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Tourism Minister optimistic high season will see 10 million domestic trips a month

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

The Tourism and Sports Minister is aiming to see domestic tourists undertake 10 million trips a month during the forthcoming high season. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is hopeful the stimulus measures approved by Cabinet will boost tourism numbers and help off-set some of the economic devastation caused by the closure of Thailand’s borders.

Domestic tourism first began to pick up in May, while the country was still in partial lockdown, with over 500,000 trips taken that month. In June, that figure jumped to over 3 million, then 7.4 million in July and 8.4 million in August. Although September recorded 8.5 domestic trips, there is still some way to go to achieve the government’s objective of 10 million.

However, Phiphat is optimistic, expecting an increase in numbers during the last 2 months of the year. A number of financial packages have been approved by the government, with the aim of providing some much-needed security for tourism operators. The allocation of soft loans has been increased from 20 million per borrower to 100 million, with the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation able to offer guarantees for those unable to access monetary aid.

However, Vichit Prakobgosol from the Association of Thai Travel Agents says if the conditions for getting a loan remain strict, such as collateral requirements and the need to show cash flow statements, only a small number of businesses will benefit. He is calling for an additional measure that would allow a number of companies in the same sector to act as guarantors for the borrowing company, thereby helping those who don’t meet the collateral requirement.

“Everyone is mired in difficult situations as a result of the pandemic. Further relaxations for soft loans are desperately needed to help operators stay afloat.”

At a mobile Cabinet meeting in Phuket yesterday, officials approved various measures to help small and medium-sized businesses to weather the fallout from the Covid-19 crisis. Bhummikitti Ruktaengam from the Phuket Tourism Association says the measures may provide more job security for those employed in the tourism sector. In addition to increasing the maximum amount borrowers can access through the soft loan scheme, the application period has been extended to June 30, 2021.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    sam thompson

    Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Any ideas and initiatives coming from that direction is unlikely to be either realistic, well thought through or proactive therefore at best wishful thinking and at worst,pure waffle

  2. Avatar

    Paulnou

    Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 10:21 am

    kindly give us the before Covid statistics, there were 1/3 revenues GOP over the total recorded country incomes from tourism sector, about 1 trillion Bath…. I bet today its reaching 99% but those 99% are 10 to 20% lower in gross incomes since thais dont spend as much as before and less are travelling in spite of TAT and government efforts. Saving is a priority against the pending and future heavy jobs losses and pay families debts.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 1:51 pm

      I’m not sure what some of that means, but while I think I agree with your sentiments the tourism sector has never made up a third of GDP or anywhere near it.

      • Avatar

        Mike Frenchie

        Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 2:13 am

        Not but add real estate (diving without foreigners) and retail (completely depressed…) – and you are at 30% of the GDP…

      • Avatar

        Latecomer

        Monday, November 9, 2020 at 12:14 am

        It was more than a third, of course. Accounting for indirect as well as direct revenues. Wait and see, very soon it will be obvious and Thailand will resemble Cambodia and Myanmar more and more

  3. Avatar

    Ted

    Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Optimism is always needed, but the reason for it to have been “high season”, correct me if I’m wrong but I would say it is because people are fleeing the northern hemisphere freezing temperatures so doesn’t have anything to do with Thai domestic travels.
    Well, anyhow, this article gave me some out loud laughs, especially liked this one; “Domestic tourism first began to pick up in May” … well yeah! of course, after leaving lockdown and easening the curfew it would be pretty strange if the numbers didn’t increase.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      OK, sorry, but you’re “wrong” although it’s perfectly understandable!

      Apart from the Songkran holiday, the high season for Thai / domestic tourism is October through to January, peaking around New Year when in the reverse of international tourists “fleeing the northern hemisphere freezing temperatures” for the tropics, Thais instead head for Thailand’s coldest zones up in the hills in Isaan.

      I live in a prime “Thai” tourist area (very few farang tourists, no Chinese) and we’ll get a tour bus full of Thais going past every five minutes or so at the peak of high season, but maybe one every few days in low season.

  4. Avatar

    gosport

    Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Well, that is too too too too much glossy if not amazing.

  5. Avatar

    Dirty Farang

    Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    if I count a trip to 7/11 for a Coke then damn yeah, he is right!

    Otherwise, if my math is approx correct, then counting October to January we have 4 months = 40.000.000 domestic trips.

    As TH got around 70.000.000 citizens, more than the half TH population should go on travel. Exodus!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      I’m not sure what the problem is, or the “exodus”.

      10 million “trips” a month = 120 million “trips” a year, so with a population of 70 million that’s less than two “trips” per person per year which doesn’t seem unreasonable.

      If your idea of a “trip” is going to 7/11 for a Coke, and you do that less than twice a year … well ….. maybe you need to get out more.

