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Around 3.11 million travellers expected to spend 12.6 billion baht during long weekend

Caitlin Ashworth

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Around 3.11 million travellers expected to spend 12.6 billion baht during long weekend | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TTG Asia
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Around 3.11 million Thai people are expected to travel during the 4-day weekend which starts tomorrow. The travellers are expected to spend 12.6 billion baht and boost the hotel occupancy rate up by 40%, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

Although, less people are expected to travel to Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, with many cancelling bookings after the recent Covid-19 cases from returnees travelling from Myanmar’s border town Tachileik.

Yuthasak says tourism in the south has also been affected with less people planning trips after flooding in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Krabi, Trang, Phatthalung and Songkhla.

Despite the tourism setbacks, many Thais are planning trips and TAT says the domestic tourism stimulus campaign Rao Tiew Duay Kan, meaning “We Travel Together” is influencing many Thais to travel throughout the country.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Stefan Svensson

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Happy holiday

  2. Avatar

    Jason

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    Amazing Thailand…..beautiful one day….deserted the next…. I wonder how much of this hype Thais actually believe?? I hope the wise ones in Thailand continue to stop spending money on opening their businesses and instead save as much money as they can to weather the storm of deprivation…..

  3. Avatar

    Jesse James

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Thai economy is saved now, tourism is back to normal.

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    The number of holidays is now getting absurd.

  5. Avatar

    Bob

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    Hmm… according to a recent Bangkok post article:

    ‘While the tourism industry is waiting for the sunlight of 2024, Thai consumers are drowning in debts with less and less income to rely on. It is certain that Thai household debt to GDP will exceed 80% this year which would put Thailand in the top 10 among countries with the highest household debt to GDP. Following such high levels of debt, banks actually stopped extending new consumer loans since January 2020, even before the Covid-19 outbreak. According to my own calculations, 20% of domestic consumption is financed by borrowing. No loans means no consumption.’

    Is it wise to keep spending? It may well be that only the tourism industry is suffering but looking at it from a broader perspective, the global consumption seems to have slowed down and with that demand which will affect supply.

    While I am very sympathetic toward the tourism industry (being on the receiving end) the next ‘wave’ will be production, something Thailand excels in but has little control over.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 1:00 pm

      The debt problem already goes way beyond the tourist sector, and is affecting those in “production” where household debt has always been highest.

      The “80% of GDP” figure for household debt is almost certainly a considerable under estimate as it’s based on known debt, at approved rates, rather than ‘black market’ loans at ten or a hundred times that rate.

      In the rural areas it’s an ongoing but steady problem as loans are based on what land people own and what work they can do, as sugar cane cutters and rice teams are ‘recruited’ in advance from the villages and given loans based on an ‘advance of salary’ from work they’ll do over 2 or 3 months during the harvest season, often away in other provinces.

      For factory workers, though, loans are far easier to come by based on their guaranteed salaries, annual bonuses (usually the equivalent of one or two months pay, at New Year), and expected overtime (OT) which can double basic pay (or more). Now, though, demand has dropped off and many are without OT and their bonuses will be less but they still have the same debts to pay off.

      ‘Finance’ for a pick-up or car is easy to come by for a factory as it’s deducted at source from pay, so many have way over-extended themselves based on OT and bonuses they’re no longer getting and they’re facing debts they’ll be paying off for decades where they can only pay off the interest.

      … and all that’s compounded by extra government holidays – when before they’d have had OT or ‘double time’ for working on a holiday, now it’s an excuse for factories to close instead so they don’t have to pay their staff for the day.

      … and for those on the poverty line, its yet another day when their kids won’t be getting a free school meal and milk every day.

      Extra holidays may be a chance for some to go out and spend money, and for some to make it, but for many others they’re the complete reverse.

  6. Avatar

    Remo

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    Domestic tourism does not stimulate the local economy, as it doesnt bring extra cash to the country.

