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Wow! TAT says they’ll give expats 500 baht to boost tourism

Caitlin Ashworth

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Wow! TAT says they’ll give expats 500 baht to boost tourism | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Kevin Bosc
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Where would you go with 500 baht? Probably not very far. The Tourism Authority of Thailand says they’re going to hand out 500 baht discount for each trip they take. TAT says they hope that the 2 million baht budget scheme will help stimulate domestic tourism.

The 500 baht is expected to encourage the expats to “travel in the country and stimulate domestic tourism during the international border closure,” according to the director of TAT’s ASEAN, South Asia and South Pacific Market Division, Kulpramote Wannalert. Trips need to be at least 1 night and the deal is only for expats and their families.

“Since the international border is still closed, one of the potential target groups for Thai tourism is foreigners who are working or studying in Thailand, known as expats, with a population of more than 180,000 people.”

While some Thais lost their jobs or had a drop in income since the coronavirus pandemic, many expats have also been at a loss. Some expats who work as teachers went 5 months without getting a paycheck since the school start date was delayed and many did not get paid for the holiday break. Others who wish to stay in the country are scrambling to get their money together to pay for visa costs, which can cost thousands of baht since borders are closed.

TAT says the 500 baht discount scheme would also help reduce expenses for expats who face higher admission fees to attractions like temples and national parks. Foreigners sometimes pay 3 times the amount Thai nationals do. The dual price system has sparked local blogger Richard Barrow to start the Facebook group and website “2 Price Thailand,” bringing even more attention to the controversial fee disparity.

Pattaya News reports TAT is negotiating with authorities about the entrance fees for foreigners. Kulpramote says TAT will make an announcement on the subject soon.

In addition to the 500 baht incentive, TAT is holding the “Expat Travel Deal 2020” event in Bangkok from September 11 to 13. Travel agencies will have numerous promotions and deals for expats.

“This group of expatriates could also serve as a voice to promote tourism in Thailand in the long term among their own nationality and all around the world. Therefore, we need to promote our health, safety and confidence in tourism through the eye of the expats.”

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    September 1, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    LOL – they have a budget of 2 million THB when the total missing money potentially not spent by foreigners is around 2000 billion THB/year! People in Pattaya, Phuket, Samui… are saved!

  2. Avatar

    Dirty Farang

    September 1, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    TAT – shut down this comedy club or fire the whole management. Never saw such an unprofessional tourism management like TAT. TIT!

    • Avatar

      Karl Stragfhen

      September 1, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      Hahaha,55555!
      You’re so damn right. Let them now taste their own medicine. Learn to value tourists, expats in a much better way. Put down the fucking clown system with double pricing and let them understand that farangs are not stupid in their heads, some are, but will not be good with just them. Do this: Tone down racism against non-Thai, Think about free visa systems, same prices for everyone, etc. Then you should ask BUDDHA that the tourists want to return and not travel to other countries for example philliphies. GOOD LUCK TO THAILAND, FURTHER DREAM OF MASS TOURISM ESPECIALLY RICH TOURISTS, CERTAINLY NEED 500 BAHT !!! 555 WHAT A JOKE

    • Avatar

      DirtyFarang2

      September 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm

      DirtyFarang, I wish I wouldve of thought of that name first

  3. Avatar

    Eddie

    September 1, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Thai money to use in Thailand, and claim it would boost economy and tourism…What kind of magic is this? Where can I learn such magic?

    • Avatar

      David Ogonowski

      September 1, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      My monies essentially come from abroad so yes it does help boost the economy . I would like clarification on the process for the 500 and will gladly do what I can do to help. Every little bit helps.

      • Avatar

        Patrick Nouvel

        September 2, 2020 at 9:23 am

        Almost died of laugh this morning, thanks TAT always funny stats & announcements… Get us equal to TTogether, no xenophobia & racism, then the country get healthier. Why not, our money & investment of our life smelling so bad here? Better give 500 bth to poor starving jobless people. As said TAT looking for wealthies only.

  4. Avatar

    Neo

    September 1, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    No need to give the 500 bhat.
    At least show some kindness to the tax paying expatriates by not imposing double standards.

    On HM Queens birthday I went to a National Park with my girlfriend. She got free entry while I was charged 400 baht.
    I have been paying tax here for over a decade and gets treated like a tourist. Not fair.

