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Phuket ranked sixth Best Destination in the World – Trip Advisor | The ThaigerPhuket ranked sixth Best Destination in the World – Trip Advisor | The Thaiger

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Phuket ranked sixth Best Destination in the World – Trip Advisor

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PHOTO: Patong Beach. Phuket was the only Thai destination in the 2019 list of the World’s Best Destinations

Last year’s royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has put the Brexit-obsessed London on top of a list of the World’s Best Destinations in the TripAdvisor’s annual Traveler’s Choice Awards.

London beat its close European counterparts, Paris and Rome in the rankings determined by reviews and ratings over the past 12 months for hotels, restaurants and experiences on the TripAdvisor platform.

Phuket ranked sixth Best Destination in the World - Trip Advisor | News by The Thaiger

They were followed by Crete in Greece, Bali in Indonesia and Phuket in Thailand. American cities all but vanish from the list whilst some of the Asian favourite destinations are making their way up towards the top each year.

2019’s was also the first time New York, a long-time favorite with travellers, slipped out of TripAdvisor’s top 10 to rank only the 13th best-rated destination in the world.

Here are the World’s Best Destinations in the TripAdvisor’s annual Traveler’s Choice Awards…

1. London, UK
2. Paris, France
3. Rome, Italy
4. Crete, Greece
5. Bali, Indonesia
6. Phuket, Thailand
7. Barcelona, Spain
8. Istanbul, Turkey
9. Marrakech, Morocco
10. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
11. Prague, Czech Republic
12. Siem Reap, Cambodia
13. New York City, New York, US
14. Jamaica
15. Hanoi, Vietnam
16. Tokyo, Japan
17. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
18. Lisbon, Portugal
19. Kathmandu, Nepal
20. Jaipur, India
21. Hurghada, Egypt
22. Hong Kong, China
23. Cusco, Peru
24. Sydney, Australia
25. Tel Aviv, Israel

Phuket ranked sixth Best Destination in the World - Trip Advisor | News by The Thaiger

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Economy

Thailand’s economy facing bleakest prediction in Asia

Maya Taylor

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Thailand’s economy facing bleakest prediction in Asia | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Andreas Brücker on Unsplash

“The Bank of Thailand predicts that its gross domestic product will shrink by more than 8% this year.”

While Thailand appears to have been successful in suppressing the Covid-19 virus, a report in The Bangkok Post today says the outlook for the country’s economy is far from favourable, calling it the worst in Asia.

The Bank of Thailand predictions are the bleakest across Asian countries’ economies. Such a drop would be even worse than the one experienced during the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998. Kiatipong Ariyapruchya, a senior economist for Thailand at the World Bank, says much of it can be attributed to the plunge in international tourism since the country shut its borders in the early weeks of the Covid crisis.

“Thailand has large exposure as a tourism hub, close to 15% of GDP, and it also has a large exposure of the export-oriented sector. Hence the large shock to GDP.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg is predicting a contraction of 6% for Thailand’s economy, the worst in south-east Asia, with experts expecting it to have a weak recovery of about 4% in 2021. Measures put in place to suppress the spread of the Covid-19 virus. are being seen as a major factor in the economic downturn. The forced shut down of businesses, introduction of a nighttime curfew and state of emergency have had a devastating knock-down effect at a time when investment and consumption were already on a downward trajectory since last year.

With the exception of a limitation on international flights, most restrictions have now been lifted, along with the government introducing various stimulus packages to boost domestic tourism and the overall economy. However, no amount of domestic travel can make up for the devastating loss to the country’s tourism sector, which accounted for a fifth of the overall economy last year.

With airports still closed to almost all international arrivals, foreign tourism is expected to plummet to one-fifth of last year’s figures, at just 8 million. The Thai government is still mulling the introduction of travel bubbles with countries it deems safe from Covid-19, but it’s slow going, with the PM expressing concern over the risk of reintroducing the virus through arrivals from abroad.

