Thailand’s tourist arrivals and revenue continues growth in 3rd Quarter of 2017
Bangkok (TAT) –
Thailand expects to enjoy continued growth both in tourist arrivals and
tourism revenue during the 3rd quarter of this year.
International visitor arrivals are expected to grow by 5% to 8.7 million
with tourism revenue increasing by 10% to 460 billion Baht (US$13 billion).
Arrivals from ASEAN grew by 7% to about 2.5 million tourists, while North
East Asia remains the top inbound source market with 3.7 million visitors
(2% increase). Visitors from Europe totalled 1.3 million tourists (up 8%),
with arrivals from the Middle East (+14% to 340,000 tourists), South Asia
(+11% to 390,000 visitors) and the Americas (+9% to 280,000 tourists); all
showing strong growth.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “The positive outlook is based on
many favourable factors, including a surge in travel demands from the
short-haul markets during school holidays and the month of Ramadan. A
Chinese market recovery that started from May onwards also had a positive
effect on Thailand’s overall tourism arrivals. At the same time, long-haul
markets including the United States and Russia continue to grow steadily.”
New air access from Taiwan, Indonesia, China and Turkey is considered among
the favourable factors contributing to the growth. This includes new flights
from Taipei, Bali and Shenzhen to Bangkok; from Guangzhou to Chiang Mai and
Chiang Rai; from Changsa to Chiang Rai and from Istanbul to Phuket.
Thailand also ranked among ForwardKeys’ top destinations with a 4% share of
overall future bookings. It measures future bookings based on the highest
number of airline reservations secured during the months of June to August
Mr. Yuthasak said, “TAT’s aggressive tourism marketing activities are also
playing an important role in Thailand being marked as a preferred
destination among international travellers.”
TAT received positive results from its ‘Thailand Shopping & Dining Paradise
2017’ campaign (formerly known as the Amazing Thailand Grand Sale) organised
from 1 June to 31 July. A ‘Women’s Journey Thailand’ followed in August for
the second consecutive year, offering privileges and deals for women
travellers alongside many special activities.
In the first half of this year, Thailand welcomed 17.3 million tourists,
generating 876 billion Baht (US$ 25 billion) for the Thai economy. TAT
targets Thailand to finish 2017, earning 1.81 trillion Baht (US$ 50
Thailand inbound travel surges 30% in Chinese search results on TripAdvisor
Bangkok, – Thailand continues to
attract the most interest from top inbound travellers to the country
according to recent TripAdvisor inbound travel data and analysis of online
China led the way with the highest percentage increase in search traffic,
with a year-on-year increase of 30%, outpacing the overall international
average of 4%. India and Indonesia followed in second and third place, with
year-on-year search increases of 16% and 12%, respectively.
The results support arrival statistics from the Tourism Authority of
Thailand (TAT), which noted that China and Russia were also two of the
largest contributors to Thailand’s inbound tourism and inbound expenditure
in the first half of 2017.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “The data unveiled both what
inbound countries were most interested in Thailand, as well as the most
searched destinations in the country. It also provided insightful
information on international travel behaviour.”
Mr. Grant Colquhoun, TripAdvisor spokesperson, said that “Thailand has
something for every traveller with its tropical beaches, heritage towns,
delicious food, and an ever cosmopolitan capital city. The inbound travel
data that is available on TripAdvisor provides local hospitality businesses
and service providers with insights on travel trends and consumer behaviour
to help them more effectively capture and cater to a global audience of high
He added, “We are also encouraged to see that accommodation in Thailand is
becoming more engaged on TripAdvisor with 53% of them responding to travel
reviews within the last month.”
When examining the total inbound search traffic for Thailand, China tops the
list followed by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Russia.
Among Chinese travellers searching for Thailand, there was also increased
interest from residents of second-tier cities in Hangzhou, Dalian and
Qingdao. The surge in interest comes as the China Tourism Academy (CTA)
shared that second and third-tier cities in China are fast catching up as
key outbound tourism markets, due to increasing disposable income and
improved flight connectivity to Southeast Asia.