    • Avatar

      lootarzoon

      September 2, 2020 at 9:26 am

      Dirty farang must pay to let the bad smell out

  5. Avatar

    Michael

    September 1, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Tourism accounts for 20% of Thailand’s GDP, I read somewhere…So it is understandable for the government to invite Covid-Free tourists back. I don’t understand why the government is so eager to drive the existing Covid-Free tourist out? TAT and immigration needs to communicate and reconcile policy.

  6. Avatar

    Rein

    September 1, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Maybe they give the 500 baht as they gave the 5000 baht to the poor families in Thailand. Nobody in our whole village have received a single baht.

    • Avatar

      JohnG

      September 4, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      Odd. Nearly everyone in mine has!

  7. Avatar

    Geoff

    September 1, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    I went to the Grand Palace last year. If my memory is correct, I paid 500bt admission. My girlfriend was free. (admission!)

  8. Avatar

    Andrew

    September 1, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    “Foreigners sometimes pay 3 times the amount Thai nationals do.” Up to…10 times more.
    500 baht. WOW. Let’s go spending so much free money

  9. Avatar

    Glenn

    September 1, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    geez louise, I was going to comment, but every time I try my mouth drops open in disbelief of the stupid. Sorry, best I can do with this one.

  10. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    September 2, 2020 at 2:05 am

    The only thing that will make tourists return is low prices, cheap insurance, and cheap hotels. Thailand is overpriced

  11. Avatar

    CHE

    September 2, 2020 at 6:18 am

    Give me a bottle of Samsong instead. Manaos are on me!

  12. Avatar

    CHE

    September 2, 2020 at 6:21 am

    Give me a bottle of Sangsom instead.
    Manaos are on me!

  13. Avatar

    Waverider

    September 2, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    Clutching at straw’s.

    There needs to be a whole change of attitude s. In the Gov.
    2 million expats live here all year round, spending money on their families etc.
    It does appear that Thais are good at shooting them selves in the foot or feet.
    Living up to the name Amazing Thailand.

  14. Avatar

    InnerCynic

    September 4, 2020 at 3:41 am

    Funny. I’d get as far as the local eatery with the wife and kids… stop at 7-11 on the way home… Done!

  15. Avatar

    simon

    September 5, 2020 at 8:13 am

    Lol

    This year, people in Hong Kong, including expats who actually have rights including right to vote and right of abode, got given 10,000HKD (40,500THB). You know, because spare cash and everything. Considering tourist areas like Phuket, Bangkok, Samui, Pattaya are as expensive as Hong Kong now it makes this seem a bit pathetic.

    Try again Thai government.

  16. Avatar

    simon

    September 5, 2020 at 8:18 am

    “Therefore, we need to promote our health, safety and confidence in tourism through the eye of the expats.”

    So Funny. Perhaps start with abolishing the two-tier pricing system and discourage racism and xenophobia – especially when it flows from the mouth of high-ranking officials.

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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)

Visa amnesty runs to October 31 | Complete Thailand Travel Guide (September 2020)

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Visa amnesty runs to October 31 | Complete Thailand Travel Guide (September 2020) | The Thaiger

Latest update – September 29. The Thaiger updates information about travelling to and re-entering Thailand. Depending on where you’re coming from, your purpose for visiting Thailand and your country’s own Covid-19 travel restrictions, the situation is changing daily. If you are overseas and wish to come to Thailand your FIRST port of call must be the Royal Thai Embassy in your country before you make any bookings.

A new visa amnesty now runs until the end of October

A new visa amnesty was announced by the Thai PM and the CCSA yesterday afternoon. Foreigners who recently paid 1,900 baht for a 30 day visa extension (before September 26) are now clear to stay in Thailand until November 30 at no extra cost, but those foreigners need to report to immigration to get their visa stamp corrected.

At this stage, although announced and approved by the CCSA and the Thai PM, the new amnesty has not been entered into the Royal Gazette but is expected to be in the next 24 hours.

The announcement follows a decision confirmed late yesterday by the CCSA to issue another grace period for foreigners stranded in Thailand, until October 31. Under the new regulation, 60 day visa extensions will be issued to those who are unable to travel back to their home country. The reasons could be lack of flights, problems with Covid in their home country, medical reasons or something else that prevent you from leaving the country.