      • Avatar

        albert zweistein

        Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 9:06 pm

        GF’s family consisting of 2 parents, 2 brothers and 5 sisters all with wifes and husbands Never ever go on holiday. So including GF means 17 persons of wich 16 never go on holiday simply because they can’t afford it and are daily strugling to survive.This means your math’s are totally wrong.

  6. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Yeah, a beautiful trip from BKK to Pattaya to spend 500 THB drinking beers on the beach and back home in the evening will change everything! These are the 10 million trips they talk about… anything more expensive is out of reach when you know that the economy is sinking.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 3:52 pm

      … and your solution is to follow Europe’s example …?

      … or what, exactly?

      • Avatar

        Mike Frenchie

        Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 4:55 am

        Follow the Jersey (island) model, test before flying – test at arrival – three days quarantine – keep tracking…. (bracelet and/or phone). I think that selling three days quarantine to tourists is possible… more is “forget it”. Jersey has very low covid level – and in any case, Thai borders are porous… zero covid is fantasy.

  7. Avatar

    Jack Sombra

    Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    The whole ‘soft loans’ thing is a bank bail out in disguise. Basicly a way for the banks to get bad/risky loans either off their books or underwritten by gov.They are of no help to tourist industry unless already in debt pre virus. If you are not in debt to that bank already and in tourist industry you are not going to get access to them, hell banks will not even talk to you about any loans in most cases unless got huge amounts of collateral.

  8. Avatar

    Ray W.

    Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 1:50 am

    That is some amazingly rosey glasses there, lol. So I’m going to chalk this up as yet another hilariously poor assessment. So the standard now is to conduct low resolution thinking to promise good news to the people knowing full well it has zero chance of meeting the goals or even being executed well enough to make ANY measurable impact on recovery.

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Crime

Man arrested for allegedly exchanging fake US bills for 1.2 million baht

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A man was arrested in Bangkok for allegedly exchanging counterfeit foreign bank notes at a currency exchange kiosk, taking off with 1.2 million baht.

Police say Thanat Amatawimut, a 42 year old building contractor, exchanged 360 fake $100 USD bills for 1.2 million baht at a kiosk in Bangkok back in 2019. The staff accepted the cash, but later realised the bills were fake and attempted to contact Thanat. A complaint was later filed at the Lumpini police station. The Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant last October.

Thanat was arrested in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district yesterday. He denied the charges.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals

Thaiger

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Photo by PR Phuket

2,473 new Covid-19 cases and 35 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. The majority of the new cases are local transmissions, primarily in Bangkok. 680 of the new cases were detected in prisons.

Thailand now has 42,988 active Covid-19 cases, a record high for the country. Out of those cases, more than 10,000 are linked to outbreaks at prisons. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 113,555 Covid-19 infections.

35 deaths involving Covid-19 patients were reported today, raising the pandemic’s death toll in Thailand to 649. Most of the new fatalities were reported in Bangkok.

Bangkok remains the epicentre in the latest wave of infections. The capital reported 873, raising the total since April 1 to 28,658.

There are now 29 Covid-19 clusters in 19 districts in Bangkok. The government has set up several locations for active case finding to contain the spread of the virus.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun, who gives the CCSA report in English, adds that Thai authorities are taking border breaches very seriously and security has tightened at land and sea borders as there have been a number of illegal entries involving those coming from neighbouring countries. Heightened border patrol has been an effort to prevent Covid-19 from being imported into Thailand.

Provinces with the highest number of new Covid-19 infections…

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Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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Thailand

Education Ministry launches online platform as schools’ reopening plans delayed

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Thailand’s Education Ministry is launching an online platform for public school students who are, once again, being forced to learn at home due to restrictions and limitations imposed by the government.

The third wave of the virus has prompted authorities to postpone the reopening of government schools from May 17 (yesterday) to June 1. However, as daily infections keep rising, that date may be amended again.

As the future of the pandemic is unclear, the Ministry has launched www.ครูพร้อม.com, an online platform titled Kru Prom or Teachers Ready in English. The portal features content under 6 categories featuring the word “Wanna” in reference to the more grammatically correct English words of “Want to.” The Wanna Know page, is dedicated to educators as it features e-books to help them boost their skills.

Wanna Learn, Wanna Know, Wanna Teach, Wanna Do, Wanna Watch, and Wanna Share are the categories that students can choose from. Each category has a wide range of choices for students that includes different types of media for each lesson.

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The Ministry has also noted that the platform can be used, even while physically attending school, as a supplement to students’ learning.

Prominent education academic, Athapol Anunthavorasakul, is not impressed with the idea as he says children are exhausted from online/offline classes. He says children should be allowed to play during the break, even if it is extended. He says the most schools should require over the break, is for the students to share what they had learned.

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SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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