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Taxi finder site seeks to improve user experience

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: In the midst of the flurry of fanfare regarding the NCPO’s crackdown on Phuket’s illegal taxis and taxi mafia (story here), a small family business called Travelsnooper Co Ltd has created a website that they hope will help all.

The new website, called taxithailand.info and available in English and Thai, is aiming for a target audience that includes hotels, taxi drivers and tourists or other end users. The site is meant to provide a platform where customers can find a listing of local and legal registered taxis, tuk tuks and mini-buses and an easy way to contact them. The website has just been launched and with a little development and support, could provide some clarity in a notoriously convoluted and corrupt industry.

The site already provides useful tips for newcomers to Thailand advising them on often overlooked details such as having a physical address for their destination or map they can show the driver, booking in advance for early morning or late night journeys, and having small bills as many drivers may not have change. They also reiterate the necessity of pleading with the driver to turn on the meter if in a metered taxi or agreeing on a fare before getting in the vehicle.

Although at this early stage the site has yet to be populated by taxi profiles, pages have been established for many of Thailand’s tourist hotspots including: Phuket, Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Bangkok as well as an “other provinces” page to fill in the gaps.

It is unclear at this point whether drivers will have to pay to be listed on the site, but their profile will include where they are based, a picture, what type/size vehicle, license number, seats, driver’s name, phone number and available hours.

The site assures visitors that all listed drivers are legally licensed to operate.

Although several “taxi finder” smartphone apps such as Uber, Grab Taxi and Easy Taxi are available in Bangkok, a nationwide service has yet to be launched.

Find more information about the service at taxithailand.info/index.php/en/

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— Jeremie Schatz

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January

Maya Taylor

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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Vietjet

Passenger numbers on domestic flights within Thailand have doubled within a month, rising from 4,000 in January to over 10,000 this month. Having nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels, domestic travel plummeted once more when Covid-19 resurfaced late last year.

Apirat Chaiwongnoi from the Department of Airports says 15 of Thailand’s 29 airports are now operating domestic flights, with more expected to follow. He believes the aviation sector will continue to recover further in the coming 6 months, bolstered by the national vaccine rollout.

Around 120 domestic flights a day are now operating, which is twice the number that were operating at the lowest point in the crisis. Prior to the resurgence of the virus in December, domestic passenger numbers had recovered to 30,000 – 40,000 a day, around 80% of pre-pandemic numbers.

The DoA says airports must continue to adhere to the Covid-19 hygiene measures put in place by the Health Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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