Those who received a 30 day extension will need to visit their local immigration office and get the correct stamp that will indicate the new expiration date in their passport, according to a story in The Phuket News. In the past, foreigners have needed to present a letter from their country’s embassy requesting an extension, but Immigration Bureau Deputy Commissioner Pornchai Kuntee says “letters from embassies may not be needed.”

Tell us about the new long stay ‘special tourist visa’, the STV.

Here are the strict basic requirements of the new STV…

• Foreign visitors will be required to have a Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before, departure

• They will have to buy Covid-19 health insurance

• Sign a letter of consent agreeing to comply with the Thai government’s Covid-19 measures

• Will be for a minimum 90 days (there have been some reports of a minimum 30 days), renewable twice, to a total of 20 days

• The visa will be limited to people from ‘low-risk’ countries although that list has not been announced

• Successful applicants will have to complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine at a state-registered quarantine/hotel

• STV travellers must travel by charter plane and every flight carrying them must receive permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or CCSA

The new 90 day special tourist visa would be able to be extended twice, for 90 days each time. So, a total of 270 days (around 9 months). It was also announced that travellers would have to arrive on charter flights only, further pushing up the price of potential travel back to Thailand.

“Visitors can arrive for tourism or health services, and they can stay at alternative state quarantine facilities, specific areas or at hospitals that function as quarantine facilities. Our public health system is amongst the best in the world and people can have confidence in it.”

The new ‘STV’ (Special Tourist Visa) which will cost 2,000 baht and will last for 90 days each. The new visa regulation will be in effect until September 30, 2021 and may be extended beyond that time.

The government noted that it doesn’t have the ability to fully re-open to tourism at the moment as they have to be able to process incoming visitors and find approved locations for them to serve their 14 day quarantine.”The target is to welcome 100-300 visitors a week, or up to 1,200 people a month, and generate income of about 1 billion baht a month.”

Thai officials have also said they will only accept tourists from “low risk” countries, without specifying what those countries are.

On Friday, September 18, a director at the Department of Disease Control, said that foreign tourists will have to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to travel.

The Thaiger will update the details of the new long stay tourist visa as soon as the become available.

The Special Tourist Visa will be formerly approved Monday. Read more HERE.

How is Thailand doing compared to the rest of the world with it’s re-opening to tourists?

The UN World Tourism Organisation has published its latest update on the state of the world’s re-openings in the Covid-era. 53% of the world’s tourist destinations have now started easing travel restrictions government’s imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The UNWTO reports acknowledges that many destinations “remain cautious” and some are even re-closing borders and tightening up restrictions again.

It’s the 7th edition of the “Covid-19 Related Travel Restrictions: A Global Review for Tourism”and identifies an ongoing global trend to gradually restart the world’s tourism machine. The report analyses restrictions by governments up to September 1. The research covers a total of 115 destinations (53% of all destinations worldwide) have now eased their travel restrictions – that’s an increase of 28 since 19 July. Of these, two have lifted all restrictions, while the remaining 113 continue to have certain restrictive measures in place.

• Another stand-out stat was that in advanced economies, 79% of tourism destinations had already started easing restrictions. In emerging economies, less than half, just 47% of destinations, have started the process.

• 64% of those destinations which have eased have a “high or medium dependence” on airlines to deliver international tourists to their location. Island destinations are particularly at risk at this time as the air lift is critical to their tourist success.

• 43% of all worldwide destinations continue to have their borders completely closed to all tourism, of which 27 destinations have had their borders “completely closed” for at least 7 months.

• Half of all destinations in the survey, with borders completely closed to tourism, are listed as being among the “World’s Most Vulnerable Countries”. They include 10 Small Island Developing States, one Least Developed Country and three Land-Locked Developing Countries.

Should I use a visa agent to extend my visa?

There are plenty of ads being posted at this time offering magic extensions to visas and opportunities to stay in Thailand after September 26. Please be aware that some of these alleged visa agents are scams. There are also plenty of good visa agents who will be able to provide you with advice and solutions, at a cost, allowing you to remain in the country.

If you do wish to contact a visa agent at this time make sure you get a referral from a friend, visit their office in person or ask plenty of questions and check their bonafides. Do not start sending money to accounts until you have seen some paperwork or evidence that they are able to provide you with a legal and professional service. Caveat emptor!

