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How many tourists visit the real Thailand?

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PHOTO: Sarah Lazarus – CNN

Thailand is best known for its beaches, astonishing street food, markets and diverse south-east Asian culture. But how many people get out of the cities and tourist traps and get to experience the real Thailand? How many expats, living in Thailand, even get to experience the real Thailand?

Thailand is the fourth most popular holiday destination in the world and the country received a record 38.3 million tourists in 2018 and collected $62 billion in tourism revenue.

Chan Kaithong lives in Bangkok’s largest slum. Near the city’s port, but just a stone’s throw from luxury shopping malls and hotels, the Khlong Toei district is home to 100,000 people.

But the attraction of the well-trodden tourist hot spots often hides the real Thailand experience for tourists to the Land of Smiles. In 2012 Somsak Boonsam established Local Alike, a company which promotes “community-based tourism.” Via its online platform, Local Alike offers tourists the chance to leave the resorts and visit over 100 communities, from hill tribes to fishing villages.

Tourists, who visit for the day to relax, enjoy a seafood lunch and try their hand at shellfish farming, have no problem catching the cockles, which swim free in the water, but the prawns are another matter!

His aim was to address the situation by funneling tourism dollars “to the people who need it most,” while giving tourists the chance to “have new experiences and make personal connections with local people.”

CNN set out to visit three Local Alike community guides to hear their stories…

Read about their experiences HERE.

How many tourists visit the real Thailand? | News by Thaiger

 

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Promise to vaccinate expats, Thailand “electric vehicle hub” | May 6

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Thailandโ€™s Food and Drug Administration has denied that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is already in Thailand, The Thai government has ambitious plans to turn the Kingdom into a Southeast Asian hub for the manufacture of electric vehicles., The Thai Hotels Association is urging the government to extend the domestic travel stimulus schemes, set to end on September 30 and Thai Meteorological Department is warning of thunderstorms around the country, particularly in northern and North East Thailand, until the end of tomorrow.

 

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Economy

Thailand increases durian exports to China by 14% this year

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Thailand has exported 14% more durian to China in this year’s first quarter over the same period last year. The Trade Negotiations Department Director General says Thai durian auctions in the first quarter secured 186 million, making up 88% of the total amount of Thai durian exports to world markets.

Last year, Thailand exported US1.5 billion worth of durian to China, a 78% increase from 2019. China’s share accounted for 73% of total Thai durian exports to world markets. 18 countries have free trade agreements for fruit with Thailand. Thailand is actively exporting fresh fruit with its top buyers being Australia, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. The most popular fruits are the national delicacy of durian, along with mango, mangosteen and longan.

Despite the increases in durian exports, farmers have been worried about Covid-19′s effect on the industry. Earlier in 2021 health authorities in China circulated a press release stating that imported cherries from Chile had been tested and found to have Covid-19 contamination. This statement prompted a huge drop in Chilean cherry prices. Thai growers are worried the same might happen to durian imports. As the seriousness of the Coronavirus in Thailand reaches new widespread levels, one instance of a durian container being linked to Covid-19 could spur a total ban on importing fruit from Thailand.

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SOURCE: MENAFN

 

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Bangkok

Hundreds of Thailand slums at risk of Covid-19 as many can’t afford to quarantine

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Stock photo by Miltiadis Fragkidis for Unsplash

Following the Covid-19 outbreak at the Khlong Toey slum neighbourhood in Bangkok, there have been more than 1,000 slum communities have been identified as having similar living conditions as the Khlong Toey slum, and are now communities at high risk advised to be under watch to prevent another outbreak.

The Social Development and Human Security Ministry’s Community Organisations Development Institute pinpointed 1,270 slum communities, saying that many are similar to Khlong Toey. Areas of top concern of a potential outbreak include the large community by Khlong Prem Prachakorn with more than 10,000 people as well as a community of around 5,000 to 10,000 people who live by the Yommarat Railway. Other slums of top concern include communities of more than 3,000 people in both the Ratchathewi and Wang Thong Lang districts.

Out of the slums pointed out by the institute, more than 200 residents in the 260 communities have tested positive for Covid-19, according to the institute’s deputy director Panthip Petchmak. 700 more people were ordered to quarantine due to close contact with an infected person.

But stay at home orders are a problem for many as starvation is more frightening than the virus and 90% of residents in the slum communities still need to leave for work each day to keep food on the table. The daily average income for those in the slums is around 120 to 150 baht.

The institute is now working with community-level organisations to provide food, water, and supplements to those in poor neighbourhoods in an effort to keep people at home, preventing the spread of Covid-19.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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