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Koh Lan to get “neo” branding to attract tourists

Jack Burton

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Koh Lan to get “neo” branding to attract tourists | Thaiger
PHOTO: YouTube

The popular resort island of Koh Lan, about 8 kilometres off the Pattaya coast in the Gulf of Thailand, will become “Neo Koh Lan”, as Pattaya is being upgraded as a tourism and investment hub under the Thai government’s poster economic project, the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme. Pattaya’s mayor says the island, along with Koh Sichang (north of Koh Lan) in Chon Buri and Koh Samet in Rayong, will be promoted as destinations for “quality tourism” under the Neo Koh Lan plan.

“Neo Koh Lan plan will be modelled on the Neo Pattaya plan, which focuses on 5 key areas… the economy, social development, culture, tourism and management of environment and natural resources.”

“Even though Koh Lan is part of Pattaya City, it has the potential to be developed. It welcomes up to 7 million tourists each year and generates large amounts of income for the country. We are pushing it as part of the EEC’s tourism development plan.”

The mayor was speaking during a visit to Koh Lan to inspect its infrastructure, facilities, environmental management and the livelihoods of the locals. He also gathered opinions about the Neo Koh Lan plan.

He says that to prepare the island for development, its main pier, which serves both cargo and passenger ships, will be redesigned and upgraded, with a budget of 2 million baht.

He also says the city has been working to improve the island’s fresh water management to alleviate water shortages, and upgrade its wastewater treatment system.

Commenting about the island’s chronic waste problem, the mayor says garbage management will be tackled in earnest now that the Interior Ministry has approved construction of 2 incinerator facilities, with a combined capacity to dispose of 60 tonnes of waste per day.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Vincent Vermeulen

    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    And who’s going to pay for all your wonderful plans??? Investment hub ???
    I know lots foreigners who invest a lot in Thailand and get shit from the government here. Only thing we get is a one way ticket out with comments that it’s time to clear out the country. Gfy

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    Oh that’s me out then because I am not a quality tourist, or does quality tourist mean in Thai speak, as a tourist that will pay a B170 for a small beer.
    And pay a B1500 for a plate of squid.
    If so, I am not a quality tourist.

  3. Avatar

    gosport

    Sunday, July 12, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    It is the time to travel to inner cities. Islands are out of reach in terms of anything.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Economy

2 emergency decrees provide businesses financial help

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2 emergency decrees provide businesses financial help | Thaiger
PHOTO: 2 Decrees aim for financial relief for struggling businesses

Thailand enacted 2 new emergency decrees today aimed at providing assistance to businesses and reducing default interest rates to help people affected by Covid-19. A deputy government spokeswoman confirmed the needed action was critical to protect and aid entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises during the time of pandemic-driven economic crisis.

The goal was to combat unfair interest rates on debt many are suffering, and to provide loans to help keep businesses afloat as the end of the Coronavirus is nowhere in sight.

The Emergency Decree on the Provision of Financial Assistance for Entrepreneurs Affected By the Covid-19 Pandemic allocates 250 billion baht in loans for businesses to recover from the devastating economic effects of the global pandemic. 100 billion baht of this is specifically set aside for those businesses in debt to participate in asset warehousing or debt repurchasing plans.

Asset warehousing allows businesses, like hotels, to essentially store their property in the care of a creditor for a fee until the economy recovers enough to take over the property again and start making money with it again. Debt repurchasing is a process for a business to buy back its own debt with better terms or a lower rate with the purchase price considered a payment to the principal debt not the interest, similar to refinancing a home.

The second of the emergency decrees, an amendment to the Civil and Commercial Code, looks to close loopholes caused by ambiguity in the law that allowed predatory creditors to charge unreasonable interest rates.

