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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 | Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Kevin Bosc

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

    Tuesday, 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

    Tuesday, 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

      Tuesday, 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

      Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm

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

  3. Avatar

    Eddie

    Tuesday, 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

      Tuesday, 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

        Wednesday, 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

    Tuesday, 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

      Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 9:26 am

      Dirty farang must pay to let the bad smell out

  5. Avatar

    Michael

    Tuesday, 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

    Tuesday, 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

      Friday, September 4, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      Odd. Nearly everyone in mine has!

  7. Avatar

    Geoff

    Tuesday, 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

    Tuesday, 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

    Tuesday, 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

    Wednesday, 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

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 6:18 am

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

  12. Avatar

    CHE

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 6:21 am

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

  13. Avatar

    Waverider

    Wednesday, 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

    Friday, 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

    Saturday, 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

    Saturday, 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)

Privatising Covid vaccines – Thai government gives private hospitals the go-ahead to buy vaccines

Tim Newton

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Privatising Covid vaccines – Thai government gives private hospitals the go-ahead to buy vaccines | Thaiger

“About 10,000 people are being vaccinated around Thailand, on average, with 14,000 people being vaccinated each day in Phuket.”

Private hospitals and institutions have been given the official go-ahead to purchase up to 10 million doses of approved Covid-19 vaccines. The purchases will be in addition to what the Thai government is also doing. The major sticking point, despite the approval, however, continues to be the world supply shortage of vaccines, with demand far outstripping current supply.

The CCSA’s Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin announced that the Thai PM had approved the privatisation of vaccines but maintained that the roll out of free vaccines for Thais and people at risk would continue at full pace. The Thai government have been fending off accusations that it was blocking the acquisition of vaccines by private companies and hospitals. The 10 million doses approved for private purchases actually allows about 5 million vaccinated people with most of the approved vaccines needing 2 doses.

The spokesperson explained that the Thai government needs to have 40 million Thais vaccinated before they would be able to claim any scientific level of herd immunity. The public health minister said that around 10,000 people per day are being vaccinated around the country, on average. About 350,000 doses have arrived in Thailand and 1.5 million more doses are awaiting delivery for this month, according to the Thai PM.

The order allows the private sector to use a letter of approval from the Thai government to purchase its own supplies separately. Or, alternatively, to purchase directly from the government and resell to customers.

The government’s current order for vaccines is enough for around 35 million people with a local supplier, manufacturing the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine under license, from June this year.

Dr Taweesilp also urged private companies to target and purchase vaccines from manufacturers other than the vaccine companies the Thai government were already dealing with.

The following vaccines are currently approved in Thailand…

  • AZD1222 by AstraZeneca/Oxford University (2 doses)
  • ARS-CoV-2 (CoronaVac) by Sinovac (2 doses)
  • NT162b2/CORMIRNATY – Tozinameran by Pfizer/BioNTech (2 doses)
  • Covishield (ChAdOx1_nCoV19) by the Serum Institute of India (2 doses)
  • Ad26.COV2.S by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Single dose)
  • mRNA-1273 by Moderna (2 doses)

There are also current applications pending from other vaccine producers which will likely be approved in coming weeks.

Many expats have been chasing information about when they could expect to be vaccinated. Despite some promises from the government there has been little concrete information about formalities to register for vaccination at this stage. Meanwhile many expats have indicated they were prepared to pay for their vaccination but were unable to get clarification from private hospitals about when that may be available.

In Phuket the provincial government has promised ALL registered residents, local or foreign, that they would be eligible for government-funded vaccination. There has been a flurry of activity on the island over the past 2 weeks since the ‘Sandbox’ proposal was approved, in principal, for a July re-opening of quarantine-free tourism to vaccinated travellers. There has been queues and waiting lists at the island’s public hospitals every day for the past week. Currently some 14,000 people are being vaccinated every day, on average.

