Archive for the ‘Thai business’ Category

Thai Tourism Operators Are Debating About 500 Baht Tourism Tax

October 13, 2021

Tourism operators are divided over a plan to impose a 500 baht “tourism tax” on foreign arrivals from next year. Nikkei Asia reports that some operators are concerned such a move could stifle tourism just as the country prepares to reopen. Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi is the president of the Thai Hotels Association.”The fee to be implemented is a considerable amount for those visiting Thailand, where hotel rooms can be found for as little as 1,000 baht. Potential visitors will rethink their travel plans due to this fee.”THA’s southern chapter’s Kongsak Khoopongsakorn agrees that the tourism industry needs the funds, but the government should pay for it, not tourists.”The fund will help our tourism industry grow sustainably in several ways. However, I don’t believe the funds should come from tourists.”The former chairman of the Tourism Council of Thailand, Chairat Trirattanajaraspon, says now is the right time to introduce a tourist tax as the sector recovers from the economic devastation caused by Covid-19.The Covid-19 pandemic has already indicated a clear need for the tax, and I think now would be a good time to implement it. It would be a very useful mechanism if we faced another crisis in the future to support the tourism industry.”The proposed fee was originally 300 baht, but it was raised to 500 baht earlier this month. It would replace the departure tax already imposed on departing passengers and would turn Thailand into an upscale destination for foreign tourists. The fee still needs Cabinet approval before it can take effect.It used to account for 20% of Thailand’s GDP before the Covid-19 pandemic decimated it. However, Thailand is now taking small steps to revive the industry, from sandbox schemes to quarantine-free entry for travelers from low-risk countries.

A Recent Facebook Outage Affected Everybody In The World

October 6, 2021

A Facebook outage that lasted about six hours on Monday night serves as a wake-up call for small businesses that rely heavily on the social media giant, advising them to diversify their reach via other sales channels to limit disruption, according to e-commerce experts.
Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, both suffered service outages in Thailand from around 10.30 pm on Monday. Users worldwide were affected.
There was an outcry among local netizens who expressed their discontent through other social media channels.
In a statement, Facebook said the disruption was caused by changes to its backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between data centers.
As a result of the disruption in network traffic, Facebook’s data centers stopped communicating, halting services.
According to Thanawat Malabuppha, president of the Thailand E-Commerce Association, Thais spend a lot of time on Facebook and that heavy reliance on the platform is also risky.
For merchants, diversifying their sales channels would be a good move. There are still many platforms for e-commerce, such as websites and marketplaces,” he said.
“It would be better if they had more sales channels,” Thanawat said.
According to him, Facebook is a popular platform for small businesses to livestream their sales. People also use Facebook to discover new items.
Approximately 30% of merchants’ earnings come from social commerce, while 30-40% come from online marketplaces.
According to Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, chief executive and founder of Tarad.com, a local e-commerce solution provider, the hours of outage experienced on Facebook Monday night had a significant impact on people who capitalized on the platform.
“Relying too much on one channel is risky,” Pawoot said.
The three main channels for online sales are social media, e-marketplaces, and vendors’ websites.
Facebook accounts for about 30% of small merchants’ sales channels, and businesses may now need to explore other channels in order to increase sales, he said.
According to him, advertisers may now shift money they spend heavily on Facebook to other channels, such as Google.
Businesses can also become more focused by opening their own websites.