    People have a given amount of money , and if they spend a certain amount on domestic trips they will have less to spend on other things, and their total expenditure will be the same with or without traveling.

    To generate extra GDP and create extra jobs, the country needs foreign tourists who bring money to Thailand from abroad.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 1:40 pm

      Sorry, but your economics is flawed (as, to be fair, is the policy).

      The idea behind extra holidays and local tourism is to encourage people to spend more that they would otherwise have saved (not “spent on other things”), rather like reducing interest rates so people spend money rather than save it.

      The problem with both is that they only work as long as people have savings to spend, and if they don’t then the policies not only fail but are counter-productive – you can’t spend what you don’t have, particularly when a holiday not only stops you working but gives you kids home from school to feed and take care of.

      Unfortunately all too often those in government and authority making the policy seldom have any experience of those affected by it as their backgrounds are so radically different, and that’s as true in Thailand as it is anywhere.

  7. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    “boost the hotel occupancy rate up by 40%” – Considering the fact some 80% of hotels in tourist areas are still closed, that rate should be much higher.

  8. Avatar

    Bobby B

    Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Just love the governments money spent predictions.

    If so many Thai’s are out of work because of no tourists. Where do they get all that money to spend?

    Or is that 3.11 million Thai’s the rich and wealthy?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 1:42 pm

      The problem’s far more than just “no tourists”.

  9. Avatar

    Yan

    Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    When speaking with Thai, who also have their own information channels…Covid is present in almost all provinces and spreading. The Government doesn’t want Thai people to know…so it is not in the news. If it would be in the news…domestic travel also stops….and that would be a catastrofy….

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event

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Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

The birthday party of Techin Ploypetch, better known as “DJ Matoom”, is now considered a super-spreader source of Covid-19, with 19 people already found infected after attending the event. According the CCSA spokesperson during the daily briefing today, “Transmissions in Bangkok should be highlighted. They show the possibility of a person becoming a super-spreader”.

The birth of the super spreader birthday party started with a guest to the DJ’s party who had visited a well-known entertainment venue in Chiang Mai between January 1 and 4. He sought a Covid-19 test on January 5 following news that infected people had visited the pub, but tested negative. He should have self quarantined for 14 days, but he still flew to Bangkok and then attended the DJ celebrity’s birthday party on January 9.

DJ Matoom says he met the guest, one of his friend, on January 9, but that friend didn’t know he was infected until January 19 in which he told Matoom.

According to Dr Tanarak Plipat, now acting inspector-general of the Public Health Ministry, an infected person can transmit disease to two others on average, while a “super spreader” will transmit to multiple people.

DJ Matoom and the party’s guest were criticised of violating the disease control measures.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Herrera & Partners

Thailand’s tourism officials have a new idea to draw in visitors: film production. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to generate around 3 billion baht from foreign film crews and is targeting projects with an investment over 100 million baht, hoping to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the lack of international tourists during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign tourism revenue drastically dropped nearly 83% in 2020, going from nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 to only 6.7 million tourists in 2020.

The tourism department’s director-general Anant Wongbenjarat says that Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating 1.73 billion baht for the local economy. But this is a sharp decrease compared to the previous year where the 740 foreign film crews generated 4.86 billion baht.

In August, the CCSA decided to grant special entry permission to film productions. 53 film production projects were based in Thailand during August and December, contributing 1.14 billion baht to the economy. Those entering Thailand must still undergo a 14 day quarantine.

“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown.”

Anant also says there are 4 more film production projects underway, and it is forecasted to generate 186 million baht, bringing the total to 57 projects. In the first half of this year, there will be nine more productions expected to come in and help create at least 800 jobs for locals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand News Today | Thailand’s vaccination roll-out | January 26

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Thailand News Today | Thailand’s vaccination roll-out | January 26 | The Thaiger

Bangkok restaurants may soon be allowed to stay open a little later. Health officials are considering easing up Covid-19 prevention measures by extending restaurant dine-in closing times to 11pm. If the proposal gets the green light, it may lead to the lifting of the alcohol ban.

