Sadly, one year on and the tables have turned with Thailand now in a pickle with citywide concern over the recent increase in cases and slowness of a vaccination program. Confusion in Thailand dominates. When Thailand was basking in being one of the safest countries in the world, Britain was implementing measures and a world-class vaccination program that has paid off. Possibly money, greed, and politics are at play with Thailand’s vaccination rollout, which has delayed a much-needed nationwide program of inoculation. Who wants to travel to a country that has been one of the most popular places to travel and meet, with 40 million visitors a year, when the country is not vaccinated? Those holding a vaccine passport, whatever that will look like, are less likely to choose a country that is way behind in vaccinating its tourism and hospitality front-liners. Oh dear Thailand! One year on, and I now feel safe in the UK and have no desire to return to Bangkok given the current state of concern and cases.
Quoting Reuters, “Travel agencies in Thailand are selling coronavirus ‘vaccine tours’ to the United States, as some wealthy Thais grow impatient awaiting mass inoculations that are still a month away amid the country’s biggest outbreak so far.”
Signing off cautiously in a safer place in Cornwall, while the UK is closely monitoring new strains of the virus and efficacy of the world-leading vaccine program. Thailand, please get your act together, quickly as you’re dragging your feet.
About the Author, David Barrett
David first arrived in Thailand in 1988 having had a successful career in the Lloyds of London insurance market. He took a life-changing journey to Asia before hitting 30, which landed him in Thailand.
He has held positions in the Thai tourism industry as head of Prestige Travel Consultants in the early 90s representing Cunard, Forte Hotels, Reed Travel, and working with the British Tourist Authority. He then headed Siam Express’ international marketing and sales. In 1999, David joined Diethelm Travel Group, conceiving and heading Diethelm Events for 13 years. He then jumped fence and worked for ONYX Hospitality as Executive Director Events for their two flagship Amari properties in Thailand – Amari Watergate and Amari Pattaya. After five years with Amari, David ventured out on his own with DBC Asia, teaming up with hotels to drive their MICE sales. David works with The Slate in Phuket, King Power hotels, HLA Lifestyle Wellness Centre in Yangon and a portfolio of clients in Europe.
David was Board Member and Co-Chair of the Marketing Committee at TICA for many years, headed the North Pattaya Alliance, a founding board member of TIWA (Thai Indian Weddings Association), former member of SITE, and the Phuket Hotels Association.
Barrett is passionate about travel in Thailand and the environment.