TAT Wants To Collect 500-baht From Tourists in 2022

October 4, 2021

The Tourism and Sports Ministry is poised to start collecting a 500-baht tourism fee for a “tourism transformation fund” next year, and the budget will use a co-payment model.
The Centre for Economic Situation Administration approved the creation of the fund last week. The fund will support high-value and sustainable tourism projects in order to transform the tourism industry.
Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), told reporters that it will begin collecting 500 baht per person next year with the goal of collecting 5 billion baht in the first year, assuming 10 million foreign arrivals by 2022.
Early this year, the National Tourism Policy Committee approved the establishment of the fund, with a proposed fee of 300 baht per person.
This additional $200 million will be used to fund projects initiated by the private sector, community enterprises, and social enterprises that wish to transform their business to meet the fund’s goals; help the country transition away from mass tourism to high-value tourism and a green economic model; and support environmentally responsible tourism.
“The government should use the fund to support projects that can have a significant economic impact. The proportion of public-private funding could be 50:50, 60:40 or 70:30, depending on how much we want to make the projects a success,” he said.
According to Yuthasak, it is also intended to fund insurance and development projects for foreign visitors that require government rather than private sector initiatives, such as those requiring matching grants from local governments.
Upon approval of the concept, the Tourism and Sports Ministry and TAT are required to hold discussions with relevant authorities about setting up the fund committee and funding mechanisms, such as how to collect fees from tourists, he said.
To determine which projects are eligible for financial support, the committee must develop criteria.
“The additional cost will not affect tourists as we want to focus on the quality market,” Yuthasak said.
This fund will contribute to a national tourism makeover that creates a more safe and clean environment.
In his words, the fund’s objective is not to deal with the financial impact of the pandemic, but rather to promote long-term economic growth within the region.

The Special Tourist Visa In Thailand Will Continue

October 3, 2021

The Thai Cabinet Committee approved the extension of the Special Tourist Visa in Thailand. This plan, which has already been in place for one year, will continue until at least September 30, 2022, and is intended to attract well-fearing foreign travellers to come to Thailand and spend big money while they’re here.
The Special Tourist Visa allows these elite travellers to stay between 90 and 270 days, which the Tourism Authority of Thailand hopes will attract big spenders to boost the Thai economy that has been so crippled since the Covid-19 epidemic began.
The idea of extending the Thai Special Tourist Visa was announced recently, but yesterday the Thai Cabinet Committee officially approved the extension. It has been in place for one year already, and will continue until at least September 30, 2022, and is intended to attract well-heeled foreign tourists to Thailand to spend big money while they’re on the island.
The Special Tourist Visa allows these elite travellers to stay between 90 and 270 days – 3 to 9 months – which the Tourism Authority of Thailand has hoped would draw big spenders to pump tourism revenue into the Thai economy that has been so lacking since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
By encouraging long-staying foreigners to boost the tourism economy, it could also boost the domestic economy, potentially creating jobs and income for locals and facilitating economic growth. The plan was enacted at the beginning of the stages of regrowing international tourism that came to a halt after Covid-19.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry reports that only 5,609 people travelled to Thailand on a long-stay tourist visa last year. However, officials claim that it generated over 1.2 billion baht in revenue for Thailand’s tourism industry. That equates to about 222,000 baht per traveller.
While the visa and extensions allow a stay of up to 270 days, the average stay for STV holders is around 90 days, according to a government spokesperson. Therefore, those attracted by the Special Tourist Visa spend about 2,500 baht a day on average.
Most of the tourists who entered Thailand under the visa scheme came from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, and Croatia. Most STV holders visited Bangkok, Surat Thani, Phuket, Udon Thani, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, and Rayong after undergoing quarantine.

Thai Government Signs Deal With AstraZeneca To Get Millions Of COVID Vaccine

October 1, 2021

According to a new deal signed with AstraZeneca, Thailand will purchase 60 million vaccines next year to use as a booster shot for the third vaccine. The Ministry of Public Health has signed a contract with Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer to acquire the booster shots over the course of 3 quarters in 2022.
The signing was accompanied by a ceremony attended by Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul and Department of Disease Director-General Control Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, as well as representatives from AstraZeneca Thailand.
The first-quarter delivery of 15 million vaccines is planned, followed by a second delivery of 30 million vaccines in the second quarter. The remaining 15 million vaccines are expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2022.
Under the contract with AstraZeneca, Thailand will pay AstraZeneca 18 billion baht for 60 million vaccines. A vaccine costs 300 baht.
The contract with AstraZeneca allows Thailand to switch to any newer version of the Covid-19 vaccine that is developed by the producers between now and the estimated delivery date. A second-generation vaccine is already being developed.
AstraZeneca vaccines produced locally by Siam Bioscience, a subsidiary of Crown Property Bureau, were not mentioned in the MCOT report. The local production was supposed to produce 10 million vaccines a month for use in Thailand while exporting more to Southeast Asia, a plan that has been controversial and controversial.
Thailand has recently received AstraZeneca vaccines through donations from Japan and Singapore.