Analysts are also saying they don’t foresee a rush of investment any time soon, given the bleak predictions facing the country. Exports appear to be recovering, however, having taken a brief hit during the first two months of the year. The rise in the price of gold is providing a much-needed boost, but exports overall are still feeling the effects of a decrease in demand, in addition to disruptions to the global supply chain.

The strong baht remains an ongoing factor, with the US dollar losing nearly 6% against the baht over the last 3 months, despite multiple interest rate cuts by the Bank of Thailand to try and quell the enthusiasm for the Thai currency. The Central Bank has previously spoken about the negative effect the Thai baht is having on exports and the overall economy, warning that they will take steps to restrain the currency’s climb if necessary.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

Thailand teams with Laos to stop drug trafficking

The Thaiger

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Thailand teams with Laos to stop drug trafficking | The Thaiger

Thailand is reportedly teaming up with Laos to stop drug trafficking after drug syndicates have changed their routes from Myanmar to Laos.

Thailand Narcotics Control Board secretary-general Niyom Termsrisuk, says the direction change was due to heavy policing at the Myanmar-Thai border; causing traffickers to switch routes. The Royal Thai Armed Forces have formed a division to combat drug trafficking in the Thai provinces that border Laos, with 12 teams of officers being deployed.

The ONCB chief says a spike in smuggling was detected in the northeastern borders from Loei to Ubon Ratchathani provinces with Nong Khai, Mukdahan, Bung Kan and Nakhon Phanom provinces seeing the most trafficking.

Methamphetamine, crystal meth, or “ice,” and marijuana were the main drugs being smuggled with 22 million meth pills, 638 kilograms of ice, and 6,240 kilograms of marijuana being seized by Thai authorities over the past year.

Despite the Thai government’s efforts to try and stem smuggled drugs into the country, plenty of them find their way into the inner parts of the country. At the end of May this year, 1 million methamphetamine pills were confiscated in the capital, just one of many drug busts of multiple millions of pills and other illicit drugs.

According to the UNODC Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific…

“It is hard to imagine that organised crime have again managed to expand the drug market, but they have. While the world has shifted its attention to the Covid-19 pandemic, all indications are that production and trafficking of synthetic drugs and chemicals continue at record levels in the region.”

Read more about that report HERE.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Pattaya

Pattaya Museum denied the origins of the blackwater, then changed their mind – VIDEO

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Pattaya Museum denied the origins of the blackwater, then changed their mind – VIDEO | The Thaiger
PSCREENSHOT: Areerut Sinsupun

A heritage museum in Pattaya is blaming a “faulty pump” for the flow of black wastewater that was flowing into the coastline on the Pattaya beachfront at Wong Prachan Bay. The “Sanctuary of Truth Museum” VP denied that they’d intentionally allowed the dirty water onto the beach. But later the vice president of the Sanctuary of Truth, Warakorn Wiriyahan, added that the discharge seen in the Facebook post was “due to a problem with its wastewater treatment system”.

He added that heavy rains in Pattaya over the past week had “overwhelmed the system”.

“The water pumps installed to treat wastewater were faulty. That has now been fixed.”

The damning video was posted on Areerut Sinsupun’s Facebook account yesterday. It shows the black water flowing out of a drainage pipe onto the beach and into the sea.

The comments on the video were predictably savage and mostly urged the local Pattaya officials to do something about it.

“Been doing this for years”

“Broken pipe? Broken pipe for over 30 years. 😆😆😆

“Covid 20”

Sanctuary of Truth Museum claims to house the world’s largest and most beautiful woodcarving. It appears to be less willing to share the ‘truth’.

Meanwhile, the Pattaya Municipality, in a rare moment of candor, shared the video on its own Facebook account. Comments mostly blamed the municipality for not checking the storm drains pumping ‘black water’ onto Pattaya’s beaches.

Magical ‘fixes’ are often claimed after these too-frequent videos appear on social media, until they re-occur, which is usually the case.

#PattayaCity #ปราสาทสัจธรรม​ ไหนนะคุณธรรม#น้ำเน่า​ #น้ำเสีย

Posted by Areerut Sinsupun on Saturday, July 4, 2020

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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