After the order of shutting entertainment venues and banning alcohol sales in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Chonburi, the revenues in the alcohol beverage business plummeted. Under disease control measures, restaurants in Bangkok were ordered to stop dine-in services at 9pm and all alcohol sales banned at restaurants to limit gatherings.

According to the president of the Thai Alcohol Business Association, the current ban on alcohol is estimated to cost about 90 billion baht in revenue for businesses.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce says the Cabinet might review the proposal on closing hours tomorrow and act immediately to provide relief to restaurant operators as well as those in the alcohol beverage business.

At least 19 Covid-19 cases have been tracked back to 2 parties – a 5-day New Years celebration in Chiang Mai and a birthday party in Bangkok for a famous TV and radio host Techin Ployphet, aka DJ Matoom, on January 9.

A senior police officer in Bangkok is the latest case possibly linked to the Bangkok “party cluster.” The officer tested positive for Covid-19 after coming in contact with someone who attended the celebrity’s birthday at the Vertigo restaurant and bar on top of the Banyan Tree Hotel.

After the party, the actor, as well as other attendees, later tested positive for Covid-19. DJ Matoom also attended a New Year’s celebration in Chiang Mai from January 1 to 5, which is also linked to a number of cases.

In the ongoing investigation into the k-based drug cocktail linked to 11 deaths in Bangkok, police have arrested a man who allegedly mixed large amounts of narcotics to make the drug cocktail known as “K powdered milk.” Police say the cocktail includes ketamine mixed with methamphetamine, heroin and over-the-counter pills for anxiety and sleeping.

A 38 year old Taiwan national was arrested yesterday after police raided his condominium in Bangkok’s Ratchathewi district. Chou allegedly admitted to mixing the drugs to make “K powdered milk” and police say the formulas for the drug mixture were found on his mobile phone.

Earlier this month, 11 people died after taking the drug cocktail and dozens of people are still in hospital after consuming the illegal concoction. Police have arrested numerous suspected drug dealers who ran small scale and large scale operations.

The government plans to begin Thailand’s 3-phase vaccination plan on February 14, starting with healthcare and frontline workers as well as vulnerable groups.

The Public Health Minister says the first phase of inoculations starting next month will target 19 million Thai people in 4 priority groups…

– health workers in both public and private sectors.

– 6 million people with underlying conditions.

– 11 million people aged over 60.

– Covid-19 task force who are in close contact with infected patients.

The vaccine’s availability remains limited at this stage and only target groups who are at high risk of infection will be vaccinated during the first phase of the vaccination plan. Importantly, the vaccines will be free and are not compulsory.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, was approved by the Thai government for emergency last week. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Thailand also expects 200,000 doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine to arrive next month.

In a landmark decision, the Thai Senate has approved amendments to Thailand’s abortion laws allowing women to terminate their pregnancy during the first trimester and also lessening the punishment for women who have an abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The amendments will go into effect on February 12.

Abortion – during any stage of pregnancy – has been illegal under Thailand’s Criminal Code, with the exception that the pregnancy poses a health risk for the mother or if the woman was raped.

Yesterday, the Senate approved to amend the Criminal Code to allow abortions performed by a qualified doctor during the first trimester, which is the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Women would not need to give a reason for the abortion.

The Senate also approved to lessen the punishment for women who terminated their pregnancy illegally.

Breaking Thailand’s record for highest daily spike in coronavirus cases, 959 new Covid-19 cases were reported today at the daily briefing.

The majority of new cases were found in proactive tracking and tracing in Samut Sakhon, which has been increased to test 60,000 people in the province this week. With more diligent testing in the Covid-19 hotspot, health officials expected a spike in reported cases. 848 of the 959 new cases were detected by proactive testing, most in Samut Sakhon and only 4 in Bangkok.

22 of the new cases reported today were detected in quarantine for those arriving to Thailand from abroad.

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