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Thailand News: TAT expects bumper party for New Year

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

TAT optimistic of new year spending after 2011 disaster
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: Travelers during the New Year holidays are expected to spend more than 13.1 billion baht, says the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

That’s good news for the industry compared with last year, when the TAT was forced to cancel plans for many festive events because of the flood disaster.

Suraphon Svetasreni, governor of the authority, said it would organize activities and help stimulate tourism across the nation.

From December 29 to January 2, the TAT projects that tourists will be flocking into the provinces to celebrate. Their numbers are estimated at more than 2.36 million, with hotel occupancy at more than 70 per cent.

The northern region will be the top destination for tourists this year, thanks to its cooler climate and activities planned to lure tourists. Of the total projected revenue of 3.5 billion baht will be contributed in the north, followed by 3.2 billion each in Bangkok and the south, 1.6 billion in the central region, 1 billion in the east, and 600 million in the northeastern region of the country.

Tanongsak Somwong, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, said this New Year festival was looking good for the island. Hotel occupancy has reached 80-85 per cent and will go as high as 95 per cent at some hotels during the period.

“It is better than 2011,” Tanong-sak said.

He said the recent power blackout had not hurt the island’s tourism image. It will be able to maintain its annual growth in tourist numbers at 15-20 per cent, and the New Year period is a big contributor to this growth.

Suraphon said the TAT would join in the “Miracle Thailand Countdown 2013”. Eight locations will be promoted: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Pattaya, Khon Kaen, Hat Yai, and two in Phuket. The TAT hopes to promote it as international event in collaboration with countries worldwide.

Yutthachai Soonthronrattana-vate, president of the Association of Domestic Travel, said domestic tourism was very popular during the New Year period, making it difficult to get air tickets to major destinations.

Travel to other countries is booming as well, especially those nearby. Last month, 500,000-600,000 Thais traveled outside the Kingdom, according to immigration checkpoints, up by about half from normal periods. This month, November’s number is expected to increase by 15-20 per cent.

The growth comes from a low travel base last year, which was hit by the flood crisis, as people postponed their travel plans. However, travel is also becoming more attractive to a lot of Thais because of convenient service from transport providers and immigration, especially border countries.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Economy

Stimulus package gives more back the more you spend

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A new stimulus package aims to get the middle class spending. (via Flickr - Marco Verch)

A new stimulus package targeting middle and high-income people aims at increasing spending by offering more e-voucher the more you spend. Ying Chai Ying Dai, which translates to “the more you spend the more you get”, will reward those who spend between 46,000 and 70,000 baht with a 7,000 baht e-voucher. This part of the government’s 225 billion baht stimulus package hopes to encourage 4 million qualifying middle- to upper-class people to spend more money by refunding 10-15% back, according to the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office.

People wishing to participate must register and make their purchases through a government e-wallet system. The system works by refunding 10 to 15% of purchases with a maximum of 7,000 baht. So at 15%, a person who spent 46,000 baht would receive back the full 7,000. On the 10% scheme, 70,000 baht in spending would be necessary to reach 7,000 cashback. No details were available on what determines the percentage level.

An additional 2,000 baht will be available for people participating in the “Section 33 Rao Rak Kan” and “Rao Chana” scheme. The plans are expected to push 85.5 billion Baht back into the economy as recipients must spend the cash by the end of June.

The 50/50 stimulus program that has been popular with the government covering half of what people spend for half for food, drink, and other items up to 150 baht per person per day will also be expanded. That plan began on October 23, and ended at the end of 2020, covering 10 million people with each receiving 3000 baht. The second phase of the popular program added 5 million more people and raised the limit to 3,500 baht per person.

A third phase of the “Khon La Khrueng” stimulus plan is expected to begin in July with participants getting a maximum of 3,500 baht each to spend, and opening the program to 16 million new people. This massive expansion though will stipulate that anyone participating in this program cannot also participate in the Ying Chai Ying Dai scheme.

All of these cash and voucher benefits aimed at supporting vulnerable groups, along with cash handouts for people who have state welfare cards, are part of 245 billion baht the government is spending in an attempt to keep the economy from collapsing. This falls under an emergency loan decree allocating the government 1 trillion baht total to cope with Covid-19.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Thailand

Covid UPDATE: 2,044 new cases and 27 deaths, provincial totals

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Deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Natapanu Nopakun / Photo courtesy of the Royal Thai Government

2,044 new Covid-19 cases and 27 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. There are now 29,320 active Covid-19 cases. 1,170 Covid patients are in critical condition including 367 on ventilators.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 78,855 Covid-19 infections and 363 virus-related deaths.

Out of 27 new fatalities, patients were ages 30 to 90. Most of the deaths were in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. Several contacted the virus from family members.

Provinces with the highest number of new confirmed cases…

Province New cases Total cases since April 1
Bangkok 869 16,917
Nonthaburi 201 3,032
Samut Prakan 165 2,902
Chon Buri 89 3,128
Samut Sakhon 69 1,299
Surat Thani 60 1,035
Pathum Thani 39 1,099
Chiang Mai 33 3,180
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 32 607
Nakhon Pathom 29 746
Ranong 29 329

 

Districts in Bangkok with the highest number of confirmed cases…

District New cases
Khlong Toei 46
Pathum Wan 24
Bang Khae 24
Lat Phrao 13
Ratchathewi 10
Pom Prap Sattru Phai 9
Bueng Kum 9
Phasi Charoen 8
Bang Khun Thian 8
Din Daeng 8

Covid UPDATE: 2,044 new cases and 27 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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