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Lights, camera, blog. TAT reaches out to online millennials.

The Thaiger

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Lights, camera, blog. TAT reaches out to online millennials. | The Thaiger
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PHOTO: Where in the World is Nina?

With pressure on tourism authorities to come up with new ways to lure tourists to the Land Of Smiles and rebrand the tired ‘Amazing Thailand’ promotion, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) have come up with the ‘Thailand Village Academy’.

Stepping firmly into the world of online bloggers and social media, the TAT are hoping to reach out to a younger market, specifically the 18-35 demographic.

44 bloggers from 17 countries were shortlisted for a chance to promote Thailand as a destination to similar millennials around the world. The bloggers were selected from nearly 1,500 contestants in 86 countries.

The bloggers are shooting their material for six days up to July 29. The winners are from Australia, Nepal, Bhutan, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Israel, Nigeria, The Philippines, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Tunisia, UK and Ukraine. Cash and other prizes valued around US$10,000 (308,905 baht) are being offered to winners.

Apart from the TAT, the Cultural Promotion Department, Thai Airways and Thai Smile are involved in making the promotion happen. Organisers say the travel blogs shot at 22 villages across Thailand will not only reach out more efficiently to younger tourist customers, it will also benefit the villages chosen to take part in the project. Thai and Thai Smile flew the contestants to their destinations for the project.

The locations include Ban Phu Homestay in Mukdahan, the Ban Lao Wiang Cultural Tourism Community in Uttaradit, Ban Tha Ma-O Community in Lampang, Thung Wa Community in Satun and the Sapphaya Old Police Station Market Community in Chai Nat.

The TAT says they will extend the promotion to other villages and communities in the future.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

Young Thai photographer admits to attempted sexual assault of model

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Young Thai photographer admits to attempted sexual assault of model | The Thaiger

An 18 year old Thai photographer has admitted trying to sexually assault a swimsuit model during a photoshoot after the victim posted the account on Facebook. The young man turned himself in at a Chonburi Police Station and confessed to the accusations leading to police charging him with attempted rape.

The model posted that she escaped the sexual assault attempt on her Facebook account after the photographer showed up while she was changing her clothes in the bathroom. She says he attempted to rape her but left when someone walked by as she was screaming for help.

The alleged perpetrator said he was turned on while taking photographs of the model but didn’t intend to hurt her. However, he later sent her a text saying he could not control himself.

Photographer, Swimsuit Model, Police

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Business

“Come and see” – Ministry invites diplomats to see coconut-picking monkeys in action

The Thaiger

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“Come and see” – Ministry invites diplomats to see coconut-picking monkeys in action | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Atlas Obscura

The monkeys, and the Thai government, are hitting back at accusations macaque monkeys are being exploited, even abused, and forced to pick coconuts for commercial farmers. Some larger western retailers say they’re going to pull Thai coconut products off their shelves after being lobbied by animal rights activist that the coconuts were picked by abused and over-worked macaque monkeys.

The Thai Commerce Ministry, coconut farmers and the “monkey school” trainers are dismissing reports, and a dramatic video from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal), that the coconut-picking monkeys are maltreated. So they’re organising a tour for foreign diplomats and the media to see the monkeys at work and decide for themselves.

The permanent secretary for commerce, responding to the reports, says the monkey owners don’t abuse or exploit the animals which have been “humanely trained” to pick coconuts. He has instructed attaches in foreign Thai embassies to provide an explanation to retailers in other countries who have expressed concerns and even instigated boycotts.

“The ministry is ready to invite foreign diplomats to visit coconut plantations and see how the monkeys pick coconuts so they will realise this is not animal cruelty.”

The Bangkok Post reports that Pramual Pongthawaradej, a Demo­crat Party MP for Prachuap Khiri Khan province, the Chair of a House subcommittee tackling falling coconut prices, says they’ve approached owners of coconut milk plants to justify their practices to PETA. They’ve also asked the Department of Agriculture to provide details regarding the use of monkeys to pick coconuts.

A video from Touronthai shows an operating monkey-school posted 4 years ago…

But Somjai Saekow, an owner of a monkey school which trains macaques in Surat Thani, says… “the practice of capturing monkeys from the wild to pick coconuts ceased a long time ago”.

“Currently, monkeys are bred and raised before being trained. They are not forced to pick 1,000 coconuts from trees everyday, and they don’t work every day.

“Coconut-picking monkeys are mostly males and their abilities vary. The owner of the monkey receives 2 baht per a coconut picked.”

“Foreigners may not understand our livelihood. Also, humans are not built to climb up a coconut tree to pick fruit. They will be at risk, compared to monkeys which have the natural ability to do so.”

An owner of monkeys in Surat Thani, denied the claims of poor treatment or abuse of the coconut-picking monkeys.

“There is no cruelty. Actually, they are looked after well. They are fed well with rice, milk, and fruit three times a day. They are treated like family members.”

PETA claims pigtailed macaques in Thailand were treated like “coconut-picking machines”.

“Following PETA’s investigation, more than 15,000 stores will no longer purchase these brands’ products, with the majority also no longer buying any coconut products sourced from Thailand monkey labour.”

PETA said it had found 8 farms around Thailand where monkeys had been forced to pick coconuts for commercial export.

“Male monkeys are able to pick up to 1,000 coconuts a day.”

“Other coconut-growing regions, including Brazil, Colombia and Hawaii, harvest coconuts using humane methods such as tractor-mounted hydraulic elevators, willing human tree-climbers, rope or platform systems, or ladders, or they plant dwarf coconut trees.”

“PETA went further by calling on “decent people never to support the use of monkey labour by shunning coconut products from Thailand”.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

5 year old Burmese girl raped, murdered in Tak

Jack Burton

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5 year old Burmese girl raped, murdered in Tak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: matichon.com

Villagers in the north western Tak province were shocked yesterday by reports of the rape and murder of a 5 year old Burmese girl. Her body was discovered in a forest in Mae Sot district. Police went to Muhajireen community in Mae Sot after being notified of the crime. They found the girl’s body, her hands and legs bound with rope and her clothes torn.

It’s was assumed the girl was raped and murdered. 3 suspects have been arrested while authorities await forensic test results. Mae Sot Hospital has confirmed the girl suffered internal injuries and bleeding. Doctors also found a piece of cloth stuffed in her mouth.

The community of about 100 residents were horrified by the news. They say the girl went missing at around 7pm on Friday and was found the next morning.

Witnesses claimed that they saw a man take the girl away while she was playing alone in the yard. He reportedly returned alone. It was later revealed the man had previously been convicted for rape and imprisoned for 7 years when he lived across the border in Myanmar.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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