The top five Chinese cities with the biggest increase in traveller interest
to Thailand on TripAdvisor:
1. Beijing 102%
2. Hangzhou 91%
3. Dalian 81%
4. Qingdao 65%
5. Shanghai 61%
Thailand’s tropical islands continue to pique the interest of all
international travellers, with the resort town of Krabi seeing the highest
year-on-year increase in searches at 41%.
Top five Thai destinations with the biggest increase in international travel
searches on TripAdvisor included:
1 Krabi 41%
2 Kathu 37%
3 Nai Yang 31%
4 Chiang Mai 10%
4 Hat Yai 10%
*Exact percentages rounded to zero decimal points.
Tourist police promote Kanchanaburi as safe tourist city
KANCHANABURI,(NNT) – The Tourist
Police have launched a new campaign entitled "Cooperation for Kanchanaburi -
You are safe here."
Tourism Police Commander Pol Maj Gen Prasert Ngernyuang presided over the
launching ceremony for a polit campaign to promote the tourists' safety in
The campaign is run in cooperation between government agencies and private
companies to provide safety measures for tourists, since Kanchanaburi was
selected as one of the provinces suitable for the pilot project.
The Tourist Police chief said public participation will play key roles in
the policy, while private tourism businesses are very important to help with
the operations of the authorities and with efforts to boost the local
economy and bring more incomes to local communities.
"It is very important for all people in Kanchanaburi to help the police
prevent any adverse events from happening to our guests, which is the
principle of the campaign," says Kanchanaburi Provincial Tourist Police
Station Chief Pol Col Suebsak Phunsueb.
The Tourist Police, Kanchanaburi Provincial Tourism and Sports Office,
Kanchanaburi Municipality, Kanchanaburi Provincial Administrative
Organization, Paholpolpayuhasena Hospital, Pitaklan Foundation, and Sisawat
Tourism Assocaition have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the
cooperation in the ''Cooperation for Kanchanaburi - You are safe here''
Chiang Mai Culture Office meets on 20-year strategy
CHIANG MAI,(NNT) - The Chiang
Mai Provincial Culture Office has recently held a meeting to break up its
20-year strategy into short-term plans.
Participating in the conference were representatives from state agencies,
the private sector, educational institutes, local administrative
organizations, the Chiang Mai Cultural Council, and the Provincial Sangha
Council. Also in attendance were local artists, event organizers, and
academics in the field of cultural studies.
The conference follows a public forum held by the National Legislative
Assembly’s committee on religion, arts, culture and tourism on August 29th
last year, which discussed revitalizing and developing the Lanna culture.
The results of the meeting will be used to define the direction of office’s
The conference has concluded that the issue of cultural degradation is
intensifying and must be addressed urgently. The direction of cultural
conservation efforts in the province, which will be shared among responsible
units, calls for an emphasis on public participation.
Dept of Land Transport to share GPS information for pricing of insurance premium
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Department of Land Transport has worked with
insurance companies to incorporate GPS information in determining premiums
for transport operators, encouraging lower accident rates.
Department Director-General Sanit Promwong signed a memorandum of
cooperation with Dhipaya Insurance, Krungthai Panich, Siam City, and risk
analysis and management companies. The agreement shares access to the
department's GPS database for the travel history of transport operators.
The information will be used in determining insurance premiums for transport
operators, rewarding better driving with reduced insurance rates and
stimulating growth in the private insurance sector.
BTS fares increased
BANGKOK,(NNT) –Bangkok Mass
Transit System (BTS) has announced an increase in fares on both the
Sukhumvit and Silom lines from 15-42 baht to 16-44 baht starting this
President of BTS Surapong Laoha-anya said today that from October 1, 2017
onward, the company will be increasing the fares on 23.5 kilometers of its
rail network. The distance, which includes both the Sukhumvit line from Mo
Chit to On Nut and the Silom line from the National Sports Stadium to Taksin
Bridge, will see fares increase from 15-42 baht to 16-44 baht. The hike does
not extend to additional stations on both lines.
Passengers will now be charged 16 baht for the first station, 23 for the
next two and so forth until the furthest station at 44 baht. The 1-3 baht
increase will still maintain fares at below the concession cost of
20.11-60.31 baht. The adjustment will also affect 30 day passes with each
trip to be 1 baht more.