I had a retirement visa and have lived in Thailand for many years. When can I return?

Foreigners with permanent residences who have been stranded overseas for the past 6 months, and long-term foreign residents (retirement visa), can now re-enter Thailand.

Both groups still have to undergo the mandatory state-controlled 14 day quarantine.

If you believe you fall into either of these categories, contact your local Thai Embassy or consulate to discuss your circumstances BEFORE you purchase a ticket or make any other arrangements.

Is it safe in Thailand at the moment?

Yes. No less safe than usual and certainly there has been no civil unrest that would make you ponder your personal safety beyond the usual precautions you would take anywhere in the world. The current student protests are fairly limited and are publicised ahead of time so you can avoid those situations. Whilst there has been some outbursts against foreigners from a Thai politician and a few stressed-out locals, the situation for foreigners remains safe and secure at this time.

What happened to the Phuket Model?

It was a non-starter after the government encountered resistance from some in Phuket. It was also not well received by travellers and many in the local hospitality industry.

At this stage, a model to allow limited tourists to re-enter the country, on extended tourist visas, with some restrictions, is being hammered out by the CCSA in conjunction with the Public Health Department, TAT and Ministry of Sports and Tourism. It’s called the Special Tourist Visa and is aimed at high-wealth tourists with plenty of time, as the visa has a minimum 90 day stay requirement.

Are there any Facebook pages where I can share my story about wanting to come back to Thailand?

The ‘Love Is Not Tourism Thailand’ Facebook page, which includes families torn apart by the pandemic, is calling on the Thai government to help reunite their families.

“We’re asking the government to issue visas or allow entry for family members and lovers to reunite with each other for humanitarian reasons. Evidence such as a passport with an entry stamp into Thailand, photos, and text messages should be able to verify their unions.”

I have been stranded in Thailand since April. Now I have run out of money and don’t know what to do.

This is a really difficult situation and you’d be well advised to contact your friends and family, and advise them of your predicament. Also, you MUST contact your country’s embassy or consulate to alert them of the situation. They will at least have information about repatriating you to your home country or perhaps other options that may be available.

Just hoping your situation is going to improve won’t work. Get as much information as you can about your options. And hopefully your family or friends can send you some funds to tide you over during this crazy time. Chock dee krub!

The airlines are selling tickets to fly to Thailand now. Should I buy one?

No. Don’t buy a ticket for a flight to Thailand until you have ALL the paperwork required, have discussed your trip with your local embassy and you have been approved for travel. Why the airlines keep selling tickets, for flights that will be cancelled, is a mystery.

There are currently no plans to open Thailand’s borders for international tourism beyond proposals for a limited opening for tourism into Phuket called the Phuket Model. It was proposed to start in October but no decisions have been made.

Which leads us to the next question….

When will Thailand open its borders for international tourism?

Both the Civil Aviation Authority and a Deputy Governor from the TAT have stated that it is unlikely that the borders will be reopened for general tourism until 2021. But there is now the new Special Tourist Visa which allows tourists to visit for 90 days at a time (extendable twice for a total of 270 days), at a cost of 2,000 baht per application or extension. There are still quite draconian restrictions on the new visa, including the 14 day mandatory quarantine and lots of paperwork. Your starting point would be to contact your Royal Thai Embassy in your country.

Would a Thailand Elite Visa solve my problems?

Yes and no. The Elite Visa program is an excellent and convenient means of staying in Thailand with few problems, allowing you to avoid visits to Immigration and most of the paperwork. But it’s an expensive up-front costs and, for now, there is a 3-4 month waiting period to process new applications.

At this time, there is also a limit on the number of people, on various visas, they are allowing to re-enter Thailand each day. But if you have the cash, it’s definitely an option as people on the Thailand Elite Visa are currently allowed to re-enter the Kingdom.

Our flight has a transit stop in Thailand. Can we get off the plane and spend a day in Bangkok?

No. At this time all transits require passengers to remain on the plane. There may be some situations where they deplane passengers but you will be restricted to a section of the airport.

Can I get a job, get a new visa and stay in Thailand?

Maybe, possibly. Jobs for foreigners are thin on the ground at the moment. Outside of teaching English (there will always be jobs for English teachers in Thailand), most companies are cutting staff right now, rather than employing. You would need to secure a letter of offer from your new employer and visit you local immigration office to discuss the matter urgently, before September 26.

