Thailand News Update | Thailand to target Indians travel destination & weddings

Petrol-powered cars are still in vogue, but Electric Vehicles, or EVs, are definitely on the rise. That’s the takeaway from this year’s Bangkok International Motor Show, which recorded sales of some 34,000 vehicles, a 14% increase compared to last year’s show. The 43rd edition of the popular motor show took place over a span of two weeks at Impact Muang Thong Thani, up near Don Mueang Airport, and wrapped up on Sunday. Traditional petrol-powered vehicles had the lion’s share of the sales, while electric cars stole the spotlight among car enthusiasts with plenty of new models on display. EV bookings grew by 10% to more than 2,000 vehicles, with SAIC Motor and MG registering the most orders, followed by Great Wall Motors with their Haval, Jolian and Good Cat range. A total of 1,500 sales were made between the Chinese manufactured MG and GWM. Toyota was the overall winner with more than 5,000 sales, followed by Honda (3,000), Mazda (2,900), Isuzu (2,600) and Mitsubishi (2,500)… following the general popularity of those Japanese companies, but all built in Thailand. The EV sales were fuelled by the government-backed promotion of electric vehicles, but petrol-powered vehicles still won the sales over the two weeks. Currently, the government is offering a special package for the next two years, featuring tax cuts and subsidies ranging from 70,000 to 150,000 baht for EVs.

Foreign film crews shot a total of 196 movies, series and advertisements in Thailand since July 2020, generating over 6 billion baht in revenue for the country. The Ministry of Culture is now planning to increase revenue from foreign filmmaking by implementing more favourable tax measures. The country’s Culture Minister plans to use ‘soft power’ to “promote the image of Thailand” on the global stage through entertainment media around the world. He is also pushing for filmmaking to be made an elective subject in high schools to encourage more Thais to get into the industry, already flourishing with one of the most active film industries in the world, per capita. Film crews from 33 countries filmed in Thailand throughout the past two years, generating a total of 6.4 million baht in revenue for the country. Countries who came to film the most were India, France, Singapore, Switzerland and the UK. The three countries that spent the most whilst making films in Thailand were USA, Australia and Hong Kong with budgets of 1.95 billion, 702 million and 616 million baht respectively. But how did foreign film makers get into Thailand when the borders were closed…? The CCSA granted “special entry” to film crews to make use of Thailand’s scenery and skilled workforce while Thailand’s beaches were void of tourists, but under full supervision and Covid restrictions. Currently, there are over 230 animation and visual effects companies in Thailand who produce movies, animations, TV series, advertisements, media and games to both domestic and international customers.

With Songkran holiday just around the corner, the National Health Security Office is ready to deal with an expected increase in new Covid infections with its 1330 hotline. The number of new infections in Thailand is expected to increase after the Thai New Year, according to NHSO deputy secretary-general with the Thai government deciding to let limited Songkran celebrations to go ahead… just without any water splashing or alcohol.The hotline will assist with information for vulnerable people, or the elderly, people with pre-existing health conditions or disabilities, and children aged 5 and below…. to initially register for home isolation, before helping them find hospital beds if they report more severe symptoms. For people who test positive but are either asymptomatic or with mild symptoms, they can dial 1330 ext 14 to have health authorities guide them on their options.Songkran runs from April 13 – 17, followed by a weekend, making the holiday at least 5 days long… bet there will be plenty adding some of their time off to make it an even longer new year break with their families this year.

Thai Netizens are going wild over photos posted on Facebook yesterday of six naughty wild elephant calves that ran off from their herd to cool off in a pool of mud at a national park in Prachin Buri province, central Thailand. The baby elephants played for so long that they exhausted themselves and couldn’t get out. Their muddy bodies were slipping and sliding all over the place and the calves just couldn’t seem to escape the mud.Park rangers stepped up to the ‘tusk’ and helped the calves out. Park rangers from Thap Lan National Park used spades and pickaxes to dig out a slope for the elephants to walk up. Apparently, there is one particularly naughty elephant who is the leader of the gang. Park rangers are sure it was him who led the others astray. Then the head of the national park revealed that the incident actually happened three years ago in 2019 but the park rangers only posted the story on Facebook on Monday, attracting a lot of attention from Thai netizens. Maybe a bit late but very cute.

To register on the romantic radar of soon-to-be-wed couples from India, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is inviting 15 Indian wedding planners to highlight popular wedding destinations in the Land of Smiles. The wedding planners visited Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui in Surat Thani province and Khao Lak in Phang Nga province from March 15 to 22. The main purpose of the project was to promote Thailand as a safe travel destination for Indian couples. The move comes after Travel + Leisure India shortlisted Thailand on its Best Awards 2021 list for the Best Honeymoon Destinations in its 10th Anniversary Edition in December.The TAT points out that Phuket, Koh Samui, Khao Lak, Krabi, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Rayong are the most popular wedding destinations among Indian couples and their lavish entourages and parties.Thailand travel authorities are aiming to have the Southeast Asian nation reclaim the throne as the No. 1 travel destination and wedding location for Indian tourists. The Indian office of the TAT says that Thailand was also a great place to spend a honeymoon or schedule a pre-wedding photoshoot. The other target groups among Indian tourists include golfers, millennials and digital nomads.

A Thai TikTok user has shared a video of a woman standing still on the sidewalk in Pattaya in the middle of the night. Thai netizens commented on the post, saying she might be homeless, and she only took one or two steps then stood without moving for hours. Many people are urging authorities to take care of her to prevent any harm coming to her. The female TikToker posted a video featuring a woman with long hair wearing a long white dress and standing on the street with her face down. The caption read… “Why is she standing like that!? I saw she was there for so long before I started recording. It’s 11.35 pm now. That gave me goosebumps. I tried honking at her, but nothing happened.”Pattaya netizens commented on the post, saying the locals knew her as “Always Stuck Aunty” because she always stops after walking only one or two steps.She’s been spotted everywhere in the city of Pattaya… at intersections, on sidewalks and even in shopping malls. No one knows who she was or where she came from, and everyone is still curious about her symptoms and any disease that may cause her to act this way.


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