While the new fares will be introduced on October 1, Rabbit Card users will
be able to pay original fares until March 31, 2018. Passengers are
encouraged to pick up the cards to enjoy the reduced fares. Senior citizens
above age 60 will continue to pay fares reduced by half.
Police step up investigation into former PM's flight
BANGKOK– Royal Thai Police are to discuss former Prime Minister
Yingluck's flight from court proceedings, with the National Council for
Peace and Order (NCPO) while already confirming it had no prior knowledge of
NCPO Spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree has responded to speculation that former
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was aided in her departure for places
unknown, ahead of the delivery of a verdict in the case involving her
government’s rice pledging scheme, saying that the present government and
NCPO have been completely transparent in their dealings and would never
obstruct the judicial process. He pointed out such views are only personal
assumptions by some people and are not based on any evidence, noting that
acceptance of such unfounded opinions is pointless . The spokesman urged
controversial opinions be kept private so as not to confuse the general
Meanwhile, Special Branch 4 Commander Pol Maj Gen Chayaphol Chatchaidej
indicated that a warrant to search Yingluck’s home has yet to be sought as
police have yet to ascertain where she might have launched her escape.
Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Sriwara Rangsiphramnakul has ordered
all evidence to be assembled for a progress meeting.
Bryde's Whale viewing area to be developed as a tourist attraction
SAMUT SAKHON,– Members of the press and tourism operators have been
taken on a tour of an area in the Gulf of Thailand where Bryde’s whales have
President of the Samut Sakhon Fishermen’s Association, Kamjorn Mongkoltrilak
led the expedition, departing from Muang district of the province through an
area mostly comprised of mussel farms. The tour also passed a shrine set up
in the open water and slated to be a major tourist attraction in the future.
It was originally constructed in 1998 but was left in disrepair after being
hit by a major storm.
The site for whale viewing is 16 kilometers from shore and takes about two
hours to reach. During the trip led by Kamjorn, a mother and calf whale
dubbed Wandee and Wanmai, were seen. The entire route is to be converted
into a tourist attraction for the province.
Labor Ministry considers minimum wage criteria for 2018
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Ministry of
Labor held a seminar to consider the criteria for the minimum wage in 2018,
taking into account factors in varied areas and industries.
Deputy Labor Ministry Permanent-Secretary Singhadet Chu-umnart presided over
the seminar at Century Park Hotel, Bangkok, which was held as a guideline
for provincial subcommittees responsible for adjustment to the minimum wage
in each area and industry.
Joint efforts will be taken between the government and private sector
considering the productivity of workforce, and focusing on the promotion of
high-skilled workers whose demands will increase due to the country's
restructured manufacturing sector which is focusing more on the production
of high-quality goods.
The adjustment to the wage according to the skill levels will allow workers
with more skills to have the opportunity to make more earnings than those in
the non-skill category.
The minimum wage for one province will not necessarily be equal to that for
There is no law forbidding politicians to have unmarried partners
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has no plan
to ban politicians from having an unmarried spouse.
First vice president of the NLA Surachai Liengboonlertchai has denied a
rumor that the lawmakers are drafting legislation that bans political office
holders from having an unmarried partner, confirming that such a law will
not be considered by the legislature.
He stated that the NLA has recently accepted in principle legislation to do
with conflicts between the public duties and private interests of state
officials. The law penalizes both married and unmarried spouses of guilty
politicians, said Surachai, explaining that the move prevents married
partners from avoiding prosecution or fleeing from justice by getting a
Surachai said the current anti-corruption law only imposes penalties on
married partners, which is a major legal loophole that can be exploited.
Hat Yai Airport to get major facelift
SONGKHLA,(NNT) – Hat Yai
International Airport will undergo a major renovation amid an increasing
number of passengers.
Hat Yai Airport is a gateway to five southern provinces, namely Songkhla,
Satun, Narathiwat, Yala, and Pattani. It also has direct flights to Malaysia
and Singapore. At present, the airport is capable of handling 2.5 million
passengers a year.