Can I fly back to my country and get a new Non B visa, and then return to Thailand?

In theory, yes. But it will take some good planning and a dose of luck for the plan to be successful. Theo did it… HERE’s the link to his story. You will certainly need to do a 14 day quarantine upon your return and the capricious nature of various embassy and immigration officials could make the many steps to get all the paperwork a nightmare.

What about other tropical holiday spots?

Island economies, dependent on tourism – from Bali in Indonesia, to Hawaii in the US – grapple with the pandemic, which has brought global travel to a virtual halt. World aviation has dropped by 97% (last month compared year-on-year). Re-opening to tourists has led to the resurgence of infection in some places like the Caribbean island of Aruba, and governments are fearful of striking the wrong balance between public health and economic reality. Even The Maldives, which confidently re-opened for tourism, has had a recent surge of new cases and forcing the government to rethink its plans.

Ibiza and the other popular Spanish party islands, are also devastated by the current Covid situation.

Can I travel to Thailand for medical Tourism?

Yes. Even though Thailand’s borders are still closed to most travel, including tourism, there are some select groups being allowed back into the Kingdom. Medical tourists are one of those groups but, for most countries, ONLY for urgent or emergency medical matters. Foreign medical tourists are now permitted to apply to come to Thailand for medical treatment with strict disease control measures being put in place.

BUT, and there’s always a ‘but’ at the moment, some countries will not permit its citizens to travel outside of their home countries, even for medical emergencies. In all cases, you would need to consult your local Royal Thai Embassy to find out if you are eligible, before you book a flight or sing a contract with a medical provider in Thailand.

Under the CCSA regulations, foreign medical and wellness tourists have to arrive by air to ensure effective disease control, not via land border checkpoints at this stage.

“Those seeking cosmetic surgery and infertility treatments will be allowed to enter the country. Those seeking Covid-19 treatment are barred.”

If you’d like to investigate coming to Thailand at this time, go to MyMediTravel to browse procedures and check out your options.

Spokesperson Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin says the visitors must have an appointment letter from a doctor in Thailand and entry certificates issued by Thai embassies across the globe. People wanting to visit Thailand for medical procedures at this time will need to contact the Thai Embassy in their country to organise the visa and paperwork. Thailand’s major hospitals will provide potential candidates with an appointment letter.

They will also need to produce proof that they tested negative for Covid-19 before their arrival. Once in Thailand they will be tested again and will required to stay at the medical facility for at least 14 days, during which they will be able to start their chosen treatments.

The CCSA says that medical procedures will only be allowed for foreigners at hospitals that have been registered to provide the treatments and have proven their ability to contain any potential outbreak. Potential patients will only be allowed to bring a total of 3 family members or caretakers during their visit to Thailand. Caretakers will have to go through the same screening procedures as the patient.

Embassies and participating hospitals will be able to provide more information about procedures, facilities, paperwork requirements and arrival options.

Again, MAKE SURE you consult the Royal Thai Embassy in your home country before proceeding with any medical tourism pans.

Travel advice from the UK government

From 4 July, Thailand is exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel. This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

However, the requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK from Thailand remains in place. See guidance on entering or returning to the UK.

The following advice within Thailand remains in place. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to areas within the provinces on the Thailand-Malaysia border, including…

  • Pattani
  • Yala
  • Narathiwat
  • Southern Songkhla province. This does not include areas north of and including the A43 road between Hat Yai and Sakom, and areas north-west of and including the train line which runs between Hat Yai and Pedang Besar.

Travel to Thailand is subject to entry restrictions.

  • At present only certain categories of foreign nationals are permitted to enter or transit Thailand.
  • If you’re eligible to enter, you will be subject to a 14-day state quarantine at a Thai government-designated facility at your own expense. If suspected of carrying Covid-19, you may be denied entry into the country
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Visa

New visa amnesty allows foreigners to stay in Thailand until October 31, with 60 day extensions

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New visa amnesty allows foreigners to stay in Thailand until October 31, with 60 day extensions | The Thaiger

The visa amnesty, twice extended, expired on September 26. Then another amnesty was launched yesterday which allows foreigners, without visas or with lapsed visas, until October 31 to sort out their visa situation. The grace period acknowledges the problems many foreigners are having organising flights back to their home countries at a time much of the world has an acceleration of cases. Extensions will now be 60 days each.

