Thailand News Today | New proposal to rebuild budget tourism sector


The Ministry of Interior said its proposal to allow small hotels to operate as homestays would significantly benefit locals and help rebuild the budget tourism sector.

The plan would expand a “homestay” exemption in the Hotel Act for small businesses with no more than 20 guests in no more than four rooms, increasing the maximum size and occupancy to 10 and 30 guests.

Under the new proposal, local people can open a homestay as a side business to increase their monthly earnings. Doing so will provide a better variety of accommodation options for tourists, especially those on a budget.

But the Thai Hotels Association came out to oppose it, warning that allowing individuals to open bigger homestay businesses will decrease safety and security and enable small hotels to avoid paying property taxes. In addition, people who own apartment buildings or condos could use this exemption as a loophole. Besides not paying hotel taxes, these homestay businesses could circumvent regulations to benefit the environment, security, and safety standards.

Wastewater and waste disposal regulations wouldn’t apply to these small hotels, as well as requirements for fire alarms and extinguishers, among other health and safety standards. Plus, if these small hotels aren’t required to report who stays on their property, they could become havens for criminals laying low, according to the THA president.

So the THA has requested a public hearing on the matter, petitioning the Department of Provincial Administration, which operates under the Ministry of Interior, to take action. They claim the regulations intended to help small businesses would do more harm than good, creating an unfair advantage for small businesses. However, the association says they support expanding laws to cover unique accommodation types like camping or floating hotels.



The new significant hike in penalty fines for traffic violations announced before the weekend has been retracted. But when they do go into effect, repeat offenders will be further penalized, and a new system will ensure fines are consistent across all of Thailand.

The deputy director of the Royal Thai Police’s Traffic Operations Centre says that more time is required to get the word out about the new fees properly and announced that they would not go into effect for another three months. During that time, teams of police officers will raise awareness of the new stiffer fines for traffic violations.

The Land Traffic Act was amended to increase the fines for rulebreakers, hopefully dissuading drivers from engaging in dangerous behavior, and yesterday the amendments were officially endorsed. But the deputy director announced that police would continue to hand out the old penalties, along with information about the more expensive fees coming soon.

He said, “The newly amended traffic law carries fines of up to 4,000 baht for running a red light or violating the speed limit but, during this transition period, officers will issue tickets of no more than 500 baht along with a warning that subsequent fines will be much steeper.”

A new system has gone into effect that will issue all fines through the Police Ticket Management database, which will regulate tickets and ensure the same prices are applied for violations everywhere in the country. Also, the fines will double for serial offenders, discouraging lawbreaking repeat offenders.



The decision on Prayut Chan-o-cha’s future and the prime ministership may be decided this week as the Constitutional Court scheduled a special meeting on Thursday to discuss it.

Last Thursday, his legal team submitted a 30-page document that lays out his defense against all the arguments regarding his term limits to the Constitutional Court.

The court will review this document and statements from two legal experts. The first is ปกรณ์ นิลประพันธ์, who was previously secretary-general of the Charter Drafting Committee and now serves as the secretary-general of the Council of State which is in charge of giving the government legal advice. The second is Meechai Ruchupan, who also worked at the Charter Drafting Committee, serving as its chair.

The details of the two legal expert’s submissions and opinions on Prayut’s term-limit end date have not been made public.

Although the Constitutional Court is set to discuss Prayut’s fate since being suspended as PM on August 24, they stated that a decision would only be announced if the court unanimously agreed. Suppose any of the judges have doubts or require more information. In that case, they may request further evidence and put off a ruling until a future court meeting.

The Constitution adopted in 2017 lays out the term limit clearly in Section 158 but does not specify if it is retroactive.

Many argue that the eight-year countdown began in August 2014, when Prayut was first officially appointed to the role after seizing power in a military coup. But the prominent bone of contention is that the Constitution was not ratified until four years later.

Others argue that the legal start date of his term was April 2017, when the Constitution was published in the Royal Gazette after being signed by His Royal Majesty King Vajiralongkorn.



The Thai actress who was allegedly drugged and raped was shocked when the accused politician’s nephew อภิดิศร์ อินทุลักษณ์ showed the court a video he secretly recorded of the incident.

The singer-songwriter actress, and her lawyer, ษิทรา เบี้ยบังเกิด, visited the Criminal Court and witnessed the video Aplidit presented to the court.

The lawyer and actress also introduced more evidence to the court, a screenshot of the chatbox, and submitted another refusal of bail to the court.

Sittha added that the suspect also submitted a video of himself and the actress to the court.

Sittha said the suspect revealed only some parts of the video. That part clearly showed that the actress refused him even though she was about to lose consciousness.

The actress informed the media that she was shocked and hurt to see the video. She didn’t know he had recorded a video of her that night. She is worried that the video might be leaked into the public domain.

According to the report, Aphidit requested bail for the third time yesterday afternoon. The court will decide about his bail today.



And in local tech news, a device has been invented to replace monkeys climbing coconut trees. Even our primates aren’t safe from machines stealing their jobs.

Monkeys climbing coconut trees have been an icon in Thailand for years. Still, they have also drawn the ire of animal rights groups like People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals. Now the Agriculture Department has invented a machine to help farmers climb coconut trees, eliminating the need to train and use monkeys to harvest coconuts.

PETA released a report two years ago that pointed the finger at coconut farmers in Thailand, alleging that they abused monkeys to have them pluck coconuts from tall trees.

Fearing the negative attention from animal lovers would damage the reputation of Thailand’s famous coconut export industry, the Agriculture Department set about creating a solution to replace monkeys on coconut farms.

The resulting contraption looks like leg braces but employs a belt to not only help farmers climb the trees but to do so safely. It’s an improvement over the previous prototype in India that lacked any safety features. While it’s not entirely automated tall robots picking coconuts, it does move Thailand’s coconut industry one step closer to automation in the future.

This will enable a farmer to ascend the tree at a rate of about 0.14 meters per second, which is 8.4 meters per minute. The average coconut tree is between 18 and 24 meters high, which means a farmer could climb one in about two minutes and 15 seconds to three minutes.

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