In 2016, the airport saw more than 3.9 million passengers, which far
exceeded its capacity, causing delays, long lines of travelers, and over
Expecting the number of passengers to reach 4.5 million and up to 31,000
flights in 2019, the airport will now undergo a transformation which
includes enlarging the apron, enlarging the passenger hall, adding more pit
stops, improving the taxiway and the taxiway lighting system, and installing
an intrusion prevention system.
The renovations will be completed by 2019, according to airport officials.
PM Prayut to visit Sa Kaeo to inspect on border crossing operation
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Sa Kaeo
Province to inspect the province’s border crossing operation.
Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha will lead a team of officials on an
inspection tour in Sa Kaeo Province on August 28, when he will receive a
briefing on efforts to tackle counterfeit branding and piracy as well as
issues related to foreign workers.
The PM also plans to get first-hand information on how officers at the Sa
Kaeo immigration office perform their jobs.
Later, he will present land rental agreements, home models and production
tools to representatives of local cooperatives before visiting residents and
others in Khok Sung District.
Ahead of the PM’s visit, Sa Kaeo Governor Klanarong Pongcharoen traveled to
Khok Sung District to make sure all preparations are ready for Gen. Prayut’s
Update August 26 - 27, 2017
Thai pilgrims preparing to officially perform Hajj ceremonies next week
MECCA, (NNT) – Thai pilgrims have begun preparing to officially
perform Hajj ceremonies next week, while the Saudi authorities have provided
officials to ensure safety and conveniences for all Hajj pilgrims.
The last group of 8,812 Thai Hajj pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia on
23 August 2017. They are still performing religious activities at the Al
Haram Mosque and have begun preparing to depart for Mina field, which is
about five kilometers away from Mecca before heading to the Arafah Field,
the first step of the official Hajj ceremonies.
The Saudi government has revealed that 1.3 million pilgrims from all over
the world have already arrived in Saudi Arabia.
Last week, the Saudi Arabian government has issued an ad hoc operation plan
to facilitate pilgrims from around the world, which includes security and
facilitation measures for the Hajj pilgrims. The government has mobilized
over 95,000 staff working in various units such as security units, service
units and medical units to accommodate the Muslim pilgrims.
The Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umroh has ensured that all Hajj pilgrims will
be taken care of without discrimination.
Chatuchak Market to develop app for shoppers
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) is modernizing
Bangkok's Chatuchak Market to further attract tourists, partnering with Siam
Commercial Bank (SCB) in developing a mobile application for shopping.
platform for vendors to manage their stock and accounting and receive
payments via PromptPay. Currently, 50 vendors are participating in the
Under the memorandum, the SRT and SCB will develop an mobile app for finding
shops and discovering promotions. The information will be available in Thai,
English, and Mandarin. The full version of the app is expected to launch in
Chatuchak Market attracts between 200,000-300,000 visitors during the
weekend. The new policy is expected to increase customers and raise the
standards of the market to become a prominent attraction in Asia.
Buriram to host MotoGP 2018-2020
BURIRAM,(NNT) - Deputy Prime Minister Gen Thanasak Patimaprakorn and
Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul visited Buriram province
to follow up on the province’s readiness to host MotoGP 2018-2020.
Gen Thanasak and Kobkarn were welcomed by Buriram Governor Anusorn
Keawkangwan and a group of local business people and state enterprise
representatives at the provincial city hall. Gen Thanasak first presented a
policy aimed at transforming the province into a global sports and tourism
Gen Thanasak later traveled to Chang International Circuit, which will be
used as a venue to host MotoGP. He was briefed on the progress made to
prepare the venue for the international event. The private sector also asked
the government to improve roads, the airport, the transportation system and
medical services to ensure a successful organization of the event.
Gen Thanasak believed the event would increase tourism activities and
promote economic growth in the region.
A H1N1 virus found in Mae Hong Son refugee camp
MAE HONG SON,(NNT) - Influenza A H1N1 infections have been discovered
in a temporary refugee camp in Mae Hong Son province.
To prevent a possible outbreak, Mae Hong Son Governor Suebsak Iamwijarn has
told the refugees not to leave Ban Mae Lama Luang Temporary Refugee Camp in
Sop Moei district as two children and one teenager are infected with A H1N1
The infections were confirmed by the Faculty of Pathology of Chiang Mai
University. Medical personnel are keeping an eye on 20 people at the camp
who began to show signs of illness although there is no confirmation that
they have contracted the same virus.
