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Phuket

Tourism operators suggest visa-fee waiver to counter cancelled bookings

The Thaiger

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Tourism operators suggest visa-fee waiver to counter cancelled bookings | The Thaiger

As the cancellations of accommodation and tour bookings from Chinese tourists continue to rack up, local tourism operators are urging the Government to be pro-active in trying to restore confidence.

Vichit Prakobkosol, the President of the Association of Thai Travel Agents is calling for the Thai government to waive visa fees in a bid to lure back the Chinese tourists.

The association is reporting that many Chinese tourists have already cancelled plans to visit Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga and Koh Samui following the July 6 sinking of ‘Phoenix’ where 47 Chinese passengers drowned.

He says that the cancellations are already substantial for the period July to September and has already impacted the tourism business in the Andaman region which could result in long-term damage to the reputation.

Visit says that the visa fee exemption should buffered as soon as possible adding that there were plenty of other alternatives for Chinese tourists who will choose to visit other locations instead.

Currently a visa to visit Thailand costs around 1,000 baht per tourist for a Chinese citizen.

The Thai Tourism and Sports ministry reports that almost 10 million Chinese visited Thailand in 2017 – 3 million to Phuket, alone.

Vichit recommends using the visa-free lure for at least six months as the island’s tourism business works to re-establish confidence with the lucrative Chinese tourism market.

Tourism operators suggest visa-fee waiver to counter cancelled bookings | News by The Thaiger

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Krabi

Krabi mayor hopeful tourism crisis will be over soon

Maya Taylor

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Krabi mayor hopeful tourism crisis will be over soon | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

As is the case in many popular tourist spots in Thailand, the economy in the southern province of Krabi has been decimated due to Covid-19. Nation Thailand reports that tourist numbers in Krabi have fallen sharply, from a yearly average of 6 million to just 1.5 million last year. Revenue from tourism has plummeted from around 120 billion baht to 29 billion.

Krabi local, Amarit Siripornjutagun, who runs the Ruen Mai restaurant in Krabi town, says that just as he was thinking the worst was behind him, the second Covid-19 outbreak hit the country. The resurgence of the virus means he now has 80% fewer customers.

“There was hope when we saw some tourists return to Krabi after the first outbreak of Covid-19 in Thailand. But my businesses have suffered again from this second outbreak.”

Amarit has managed to retain all his staff, despite the financial pressures he is facing, but says he will have to reduce their hours if things don’t improve this month. He is calling on the government to provide soft loans during the Covid-19 resurgence, in addition to social security assistance.

Meanwhile, Krabi mayor, Keeratisak Phukaoluan, believes there is light at the end of the tunnel and that eventually, the province will double its tourist numbers. He says the development of Krabi airport, and the provision of parking bays for 30 jet airliners, will increase the province’s status as a tourism hub, in line with the neighbouring provinces of Phuket and Phang Nga.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 cluster confirmed following Koh Lanta “big bike” event

Maya Taylor

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Covid-19 cluster confirmed following Koh Lanta “big bike” event | The Thaiger

A “big bike” party on Koh Lanta, in the southern province of Krabi, has resulted in a cluster of Covid-19 infections, according to officials from the Department of Disease Control. The DDC says there are currently around 10 confirmed cases and 129 people considered “at risk”.

The outbreak is linked to a patient who travelled to Koh Lanta from the Covid-19 hotspot of Samut Sakhon on December 9. He made the journey, accompanied by 2 friends, to attend the “Multistrada Thailand Meeting of Ducati Bikers” on the island on December 11. While there, he came into contact with 133 people, of whom 129 are considered “high risk” and 4 are believed to be “low risk”. Officials have already tracked all of those affected, due to the hotel having registered the details of each person attending the event.

Including the original patient, 10 cases of the virus have now been confirmed. 4 are in Krabi, 1 of whom was at the big bike event and subsequently passed the virus to his wife, daughter, and another family member. Another person infected at the event has transmitted the infection to his 2 sons in Phuket. A further 2 people have been confirmed infected in the southern province of Songkhla, due to another infected biker passing the virus to his sister.

Meanwhile, DDC officials are urging local authorities in each province to check for residents who may have attended the Koh Lanta event and inadvertently spread the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Crime

Krabi man arrested for animal abuse after allegedly killing pet dogs

Caitlin Ashworth

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Krabi man arrested for animal abuse after allegedly killing pet dogs | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

A Krabi man was arrested on animal abuse charges after he allegedly shot and killed his pet dogs. The non-profit Watchdog Thailand filed a police complaint yesterday with a statement from a witness.

Police arrested 39 year old Surasak Kongduang at his home in Krabi’s Muang district. Surasak allegedly admitted to police that he shot both his pet dogs in the head and buried them in the backyard. Officers searched his home and found 3 guns and a bow. All weapons are legal and registered, police say.

Surasak allegedly told police that his wife fled and left the dogs behind after an argument a few days prior. He allegedly told officers that his mother is old and he felt bad about leaving her to care for the dogs, adding that one dog is lame while the other is sick.

Surasak was charged with animal abuse and for unlawful discharge of a firearm.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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