Meanwhile, the events of the past few days – the closure of entertainment venues and bars in 41 provinces, including all the main tourist areas – will force the government to re-consider any scheduled plans to re-open borders and reduction of quarantine times. Travellers are still allowed to visit Thailand, under new guidelines introduced on April 1, 2021.

What you currently need to enter Thailand…

  • Vaccine certificate, either a print out or the original document (or vaccinated travellers)
  • Certificate of Entry issued by the Royal Thai Embassy in your country
  • Covid-19 health insurance with a minimum coverage of US$100,000
  • Booking confirmation for an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel
  • Negative Covid-19 test issued no more than 72 hours before departure

Anyone considering travelling to Thailand at this time is recommended to check with the Thai embassy in their country first, before making bookings of ASQ hotels or flights.

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Expats

Airlines and hotels try to cope with cancellations for Songkran

Tim Newton

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Airlines and hotels try to cope with cancellations for Songkran | Thaiger

Airlines and hotels are reporting cancellations from many of their customers as travellers react to the news of the new clusters and infections being detected in the provinces. Bars and entertainment venues close for 2 weeks in 44 provinces from midnight tonight, according to an order from the Thai PM. Entertainment venues in the other 35 provinces will remain open at the discretion of their provincial officials.

The Thai government has also announced today a series of measures to assist with refunds for people that have cancelled, or been forced to cancel, their bookings.

Thai VietJet asked us to publish their arrangements due to the queries from their customers. We will publish any other announcements from airlines and large organisations as they come to hand…

Due to the Covid-19 escalation in Thailand, the airline announces its policy to support passengers holding Thai Vietjet tickets on all domestic routes.

For passengers who booked tickets and made payments before 10 April 2021 with travel date between 12 -30 April 2021, may choose 1 of the supports as following:

  1. One-time changing the travel date free of charge. New travel date must be by July 31, 2021 and subject to flight availability. Rerouting is not applicable.
  2. Keeping the value of the ticket as a Credit Voucher, which is valid within July 31, 2021.

Passengers who have travel dates fall into the above-mentioned period and wish to contact the airline for support regarding change of flight or credit shell by voucher (at least 72 hours before the original departure time), please choose 1 of the options below:

  1. By E-Form: https://bit.ly/2L6Yv4z (Recommended Channel)
  2. By Line: @Thaivietjet
  3. By email: vz.support@vietjetair.com
  4. By Live Chat at https://skyfun.vietjetair.com/

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Latest guidelines for all non-tourist visitors to Thailand, through Phuket

Tim Newton

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Latest guidelines for all non-tourist visitors to Thailand, through Phuket | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Phuket’s provincial government has issued a 48 page order for non-tourists entering Thailand, via Phuket. The order covers everyone from repatriating Thais, foreigners who are permanent residents or on long-term visas, students, workers passing through and consular visits. In real terms, as it says, anyone who isn’t visiting, or travelling through, Phuket as a tourist.

If you were looking for some easing of general restrictions for non-tourist arrivals on the island, you won’t find it here.

The order is NOT related to tourists arriving in Phuket or the proposal to open up Phuket for non-quarantine tourism after July.

The long-winded order goes through all the requirements of non-tourists in excruciating detail. Nearly all conditions of entry for these non-tourist groups are identical…

• Documents must be issued no more than 72 hours prior to arrival

• A Covid-19 test shows the traveller is not infected

• A Certificate of Entry

• Travellers must have a Thai tracking app (there are currently three) installed on their phones before arrival

• Travellers will have a swab tests firstly when they arrive, and secondly, before finishing their quarantine period.

Notably, all arrivals must do a mandatory quarantine period. Vaccinated travellers spend 7 days in quarantine. Unvaccinated travellers spend the full14 days in quarantine. If you are have been given one of the 2 dose vaccines, and only had 1 of the doses, you’ll be required to spend 10 days in quarantine.

The full order from the Phuket Provincial Office, in Thai, HERE.

As always, The Thaiger recommends you check with the Thai embassy in your country before booking flights or ASQ hotels.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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