The provincial public health office has already deployed its officials to
the camp to disinfect the site.
Immigration Bureau finds no sign of Ms Yingluck going abroad
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Immigration
Bureau has indicated it has not discovered any signs of former Prime
Minister Yingluck Shinawatra fleeing the country.
Commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn Prousoonthorn
confirmed today that the bureau has found no recent travel history of Ms
Yingluck at any airport or border crossing. On May 19, 2015, the Supreme
Court's Division of Holders of Political Office issued a travel ban on Ms
Yingluck pending a verdict in the rice pledging case.
Pol Lt Gen Nathathorn said that travel logs reveal that Ms Yingluck last
traveled abroad to Japan on October 20, 2014, and returned to Thailand on
November 2 the same year. He noted, however, that the Immigration Bureau
would not have travel information in the event that the former Prime
Minister crossed the Thai border at a non-checkpoint.
Farmers urged to harvest crops as more flooding anticipated next month
CHANTABURI,(NNT) – Royal Irrigation Department (RID) Office 12
has warned areas in the Chao Phraya River basin to harvest crops before
September 15 when heavy rains are expected to set off flooding.
Latest reports have indicated flooding in Chantaburi province has begun to
lift with roads now traversable by vehicles after water levels dropped from
1 meter deep to 50 centimeters. Much of the flood water is draining rapidly
into Chantaburi River and a reprieve from rains has allowed the situation to
improve. The RID is however maintaining its release of water into the river
to keep it from bursting its banks.
Widespread showers in Bueng Kan province meanwhile, have resulted in minor
flooding and traffic. In Khon Kaen, officials are releasing water into the
Chi River in anticipation of more rains later this month.
RID Office 12 Director Suchart Charoensri has said a monsoon front passing
by the country between now and August 29 will dump rains on much of the
upper region and likely cause a new wave of flooding. Farmers along the Chao
Phraya River are encouraged to harvest any crops before September 15 so that
their lands can be used as monkey cheek reservoirs.
Supreme Court issues arrest warrant for ex-PM Yingluck Sinanwatra
In this Aug. 1, 2017 file photo, Thailand's
former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrives at the Supreme Court for
to make final statement of the hearing in Bangkok, Thailand. (AP
Photo/Sakchai Lalit, File)
By Kaweewit Kaewjinda and Todd Pitman, Associated Press/Agencies
BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's Supreme Court has issued an arrest warrant
for former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra after she failed to show up
for a contentious trial verdict in which she could face a 10-year prison
term for alleged negligence in overseeing a money-losing rice subsidy
A judge read out a statement saying that Yingluck's lawyers had informed the
court she could not attend because of an earache. But the judge said the
court did not believe the excuse because there's no medical verification,
and the court would issue a warrant for her arrest as a result. The court
also ordered the seizure of her 30-million-baht bail bond.
A verdict had been expected to be delivered within hours in the tense trial,
in which Yingluck is accused of negligence in overseeing the rice subsidy
program that cost the state billions of dollars. The hearing was postponed
to Sept. 27.
Yingluck has pleaded innocent, and decries the charges as politically
motivated. If convicted, she has the right to appeal.
The case is the latest chapter in a decade-long struggle by the nation's
elite minority to crush the powerful political machine founded by Yingluck's
brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in a 2006 and now lives in
exile. He has not commented on his sister's case.
Thaksin's ouster triggered years of upheaval and division that has pitted a
poor, rural majority in the north that supports the Shinawatras against
royalists, the military and their urban backers.
The rice subsidies, promised to farmers during the 2011 election, helped
Yingluck's party ascend to power. Critics say they were effectively a means
of vote buying, while Yingluck supporters welcomed them.
Yingluck's government was overthrown in another coup in 2014, and the
military has ruled the Southeast Asian nation ever since.
The junta has clamped down since then, banning political gatherings of more
than five people. The long-awaited decision on Yingluck's fate has rekindled
tensions in the nation, but the military remains firmly in charge.
