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Thailand ‘among top 20 most dangerous countries’ to visit

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Thailand ‘among top 20 most dangerous countries’ to visit | The Thaiger
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THAILAND: Thailand has been ranked as one of the 20 most dangerous countries in the world for tourists to visit, with high rates of crime and violence and ‘low reliability’ of police assistance, according to a recent survey.

Of the 136 countries around the world covered by the World Economic Forum’s ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report’, which was released last month, Thailand sits at 118th with a 4.0 score for safety and security for tourists.

The index indicates tourists’ and businesses’ exposure to security risks, taking into account serious harm such as violence and terrorism.

While a score of seven is considered the best for visitors, Finland is ranked No 1 with a score of 6.7, while Colombia, regarded as the most dangerous country in the world for travellers, is the lowest with a score of 2.6.

Among Asean countries, the Philippines is the most dangerous, placed 126th with a score of 3.6, and Singapore is at the top (6th and 6.5).

The violence that flared in Thailand’s deep South in early 2004 took more than 6,800 lives.

The southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, bordering with Malaysia, are the trouble hot spots.

While historical and ethno-religious grievances are behind the bloody unrest in the predominantly Muslim region, the causes of the occasional attacks in Bangkok, notably since the 2014 military coup, are largely unknown. Authorities have no clear explanation.

The latest bombing at the military-run Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok took place on May 20, wounding more than 20 people.

Investigations into that case and previous explosions have made little progress.

Responsible military units in the capital say the junta has plenty of measures to assure safety and security for tourists.

“We have enough surveillance cameras in public places and security officials are working in many locations to closely monitor groups of people who have the potential to create trouble,” insists Chalermphon Srisawat, commander of the Second Cavalry Division.

The military has also engaged with hotels where mostly foreign guests stay, to take care of safety and security at such locations, he says.

Hotel operators are required to submit their guest lists to authorities, he said.

However, the WEF report says that Thailand’s overall safety performance has barely improved, as it was 34th with a 4.4 score in 2017 from 35th with 4.3 in 2015.

Other indicators include business environment, health and hygiene, information and communication technology ‘openness’, price competitiveness, environmental sustainability and tourist service infrastructure.

The country did well on tourism service infrastructure with a 5.8 score. The lowest score was found in ‘cultural resources’, with only 2.8.

Thailand welcomed nearly 30 million visitors with international inbound receipts of US$44.5 billion (1.5 trillion baht) last year. Tourism is a key engine for the country’s economic growth.

— The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Digital Government Development Agency

Foreign tourists travelling to Thailand will need to download the Covid-19 contact tracking mobile application “ThailandPlus” before arriving in Thailand and use it throughout their stay. The app will notify travellers if they have been in close contact with any confirmed cases.

Throughout their trip to Thailand, tourists will need to keep the app “on” and check in and out of various locations by scanning QR codes. The app requires access to the smartphone’s GPS , but the Tourism Authority of Thailand says the information collected will only be used for public health purposes and will not infringe on the tourists’ right to privacy.

Travellers will also need to upload a recent headshot as well as supply their Certificate of Entry number and reference ID from the Royal Thai Embassy.

The app is a spinoff to the “Thai Chana” and “Mor Chana” apps. All use GPS and Bluetooth as well as QR code scanning to detect the users’ locations. The apps sparked controversy and many Thais expressed concerns about their privacy, but the government has assured the public that information will be kept private.

The development of the app is a collaboration between the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Digital Government Development Agency.

Click HERE to download the ThailandPlus.

SOURCE: TAT

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Thailand News Today | Pollies in jail, Covid originated in Thailand? | Feb 25

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Pollies in jail, Covid originated in Thailand? | Feb 25 | The Thaiger

Today on Thailand News Today, a number of government ministers have ended up in jail, the vaccines are about to roll out but experts say the injections are not the end of the pandemic, and A Pattaya motorbike taxi driver is being accused of attacking a Chilean national. We’ve also get a special report on the channel about accusations that surfaced this week that Covid 19 may not have started in Wuhan at all, but in Thailand. That’s all coming up now on Thursday’s Thailand News Today.

A number of government ministers have been jailed for their part in protests against the government of Yingluck Shinawatra that crippled Bangkok and ultimately led to the 2014 military coup. Yesterday, the Criminal Court handed prison sentences to 29 former members of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, some of whom were serving as MPs in the current Chan-o-cha administration.

Police have shut down a network of online casinos in raids that took place across 7 provinces, with 19 suspects arrested, and cash and other goods seized. In total, 8 online casino networks in 7 provinces have been shut down, with police apprehending 19 out of a total 22 suspects.

A specialist in infectious diseases at the Faculty of Medicine of Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University says the arrival of vaccines does not mean it will automatically be safe to re-open to foreign visitors. Thira Woratanarat says opening the borders too soon will only put Thailand in more danger, pointing to a lack of data on the efficacy of vaccines against transmission.

The Thai Ministry of Public Health is being praised after seemingly doing an about face over whether Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market could be the source of Covid‐19. After health officials denied that the World Health Organisation was investigating the market, a recent Facebook live press conference saw the Ministry acknowledging that unregulated wildlife trades may endanger public health.

A Pattaya motorbike taxi driver is being accused of attacking a Chilean national, leaving his nose broken and face bloodied. The 24 year old Salvatore Chilean, filed a report to the Pattaya City Police at around 2am this morning after saying he had left a nightclub on Pattaya’s Walking Street after it had closed.

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Canadian Embassy to help Thailand recruit English teachers

Caitlin Ashworth

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Canadian Embassy to help Thailand recruit English teachers | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Thailand officials want more native speaking English teachers and plan to recruit more than 10,000 English teachers for 300 schools to improve English proficiency among Thai students. To help draw in potential teachers, the Education Ministry is teaming up with the Canadian Embassy in Thailand.

Teachers will be placed in schools once the pandemic has eased. Recruitment for the plan is expected to be completed by May, according to Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan. He says the Cabinet has approved an agreement between the ministry, embassy and the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce for the recruitment plan.

The ministry plans to focus on teaching language in early levels of education because young students are at a suitable age for building communication skills, Nataphol says. Teachers will be either native English speakers or Thai teachers who hold an English degree, according to Nataphol.

Along with 10,000 English teachers, the Cabinet also plans to recruit 10,000 Chinese teachers. Teachers will also receive training.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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