Dr. Taweesin Wisanuyothin, spokesperson for the CCSA, read a message from the Thai PM.

“As Covid-19 is still causing harm and there are many infections around the world, more than 30 million cases, some foreigners have to stay in Thailand, and cannot travel out of the Kingdom of Thailand to go back to their home countries, and they cannot follow Section 35 and Section 37 (5) of the Immigration Act 2522 and other related laws.”

Up to the end of last week, Thai Immigration officials predicted there were some 150,000 foreigners still in Thailand without a valid visa.

In July, following weeks in April and May when much of Thailand was in a lockdown, immigration officials granted automatic visa extensions to September 26. In the lead up to last Saturday’s sunset of the visa amnesty, many foreigners jumped through the Immigration department’s hoops to either get a new visa, or a 30 day extension to their old visa. The last minute rush caused confusion, queues and pleas for another extension.

Now, a new immigration regulation will allow foreigners to apply for 60 day extensions to stay in Thailand if they are “unable to leave due to limited flights or other issues”. The extensions, prior to this announcement, required a letter from applicants’ embassy and a payment of 1,900 baht. The extension was only applicable for 30 days. The new extensions will last for 60 days.

Front line immigration officials, expats and visitors alike will feel aggrieved this morning after the announcement. Officers had to face long lines of angry and confused foreigners last week at their offices around the country. Now the countdown starts again as it ticks down to the October 31 date for foreigners to get their visa affairs in order.

Not so much a ‘last minute decision’ as an ‘after-deadline decision’, the turnaround from Thai Immigration will only encourage foreigners to wait until the last moment when the next deadline looms. Last week there were threats from Immigration officials across the country that there wouldn’t be another extension and that foreigners overstaying their visas would be fined, jailed and deported. So whilst the new amnesty is clearly a welcome development for foreigners trying to stay in Thailand, it does little to foster further trust in announcements coming out of the country’s immigration offices.

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Thailand

News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking

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News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | The Thaiger

After news hit of an American being arrested and sued for defamation over leaving a bad review about a Koh Chang hotel on TripAdvisor, many are taking to the internet to voice their opinions on the issue. The Sea View Resort owners say it tried in vain to negotiated with Wesley Barnes after he posted the reviews, but he continued to post completely untrue comments.

The owners released a five-page statement after the news of it suing the American gained widespread attention. You can read their response HERE. Then, Barnes submitted his own response detailing the situation which was also published online.

News of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | News by The ThaigerNews of American sued over bad Koh Chang hotel review has everyone talking | News by The Thaiger

Now, the story has gained even more attention as netizens have begun posting their opinions on the controversial issue of Thailand’s defamation laws. Below, are some of those posts on The Thaiger’s Facebook page.

“Can someone clarify for me Thailand’s position on people leaving honest bad reviews as my girlfriend says it’s fine to leave a bad review of a business and it’s not defamation if honest of course? I have heard people say that you simply can’t leave bad honest reviews at all here but that sounds ridiculous. The thing about many Thais is that they think they’re beyond reproach. They can’t accept criticism because it’s not aligned with their grandiose self-image. Many also have a torrid time when it comes to ownership of their own actions and decision making.”

“OMG! He is arrested for a review.?! I know of an expat in Malaysia that wrote a bad review about a Thai-owned resort in Penang and he was sued as well. Be careful with what you share in that neck of the woods.”

“It’s one thing to leave a bad review but to throw in “modern slavery” remarks escalates to thai defamation law. He shouldn’t be arrested for his comments but you need to respect the country laws no matter how crazy they seem compared to your own country. This press is going to negatively affect the business way more than that review would have done though.”

“The owner should have settled with the review platforms privately and move on. I would hardly hold up Trip Advisor as a beacon of truth, however some people write extremely personal and vindictive comments that go beyond a review, in an attempt to gain product or refunds in return, this is an absolute fact, and hopefully this might make people think before they start writing reviews that are not exactly honest, I have read stories critical of the General Managers because they didn’t contact the guests, some really petty reviews by rather petty people.”

If Barnes is indeed found to be guilty of defamation, he could spend up to 2 years in prison and pay up to a 200,000 baht fine.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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