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Arrivals up 20% – visa fee waiver

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Arrivals up 20% – visa fee waiver | The Thaiger
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The Tourism and Sports Ministry is sprouting anecdotal evidence that tourist arrivals are up a massive 20% for the second half of November. This follows the hastily prepared visa-on-arrival fee waivers for 21 countries, introduced on November 15 and intended to run through to January 13 next year.

New visitors from India are part of the bounce back in tourist arrivals with a 4.2% increase from the same time last year. Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat says that October’s numbers for Chinese tourist arrivals plunged almost 20% but is now bouncing back strongly.

He also believes that there will be further growth in the next month as arrangements made, since the visa fee-waiver was introduced, turn into actual arrivals in the Kingdom.

Weerasak says that local tourism operators and public utilities must learn the needs of these two major markets (China and India) and prepare the right services to their demands and interests.

The Sports and Tourism Ministry is expecting that total arrivals in 2018 should still surge to around 38.4 million.

The 2,000 baht Visa On Arrival fee is waived for travellers from India, Saudi Arabia, Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, Taiwan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The Ministry has also launched a campaign along with the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to encourage tourists to stop using plastic and polystyrene products during their stay in Thailand. Plastic products have already been banned in all Thailand’s national parks.

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Drugs

Thai laws, how to stay out of jail in Thailand | VIDEO

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Thai laws, how to stay out of jail in Thailand | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Thailand has plenty of laws, some of them applied more vigorously than others. Some not at all. But the ones they do apply can get you in hot water or, at worst, in a Thai jail. You DON’T want to end up there. Here’s a few of the better and lesser known Thai laws from The Thaiger. You can visit all our videos, and subscribe to our channel HERE.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Health Minister volunteering to receive first Covid jab, as effectiveness rate questioned

Maya Taylor

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Health Minister volunteering to receive first Covid jab, as effectiveness rate questioned | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

“I’ll go first!”

Thailand’s Public Health Minister has repeated his pledge to be the first person to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, in a bid to allay people’s concerns. Questions have been raised about the Chinese-manufactured Sinovac Biotech jab after its effectiveness rating was revised downwards by researchers in Brazil.

Anutin Charnvirakul says the vaccine process will be overseen by Sophon Mekthon from the Ministry of Public Health and all safety criteria will be met. The Pattaya News reports that the minister says he has confidence in the safety of the vaccine and is willing to prove it by being the first person to get the jab. It’s not the first time he has made this suggestion but there has been no official confirmation that the Health Minister will be first in line.

Thailand has ordered 2 million doses of the vaccine, with the first 200,000 expected to arrive next month. The government has also ordered 26 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University but is not expected to take delivery of that vaccine until the middle of the year.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Economy

Government considering another registration round for co-payment scheme

Maya Taylor

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Government considering another registration round for co-payment scheme | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Finance Ministery is considering adding another registration round to the Khon La Khrueng (“Let’s Go Halves”) co-payment scheme, as 1.34 million rights have not yet been taken up. The government introduced the scheme last October, in an effort to stimulate the Covid-battered economy. Under the scheme, Thai citizens get a 50% subsidy on the purchase of food, drink and general products, up to 150 baht per person per day, to a maximum of 3,000 baht for the duration of the scheme. Those who sign up need to make purchases within 14 days of their registration.

The first phase got under way on October 23 and finished on December 31, with the government setting aside 30 billion baht to cover 10 million people. The second phase began on January 1 and runs until March 31, covering an additional 5 million people. The cap has also been raised from 3,000 to 3,500 baht.

Kulaya Tantitemit from the Fiscal Policy Office says that of the combined 15 million rights, 13.66 have been taken up. The Bangkok Post reports that those who have not received subsidy rights can register for the 1.34 million that remain by the end of this month.

The Finance Ministry is also considering a third phase of the scheme, based on the success of the first 2 phases, according to Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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