Travel plans up in the air with COVID? Postpone and still get those Thai hotel rebates

Chiang Mai’s Doi Inthanon Park in a file photo. Photo: Fedejve / Flickr
Chiang Mai’s Doi Inthanon Park in a file photo. Photo: Fedejve / Flickr

Travelers who signed up for domestic travel rebates may still be able to get them for up to a year if they postpone plans due to the recent outbreak.

Though hotels booked under the subsidy program cannot be canceled outright, the Thai Hotels Association said travelers who already paid for their stays should be able to postpone their trips six to 12 months due to the re-emergence of COVID-19, which has now reached at least 30 provinces and the capital, tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said yesterday.

Hotels association president Marisa Sukosol said she would encourage the roughly 1,000 hotels in the network to allow guests to reschedule or offer rewards if they are forced to cancel. She said they would discourage hotels from just seizing money from those canceling their trips.

Cautious optimism as Thailand’s COVID-19 outbreak appears to level off

Health officials have gone further by asking participating hotels to refund accommodations in locked-down areas or for travelers coming from affected areas, which for now is only outbreak ground zero – Samut Sakhon province.

Those who want to postpone travel have to file a request through whatever channel they made their bookings, such as Agoda, which will then contact the hotels on their behalf. 

The tourism minister said they are planning to extend the program once again past April to end in September or even December 2021. He said one million more hotel nights will be added as soon as New Year.

The program was temporarily suspended earlier this month due to fraud. It has since filed reports of suspected hotels and tour agents to royal Thai police and delayed on adding more hotel nights from Dec.16 to an unspecified date.


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