If someone missed a loan payment, the original law did not set a default rate, so lenders could charge additional interest. Debtors can now base default rate calculations on the unpaid principal in the updated law. The new decree sets a 3% yearly interest rate and lowers the default rate to 5% a year from the originally 7.5%. The Finance Ministry declared interest rates would be revised every 3 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Pattaya

Unemployed elephants walk 500 kilometres from Pattaya to Surin

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Unemployed elephants walk 500 kilometres from Pattaya to Surin | Thaiger
PHOTO: Elephants walking down the road because their car is in the shop.

A group of 5 elephants and their owners began the long walk today from Pattaya to Surin after giving up on the return of tourism anytime soon. The 500 kilometre journey has to be done on foot as they couldn’t afford to hire trucks large enough to carry each elephant.

After waiting a year for the Chinese tourists that make up a majority of their customer base to return, the families decided to embark on the long journey with the 5 elephants to their home in the northeastern province of Surin. As they walk they’re protected on both sides by pickup trucks to keep them safe from cars.

5 years ago Napalai Mai-ngam came with her relatives to work in an elephant resort in Tambon Lam Huay Yai of Bang Lamung near Pattaya with their 5 elephants. They told the Bangkok Post that their earned a good living, about 75,000 baht (15,000 per elephant) plus tips from the tourists to ride elephants on nature trails, each month.

But with the borders closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic the tourists from China who usually flocked to elephant activities, were stuck back in China and Napalai’s boss had to cut their pay. Even with vaccinations finally underway, tourists in numbers, enough to sustain activities like elephant camps, may not be back anytime soon. The families finally had to surrender to the reality and start the long walk home.

They avoid the blistering Thai sun by walking early mornings while the weather was still cool, and hope the roadways out of Pattaya would provide snacking opportunities for the elephants to graze. They expect the journey to take about 2 weeks. The families have turned down offers of cash donations for fear that their long walk will be viewed as a publicity stunt.

That said, the families have expressed gratitude to the locals in towns they pass who have donated drinking water, food and fruit to the entourage of people and elephants. If you would like to donate resources you can contact them on phone number 093 335 7062.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Economy

Southern Thai people turn from tourism to gold panning

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Southern Thai people turn from tourism to gold panning | Thaiger
PHOTO: Traditional panning for gold replaces tourism for income in Southern Thailand

Thars gold in dem hills!

With tourism in Thailand struggling due to Covid-19, and an economy needing some help, some people in the southern Thai region of the country have found income in an unusual source: panning for gold. The Sukhirin region close to the Malaysian border is known for gold deposits in the Sai Buri River and surrounding mountains. Villagers who made money before with tourism have now returned to panning for gold using old-fashioned manual techniques their ancestors used, without the aid of any machinery. Well, just an old pan.

Locals had previously made money selling food to passing tourists or acting as a tour guide to take people around the area, where travellers seeking to get away from the crowded and overdeveloped tourist areas that attract the most foreigners find many unique activities. Kayaking was a popular local activity with up to 150 people a day sailing down the rivers that are now filled with locals panning for gold. The prospectors are now making their income from the gold they collect which sells for 1,500 baht per gram. Families that work together can often collect at least one gram a day.

Thai Gold prices have reached record highs over the last 2 years and many Thai people have traditionally used gold and gold jewellery as a form of savings and investment, pawning their gold rings and bracelets in times of financial emergencies. The gold collected from these Southern villages will be used to make jewellery in Bangkok.

The region had invested in expanding into ecotourism but the pandemic put all their construction plans on hold. A cable car was being built to transport people up to the tops of the mountains to beautiful temples. The area’s unique history attracted people to their annual Rocket Festival, typically a north-eastern celebration.

In 1932, France was granted a 25 year mining contract in the jungles. They extracted almost 2000 kg of gold before World War II forced closure. The mining tunnels still exist and sometimes attracted adventurous tourists, but now sit vacant aside from snakes. In the 1960s the Thai government incentivised northerners with 18 rai of land each to move to the region. As a result, the area stands out in the Muslim region with 90% of the population being Buddhist, and most still speaking Isan dialects.

SOURCE: France 24

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