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Uptick in Thai tourism – August arrivals up 5.6%

Thaiger

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Foreign tourists arrivals in Thailand rose 5.6% last month compared to a year earlier, with Chinese visitor numbers rebounding strongly, according to audited numbers published by the tourism and sports ministry. (Percentages rounded up to the nearest .1)

Revenue from the 3.41 million foreign arrivals in August was 170 billion baht, up 7.1% year-on-year. The number of Chinese tourists, Thailand’s largest visitor demographic, jumped 15.6% in last month from a year earlier, to 1 million, after increasing 5.8% in July following five months of declines.

Between January-August the number of foreign tourists has risen a modest 2.6% year-on-year to 26.5 million. Following a strong start at the start of 2019, the numbers tapered off, recording a drop in March, April and May, but rebounding since.

The government believes they can reach their revised target of a record 40 million this year, down from earlier predictions of 41 million+. Last year, there were 38.3 million foreign arrivals but the boat disaster near Phuket killing 47 Chinese visitors has been blamed for a fall in the numbers coming from China.

Tourism is a major driver of Thai growth, with foreign tourist receipts accounting for about 12% of gross domestic product (GDP).

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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Thailand

Education program ends September, 1,964 teachers face layoffs

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Laying off 1,964 teachers in September may cause an education shortage.

Nearly 2,000 maths and science teachers are calling upon the Education Ministry to help them avoid layoffs in September. The teachers were hired in 2018 under a special project by the Office of the Basic Education Commission to improve maths and science teaching standards in Thailand. Now 1,964 teachers may face unemployment if action is not taken.

The OBEC had planned to cut funding to this project, essentially rendering the positions redundant and leaving a few thousand teachers unemployed. After recently being briefed on the plan, these nearly 2,000 teachers filed a petition with the Education Minister today asking for action to avoid the coming layoffs. The president of the People’s Sector Network Against Corruption rallied on their behalf, joining the teacher group’s representatives in filing the petition.

The president of the PSNAC and the group of teachers argued that the layoffs resulting from defunding the program would be detrimental to the quality of education students will receive in Thailand. They also mentioned that many schools would experience a lack of available and qualified teachers.

Facing layoffs of the 1,964 teachers at stake and only a few months to reach a resolution, the teacher group submitted the petition along with several proposals to try to resolve the issue. They requested that the OBEC put off the plan to hire new maths and science teachers until after Thailand recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The teachers also asked the OBEC to simply reconsider and withdraw the planned layoffs for the teachers in light of the current economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus. Finally, they proposed an extension of the current education program so instead of an end date this September, it would be continued until September 2023.

Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong was reported to have received the petition against the teachers’ layoffs and pledged to request that the OBEC revisits and revises its decision.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

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

Tanutam Thawan

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Thailand’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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