged quarantine and thereby effectively precluding them from coming, maybe preclude is the wrong word but it is essentially dissuading people, it is discouraging people from coming to either of these locations and it is having a substantial negative impact on both these locations. At what point does this end? That is the question I would raise.