Thailand Has Four Phases Of Reopening The Country To The World

September 29, 2021

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced its plan to gradually reopen Thailand. CCSA’s plan includes four phases that take into account tourism revenue, geography, and COVID prevention.
Pilot phase: October 1 to October 31. Phuket, Surat Thani, including Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, and Koh Tao islands. Phang Nga, including Khao Lak coastal area and Koh Yao island. Krabi, including Koh Phi Phi and Koh Ngai islands, Railay, Khlong Muang and Tub Kaak beaches. Also included in the Pilot Phase are the Phuket and Samui Sandbox programs that were previously launched over the last couple of months.Phase 1: November 1 to 30 Bangkok, Krabi, Phang Nga, Prachuap Khiri Khan, including Hua Hin and Nong Kae subdistricts. Phetchaburi, including the Cha-am district. Chonburi, including Pattaya City, Jomtien, and Bang Saray subdistricts. Ranong, including Koh Phayam. Chiang Mai, including Muang, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, and Doi Tao districts. Loei, including the Chiang Khan district. Buriram, including the Muang district.Phase 2: December 1 to 31. Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun, Phrae, Nong Khai, Sukhothai, Phetchabun, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Samut Prakan, Trat, Rayong, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Yala, and Narathiwat.Phase 3: January 2022-TBD. Surin, Sa Kaeo, Chanthaburi, Tak, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Bueng Kan, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Nan, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi and Satun.

Pattaya City’s mayor also confirmed that Pattaya will not reopen until November.

Thai Restaurant Operator Has Sued Thai PM For Ineffective COVID-19 Policy

September 28, 2021

Restaurant operators have sued Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for 50 million baht in damages resulting from ineffective measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the court said Never-Ending Summer Co represented 39 restaurant businesses in a class-action lawsuit. As a result of examining the petition and request, the court has set Nov 9 for a hearing via Zoom.
In the petition, Never-Ending Summer said its business suffered from the government’s decision to temporarily close restaurants during the fight against the virus because the emergency decree failed to control the situation.
“According to the petition, it is claimed that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared a nationwide emergency under the Covid-19 pandemic and had acted willfully or negligently, resulting in several disease clusters,” the court said.
According to the report, vaccination campaigns, antigen test kits, and drugs to alleviate Coronavirus were conducted in an inadequate manner.
The filing also names the Public Health Ministry, Interior Ministry, and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
The group’s compensation was calculated from March 17 last year. It coincided with the early stages of the first outbreak of the disease that has crippled the economy.
The Never-Ending Summer restaurant is located in the compound of Jam Factory in Bangkok’s Klong San district.

Tourism Operators Want COVID-19 Restrictions Relaxed

September 25, 2021

Tourism operators are pushing for a relaxation of travel restrictions and a shorter quarantine to attract more international arrivals for the upcoming high season.
Khoopongsakorn, president of the Thai Hotels Association’s southern chapter, said reducing the time of quarantine and the number of RT-PCR tests to two might not significantly increase the number of visitors, adding that more regulations needed to be eased.
Using antigen test kits for the second test would reduce the cost from 5,200 baht for two RT-PCR tests to about 3,000 baht.
In Europe, RT-PCR tests cost 1,000 baht, compared to 2,400 or 2,800 baht in Phuket. Kongsak believes that this is a sticking point for potential visitors, which leads them to choose another destination.
To make traveling to Thailand more appealing, the complicated Certificate of Entry procedure should also be simplified.
As a result of aircrafts’ high-efficiency particulate air filters, foreigners are also concerned about the rule that sends high-risk passengers into quarantine if they are on the same flight as those who test positive since the risk of in-flight transmission is highly unlikely.
To put tourists at ease while visiting the sandbox, this measure must be revoked, he said.
Since Indian tourists have been granted permission to visit the sandbox, they will be able to travel by November as Phuket had direct flights via the IndiGo airline prior to the pandemic, said Kongsak.
Tourists plan their year-end holidays 2-3 months in advance, so travel restrictions must be eased quickly and clearly.
In the fourth quarter, the relaxation of rules for local travelers and the government stimulus campaign should help generate 150,000-200,000 domestic trips per month and lift the occupancy rate to 20%, Kongsak said.
According to Charintip Tiyaphorn, president of the Tourism Council of Krabi, if the Phuket sandbox reduces the mandatory stay to seven days, Krabi can receive more tourists by land, which takes three hours from Phuket. The current 7+7 model requires tourists to transfer to Krabi by boat, which is difficult during the monsoon season in September.
Due to the gloomy weather, some tourists decided to cancel their trips to Krabi and stay in Phuket instead. Krabi received 331 tourists under the 7+7 island-hopping scheme as of Sept 23.

