Some hotels are deceiving visitors from overseas, taking room reservations but omitting transport from the airport and Covid-testing, which means they must buy a new package on arrival or be rejected.
Apisamai Srirangson, a spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Monday that some hotels misled visitors and booked them only for the room.
The charge did not include a limousine service from the airport to the hotel or the RT-PCR Covid-19 test on arrival, even though both were required as conditions of entry on a Thailand Pass.
However, the hotels gave misleading details, which were used by the applicant for QR approval for a Thailand Pass via the foreign ministry’s web portal.
On arrival they then had to buy a new package or be denied entry.
Some hotels did not give refunds to visitors who then cancelled their room reservation and bought a package elsewhere, Dr Apisamai said.
Thailand Pass replaced the certificate of entry (CoE) on Nov 1 when the kingdom reopened to visitors. It requires visitors to have been fully vaccinated, have a clean RT-PCR test within 72 hours before boarding their flight and have US$50,000 health insurance.
Visitors from 61 countries and two territories in the “Test and Go” programme must have a limousine service from the airport directly to their hotel without a stopover, and at their hotel must be tested for Covid-19 right away by staff from specified hospitals, Dr Apisamai said.
“Some visitors booked hotel rooms via websites and did not buy limousine service, RT-PCR Covid-19 testing and antigen test kits,” she said.
Officials had informed hotel booking websites in advance of the conditions, and told them that air travellers who did not buy a limousine service and Covid-19 testing would be denied entry of a Thailand Pass, she said.
“Some hotels had the packages that included limousine and Covid-19 testing, but also allowed visitors to reserve only rooms and seek RT-PCR testing themselves. This shows that such hotels intentionally deceived visitors.
“Visitors who were unaware of the requirement and bought incomplete packages, and later had to cancel their reservation and in some cases did not receive a refund,” Dr Apisamai said.
Travellers apply for Thailand Pass by the ministry’s web portal, providing documentation, and receive a QR Entry Code or Thailand Pass ID by email, which is then used upon entering Thailand.