Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn

  • Tourism

    1-billion-baht tourism stimulus back on track

    While debate continues around Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s return to office, one thing has become clear: the Tourism and Sports Ministry is moving ahead with a package of measures delayed while General Prayut was suspended pending the Constitutional Court’s ruling. One proposal will allow entertainment venues to remain open until 4am. It’s estimated that Thailand loses roughly 70 million baht (US$2…

  • Tourism

    Filipino workers invited to check in with Thailand tourism sector

    Workers from the Philippines are invited to check in with the Thai tourism industry. A meeting last week between the Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Thailand Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS) concluded positively with an agreement to open the hospitality door to Filipino workers. The MOTS minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, made it known there is a shortage of workers…

  • Tourism

    Tourism minister confident new Thailand Pass system will increase visitor numbers

    The tourism minister is already praising the yet-to-be-launched Thailand Pass, saying it will lift tourist numbers significantly. Thailand Pass replaces the much-maligned Certificate of Entry from Monday and Pipat Ratchakitprakan is expecting to see visitor numbers rise. “Hotel bookings under the Phuket Sandbox scheme for November went up considerably after October 21, when the list of 46 low-risk countries from…

  • Phuket

    Thai PM defends plan to spend 100 million baht on New Year’s Eve celebrities

    The Thai PM is standing firm amid fierce criticism of a plan to spend 100 million baht on 2 global singing stars for New Year’s Eve festivities in Phuket. Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended the government’s plan to spend around US$3 million dollars to secure Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, and Lalisa “Lisa” Manobal, from the K-pop band, Blackpink. The Bangkok Post…

  • Coronavirus (Covid-19)

    Health experts weigh in on risks of re-opening Thailand without quarantine

    Following Monday night’s announcement by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha that Thailand will re-open quarantine-free for select vaccinated tourists from November, health experts have voiced concern. The Bangkok Post reports that some prominent medics are worried re-opening without quarantine will provoke a surge in Covid-19 infections. Thira Woratanarat from the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University has warned that daily case numbers…

  • Tourism

    Re-opening of Bangkok pushed back 2 weeks to reach 70% vaccination goal

    Following a meeting between the Bangkok governor and the tourism minister, officials have decided to delay the re-opening of the capital by 2 weeks. Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the capital’s re-opening will be pushed back to October 15, as most residents are still waiting for their second vaccination. Currently, just 37% of residents are fully vaccinated. The Bangkok Post…

  • Tourism

    Covid or no Covid, October 1 re-opening going ahead – Tourism Minister

    There will be no rowing back on the planned October 1 re-opening of Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Chiang Mai, despite the Covid-19 crisis. So says Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, confirming that the government is sticking to the re-opening date previously announced by the PM. According to a Bangkok Post report, the minister has also…

  • Tourism

    Tourism ministry wants Thailand fully re-opened, without quarantine, by January

    Thailand’s Tourism Minister wants the country to re-open fully, without quarantine, by January, but says this will depend on vaccination efforts. According to a Bangkok Post report, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is citing herd immunity as a condition for the re-opening, pointing out that Bangkok’s re-opening has been delayed from October to November, as most residents are still waiting for their second…

  • Tourism

    Tourism Minister defends PM’s re-opening plan on day 3 of no-confidence debate

    Thailand’s Tourism Minister has defended the PM’s promise to re-open the country, pointing out that Bangkok and another 4 provinces should be in a position to welcome tourists from next month. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the re-opening of those 5 provinces will be followed by a further 21 provinces around the country. He was speaking during yesterday’s no-confidence debate against PM…

  • Tourism

    Thailand’s foreign tourist numbers expected to plummet during 2021

    Tourism officials have repeated a bleak prediction that international arrivals in Thailand are likely to drop to an all-time low this year. According to a Bangkok Post report, Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says foreign visitors to the Kingdom may only number 500,000 this year. “If the ongoing outbreak continues past September, the total number of foreign tourists this year might…

  • Tourism

    Tourism Ministry to ask for soft loans to help operators prepare for re-opening

    The Tourism and Sports Minister says that if the Phuket sandbox is a success, he will have talks with the Finance Ministry about allocating soft loans to tourism operators. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says the loans would come from the government’s 500-billion-baht borrowing and would help tourism operators prepare for an October re-opening. In the interim, he says domestic tourists can help…

  • Tourism

    Tourism Minister threatens to cancel travel stimulus if only some operators benefit

    Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister says if all operators cannot benefit from a domestic travel stimulus scheme, it may be cancelled. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says he will meet with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to ensure everyone in the sector can be helped by the scheme. According to the Bangkok Post, the government plans to launch the Tour Teaw Thai scheme…

  • Tourism

    Sandbox latest, CCSA says all regions reopening must reach 70% local vaccination

    Discussions about re-opening Thailand have spread beyond Phuket with the latest decisions from the CCSA. Meanwhile, Phuket’s Sandbox re-opening date of July 1 looms. The main narrative out of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration is the need for regions or provinces, slated for re-opening to vaccinated overseas travellers, to have vaccinated 70% of their resident population before they can…

  • Tourism

    Thailand to introduce 300 baht “tourism fee” to insure foreign visitors, manage tourist destinations

    Thailand’s Tourism Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, has confirmed a proposal to charge foreign tourists a fee of 300 baht per visit. The fee will be used to develop tourist destinations as well as providing visitors with insurance benefits while in the Kingdom. The proposal has been approved by the National Tourism Policy Committee and is set to be announced in the…

  • Tourism

    Minister says lack of foreign visitors will have knock-on effect for domestic tourism

    The Tourism Minister says Thailand can expect a significant drop in domestic tourism unless international tourism is revived. According to a Bangkok Post report, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says local tourism figures are 40% of what they were in 2019, and are expected to drop further once the domestic travel stimulus scheme ends at the end of the year. The scheme has…

  • Tourism

    First tourists in 7 months arrive in BKK today

    5pm today – that’s the time the first groups of “tourists” will arrive at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. The Minister of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, announced the arrival of the first group of tourists to arrive in the Kingdom since borders where locked in March. He said they wouldn’t needn’t worry about the political unrest currently rocking the capital, pointing…

  • Tourism

    Arrival projections for Thai tourism downgraded for 2019

    Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has downgraded the forecast for foreign arrivals this year to a range of 39-39.8 million. This is down from the upbeat projections at the start of the year that 40.2 million tourists would arrive in the Land of Smiles. Thai tourism for the first half of 2019 grew only 1.4%, less than expected, prompting…