Thai Land Transport Dept. Has Started To Put Partititions In Taxis As Protection From Covid

September 24, 2021

The Department of Land Transport has started installing acrylic partitions inside taxis to prevent the spread of droplets during the Covid-19 pandemic under a pilot program to install this device in 3,000 taxis by October.
The minister of transport, Saksayam Chidchob, presided over Thursday’s ceremony to inaugurate the first group of taxis equipped with partitions under the ministry’s new-normal initiative to boost public safety and confidence in hiring passenger vehicles.
Among the attendees were Department of Land Transport director-general Jirut Wisanjit, SCG Chemicals co-president Thanawong Areeratchakul, senior officials from the ministry, executives from the company, and taxi drivers.
According to Saksayam, all businesses had to adapt in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The government has assigned the Transport Ministry the task of evaluating measures to prevent the spread of the virus in public transportation and boost the income of taxi operators and drivers.
A pilot project has been launched by the department to install partitions inside taxis to prevent droplets from spreading during conversations, coughing, and sniffing, announced the minister, adding 3,000 taxis have joined the project.
SCG Chemicals Co. designed the acrylic partitions. It was easy to install them in medium-sized and large vehicles, and they wouldn’t interfere with visibility or other safety features.
The installation of the partitions began on Sept 16 and all 3,000 taxis participating in the program will have them by October, he said.
Taxis with partitions will display a sign on the windshield to let passengers know. The QR Codes on the partitions of all participating taxis will allow passengers to rate their experiences, he said.

Provincial Authorities Want Thai Police To Investigate Deaths Of Birds

September 23, 2021

Phatthalung authorities have requested help from the Department of Special Investigation to investigate the death of birds. These were no ordinary birds though; they were swiftlets, the birds that produce the saliva that make birds’ nests, prized as a health delicacy. And it wasn’t a few birds, it was over a million birds found dead in caves where Siamnest company has the authority to collect their birds’ nests.
And the financial loss of these birds and the birds’ nests they produce has been estimated at about 5 billion baht.
The company has permission to access 107 caves in Phatthalung’s seven islands and they sent their collection teams to gather the birds’ nests between September 9 to September 17. When they arrived at the last cave, they discovered the remains of more than 1 million birds instead of the nests they were tasked with collecting.
The team found the remains of a fire and various trash strewn about including shoes and plastic bottles. After Siamnest involved the Phatthalung authorities, the Royal Thai Police joined the investigation of the mass death of the swiftlet birds.
Unlike most birds that make nests out of twigs or similar materials, swiftlets make theirs completely out of their unique saliva which solidifies to form the nest. These saliva nests are considered a delicacy, especially in Asian regions, for it’s believed healing powers. Birds’ nest soup is often made by steaming and soaking the saliva nests.
The nests are said to help with kidney health, phlegm reduction and are desired as an aphrodisiac as well. Harvesting companies have become big businesses due to the high price the unique birds’ nest can fetch, with companies like Siamnest getting exclusive access to areas of the swiftlet’s nest or even creating artificial sanctuaries for swiftlets to nest.
Of note, disgraced police officer Pol Col Thitisan “Jo Ferrari” Utthanaphon, whose shocking wealth was revealed upon his arrest for suffocating a suspect in custody, was said to have made part of his fortune by trading birds’ nests.