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Court rules that National Park can limit numbers to Similan Islands

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Court rules that National Park can limit numbers to Similan Islands | Thaiger

The Similan Islands national park will now be able to limit the number of visitors as a means to prevent ongoing environmental damage. This decision from the Supreme Administrative Court this week, overturning an earlier ruling from the Phuket Administrative Court.

The Similan Islands are a popular diving spot in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Khao Lak.

The ruling reverses an order of the local provincial Court last year which said a plan to limit numbers by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, was not legal.

Last October the Department announced plans to put a tourist ceiling of 3,325 tourists and 525 divers per day into the national park and that visitors couldn’t stay overnight.

Tour operators petitioned the Phuket Provincial Court to annul the limitations as it would severely affect their businesses. In December the Phuket Provincial Court issued an injunction against the visitor limitations but the Department appealed the ruling.

Now the Supreme Administrative Court has declared that tour operators were unable to present valid arguments against the Department’s attempts to curb visitor numbers and their efforts to protect the island archipelago against further degradation.

The higher court was critical of the Phuket Administrative Court’s ruling saying that its ruling would have led to ‘severe damage’.

Limiting tourist numbers at many of the Andaman’s tourist hot-spots has become a part of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation legal weaponry since closing down Maya Bay, but is facing a lot of pressure from local tour operators.

Court rules that National Park can limit numbers to Similan Islands | News by Thaiger

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Thailand

7 Thai dogs find a new home in California

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7 Thai dogs find a new home in California | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai dogs are always looking for loving homes.

7 stray dogs from Thailand have immigrated to the United States as one California woman attempts to rescue as many Thai dogs as possible. Melissa Bacelar is the owner of The Wagmor Luxury Pet Hotel and Spa, along with its offshoot pet adoption service, Wagmore Pets. Located in Studio City, a neighbourhood in Los Angeles bordering Hollywood, the pet hotel just checked in the 7 Thai dogs.

They were street rescues that the Soi Dog Foundation helped prepare for their move to America. Soi Dog Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping stray dogs and cats, is based in Phuket and operating throughout Thailand. They have recently been hosting vaccination and neutering on Koh Samui.

Following 2 days of air travel across the world, the dogs are settling into their new country, safely landed in Los Angeles. Melissa has a passion for rescuing dogs from Thailand because of the tough life they lead here, and the tragic end many face. Some die on the streets, others are poisoned or bludgeoned when they become burdensome to people in the area, while others are slaughtered and sold for meat.

“The dogs on the street often end up in different meat markets in the area; they’re just dying on the streets. So it’s important to get them out of there and find them homes.”

These 7 dogs have escaped that dark fate and have been rescued, rehabilitated, trained and vaccinated by the Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand. Melissa is hopeful that they will find new homes easily as they are fully prepared and ready for adoption. The Thai dogs are surely looking forward to starting their new lives as American dog citizens.

SOURCE: MSN

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Thailand

Elephants walking from Pattaya to Surin get a lift

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Elephants walking from Pattaya to Surin get a lift | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: The elephants walking from Pattaya to Surin have caught a ride.

The families and their 5 elephants that have been walking from Pattaya to Surin have now received some help, and are travelling by truck thanks to an anonymous donor. As previously reported, after more than a year of waiting for borders to reopen from the Covid-19 pandemic and tourism to begin to return, the families were forced to give up hope and begin their long 500 km journey back to their home town. They had begun the walk 5 days ago and had said that they could not afford trucks to transport the elephants. Now thanks to the Thai Elephant Alliance and an anonymous donor, 6 trucks have come to help move the elephants, plus another extra elephant in a similar situation, all the way across the country from Pattaya to Surin and Buriram.

The families had accepted donations of fruit, food and water for the walking elephants, but had refused many offers for cash donations for fear of the appearance that they were exploiting the elephants and the journey for their own financial gain. They had been working at an elephant resort in the Pattaya area for several years, making a decent living off salary and tips, mainly from Chinese tourists. But with tourism all-but-dead for over a year, their employers at the elephant resort could no longer afford to pay them and the family set off on the journey home.

The owners expressed heartfelt thanks to the Thai Elephant Alliance, commenting that the trucks will save them many weeks of walking across the whole of Thailand. When they arrive home to Surin, they will return to farming life where the elephants will live in wide-open natural spaces. The family said they considered the elephant’s part of their family, and many of the family members have grown up with the 5 elephants as a part of their lives. While they said that they would consider returning to Pattaya if tourism returns to its previous glory, they said they had no immediate plans and instead had just decided it was time for the family and the elephants alike to relax after all that walking.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

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