Thailand News Today | No STV tourists, Boss in Dubai, border fears in Tak | October 13

Daily news about Thailand. Latest information, and tourism and visa news.

No one in Guangzhou applied for the Special Tourist Visa, Foreign Ministry

In a stunning revelation yesterday, it turns out that not a single person from Guangzhou, China, actually applied for the new Special Tourist Visa.

That’s the sad and bizarre truth, according to Thai media outlet Siamrath. Around 120 to 150 tourists had “planned” to arrive in Phuket on October 8 from Guangzhou, China, but “administrative issues” were claimed to be the reason for the delayed flight.

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand apparently released a list of Chinese tourists who had signed up indicating their “interest” in the new visa scheme, but never actually went through the process of applying for the visa, or were ever actually coming to Phuket, according to Siamrath.

According to their article, Thailand’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Natthaphanu Noppakhun told Thai reporters that no one in Guangzhou had actually applied for the special tourist visa.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said in an earlier report that the flight delay was due to issues in the process for applying and issuing the Special Tourists Visas, clearly a massive mis-speaking of the actual situation.

As of our time of publishing today’s Thailand News Today, there has been no official comments from the government concerning the apparent misunderstanding.

Thai police to verify “Boss” whereabouts with UAE embassy

Following recent reports that the elusive Red Bull heir, Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya, is living in Dubai, Thai police say they’re writing to the UAE embassy to verify the claims.

Boss is wanted in relation to a 2012 hit-and-run incident that claimed the life of a 47 year old Bangkok policeman. The man died after his bike was dragged 100 metres by a Ferrari driven by Boss, which then fled the scene.

Incredibly, Boss managed to flee Thailand in 2017, after years of evading numerous court appearances. Charges, that were initially dropped against him in July this year, have recently been re-instated following an independent inquiry called on by the Thai PM.

The Assistant National Police Chief says Thai police are submitting a letter to the embassy of the United Arab Emirates, and says…

“We want to confirm with the local authorities whether he is in the UAE or not. If he is, we will coordinate with them to extradite him to Thailand so he can face trial.”

Domestic tourism survey indicates long road to recovery

A government survey looking at the travel habits of domestic tourists indicates an uphill struggle for the tourism industry’s recovery.

A spokesperson for the Commerce Ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office says around a quarter of those surveyed travelled during weekends and holidays, but most spent less than 5,000 baht per trip.

Those surveyed were also asked if they planned to travel this month, with nearly 48% saying they have no plans to do so.

Commenting about the survey, the Commerce Ministry spokesperson said…

“From the survey results, there are indications that domestic tourism might not recover in the second half of the year. Entrepreneurs in the tourism industry need to adjust their strategy to suit consumer behaviour in the new normal era.”

Border schools close for cleaning, thousands test for Covid-19 after Burmese truck drivers test positive

Nearly a dozen schools in Tak’s Mae Sot district have closed today to be disinfected, and around 4,000 people in the community are expected to be tested for Covid-19.

All this follows 3 Burmese cargo truck drivers testing positive for the virus after crossing through a border checkpoint.

Those in communities deemed at high-risk have been told not to leave their home, unless it’s essential. They’re also being reminded to wear a face masks, stick to social distancing and sanitising their hands. Reports do not say how long the 11 local schools will be closed for.

The second Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge is open again today, and many cargo trucks arrived from Myanmar’s Myawaddy town to unload goods and head back to Myanmar.

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