HVS Asia Pacific Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 19 June 2020
of at least one metre from others and wearing of masks. Easing of measures include small-group social gatherings and food and beverage dine-in of up to any five persons; students to return to school daily from 29 June; retail businesses may re-open their physical outlets; personal health and wellness, and home-based services may resume; certain recreational facilities may re-open such as swimming complex, stadiums and gym; and larger public venues with high human traffic such as malls and large outlets may open, subjected to capacity limits. Travellers from or have visited Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mainland China, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam in the last 14 consecutive days have to take a compulsory COVID-19 test. However, they may serve their stay home notices ("SHN") at home instead of dedicated facilities from 19 June.
Japan has announced plans to ease its coronavirus travel restrictions by allowing entrance for up to 250 business travellers daily from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam. The government is also considering setting up stations to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on travellers arriving and departing Japan. They will be required to submit itineraries detailing the hotels they are staying at and places they intend to visit. Business travellers such as executives will be given priority, with students and then tourists set to follow. Details such as how many travellers from each country will be allowed, and how freely they will be able to move once at their destination, are currently in the planning stage. Depending on the situation, the government will expand the list later to other countries.
The Philippines government has announced an initiative to grant tax incentives to various tourism enterprises that renovates, modernise or upgrade their facilities for health and safety protocols. This will include renovation of guestrooms, food and beverage outlets, meeting space, recreation areas, other common areas; investment in new laundry, kitchen, housekeeping, employee facilities and other back of house facilities; building of full, partial or movable partitions; installation of built-in thermal scanners, hygiene gates; upgrade of ventilation, air conditioning, air filtration systems, water systems, water treatment facilities; mobile check-in system; no contact door lock systems and control panels in elevators and other areas. The tax incentives include a three-year income tax holiday and duty-free importation of capital equipment. Eligible tourism enterprises include hotels and resorts, meeting, incentives, conference and exhibitions facilities and tourist transport companies.
Thailand's cabinet has approved in principle three stimulus packages worth THB22.4 billion (USD720 million) as proposed by the Tourism and Sports Ministry which will run from July to October in order to drive domestic tourism. The first package of THB2.4 billion (USD77 million) will fund the holiday travel of frontline medical personnel through the use of tour agencies. The subsidy is limited to THB2,000 per person and is expected to help 13,000 tour agencies. The second package of THB18 billion (USD579 million) is to subsidise accommodation, food, and other services provided at tourist destinations outside of tourists' home province. The government will subsidise five million nights of hotel accommodation at 40% of the standard room rates or up to THB3,000 per nights and 40% of other trip-related expenses or up to THB600 per day. The third package of THB2 billion (USD64 million)
is to subsidise domestic flight fares, inter-provincial bus fares, and car rental fees for a total of 2 million people, subsidising 40% of their expenses or up to THB1,000 per tourist. The funding will come from the Finance Ministry's THB400 billion (USD12.9 billion) COVID-19 economic recovery budget.
As part of its calibrated exit from the lockdown, India has permitted hotels, restaurants, malls and other public places including places of worship to reopen in most parts of the country from 8 June after being shut for over two months. The state governments have been given the full authority to issue their own independent guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures for the reopening. Some common measures include physical distancing, wearing of masks, limiting the capacity of shoppers in the malls, contactless shopping, and hourly disinfection of common areas. Domestic flights in the country had resumed operations on 25 May.
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