Thailand tourism ministry to help tourists, tour operators affected by COVID-19

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BANGKOK – The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has called a meeting with tour business operators and airlines to find measures to help travelers, as some service providers have denied a full refund on air tickets or have provided only a partial refund in the face of the COVID-19 situation.



Thai Airways International has agreed to allow airline passengers to postpone flights until the end of September without additional cost. No further postponement can be allowed beyond December 15, 2020. Nok Air has agreed to waive the fee for passengers en route to Japan while tour group passengers may keep air tickets for use no later than a year from now.

The Department of Tourism will review regulations for the protection of tourists and reduction in damage to all tourism-related sectors as well as provide compensation payments to affected tour business operators. Tourists who may wish to cancel air travel can claim refunds from the operators. In instances of cancellation 30 days ahead of scheduled flights, the refund will be in full; in cases of cancellation 15-29 days ahead of scheduled flights, the refund will be only half the cost, and in cases of cancellation less than 15 days ahead of a scheduled flight, no refund will be provided.

Fees borne by tour business operators such as a visa fee or air ticket booking fee, can be deducted from the refund paid

to the air passenger.

The Department of Tourism plans to open a center in coordination with the Tourist Police and the Tourism Council of Thailand, to publicize information for tourists regarding such refunds, and to settle disputes between tourists and tour business operators or airlines.

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