Fearing potential unrest, authorities tried to deter people from turning out
Friday by threatening legal action against anyone planning to help transport
Yingluck supporters. Yingluck also posted a message on her Facebook page
urging followers to stay away, saying she worried about their safety.
Police officers deploy to positions outside
Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
Thousands of people turned up outside the Bangkok court house anyway,
though, along with thousands of police who erected barricades around the
Prawit Pongkunnut, a 55-year-old rice farmer from the northeastern city of
Nakhon Ratchasima, said he came with 10 other farmers to show solidarity
"We're here to give her moral support because she truly cared and helped us
out," Prawit said.
A supporter of Thailand's former Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra waves outside the Supreme Court (AP Photo/Gemunu
The rice subsidy plan Yingluck oversaw paid farmers about 50 percent more
that they would have made on the world market. The hope was to drive up
prices by stockpiling the grain, but other Asian producers filled the void
instead, knocking Thailand from its perch as the world's leading rice
The current government, which is still trying to sell off the rice
stockpiles, says Yingluck's administration lost as much as $17 billion
because it couldn't export at a price commensurate with what it had paid
Yinguck pleaded innocent in the case, saying she was the victim of a
"political game" aimed at crushing the Shinawatra clan.
In a separate administrative ruling that froze her bank accounts, Yingluck
was held responsible for about $1 billion of those losses — an astounding
personal penalty that prosecutors argued Yingluck deserved because she
ignored warnings of corruption but continued the program anyway.
Associated Press journalists Grant Peck and Kankanit Wiriyasajja contributed
to this report.
Cabinet, military top brass offer birthday blessings to Privy Council President
BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Prime Minister vowed to help pull the country
out of conflicts as he wished the Privy Council President a happy birthday.
Ahead of the 97th birthday anniversary of Privy Council President and
Statesman Gen Prem Tinsulanonda on August 26, 2017, Prime Minister Gen
Prayut Chan-o-cha led Cabinet members and military commanders in offering
their well wishes to Gen Prem at the Si Sao Thewet residence.
In his statement, the Prime Minister praised Gen Prem for setting a good
example in promoting national development, upholding honesty and doing good
deeds for the society. He then encouraged all sectors to jointly promote
national unity and pledged the government’s commitment to pushing the
country forward under the Pracharat policy. With cooperation from the media,
the premier was adamant the country will be liberated from ongoing conflicts
and poverty and will eventually emerge as a regional superpower.
In response, Gen Prem conveyed his appreciation to all for their hard work,
sacrifices and dedication to creating happiness among Thai citizens. He also
wished for the Prime Minister’s unwavering determination towards the
betterment of the nation as well as success of the entire Cabinet.
On this occasion, the Privy Council President presented his well-wishers
with a book in memory of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej,
authored by Venerable Somdet Phra Phutthakhosachan, as a souvenir.
Thai muslims warned against being lured into attending Hajj pilgrimage sponsored by foreign countries
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Secretariat of Thai Hajj Affairs Promotion
Committee has warned Thai Muslims against being lured into attending Hajj
pilgrimage tour groups that are sponsored by other countries.
The Department of Provincial Administration has issued a statement that
someone who claimed to be a representative of a Hajj business entity posted
a message on social media inviting those who are interested to attend Hajj
pilgrimage sponsored by another country to meet at Suvarnabhumi
International Airport, Gate 10, Departure Zone, on 24 August 2017 at 4.00
p.m. to prepare to leave for Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj ceremonies on a
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited’s flight at 10.00 p.m. on
the same day.
The Secretariat of Thai Hajj Affairs Promotion Committee has confirmed that
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited has prepared a total of 31
flights to accommodate 8,833 Thai pilgrims to fly to Saudi Arabia. The last
flight departed from Suvarnabhumi Airport on Wednesday, 23 August, at 2.40
In addition, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Thailand has confirmed that it
will not issue visas for Thai Hajj pilgrims after 18 August 2017. The
Secretariat of Thai Hajj Affairs Promotion Committee did not find the Hajj
business entity on its Hajj business operator register.
Therefore, the Department of Provincial Administration as the Secretariat of
Thai Hajj Affairs Promotion Committee has warned Thai Muslims against being
lured into attending a Hajj pilgrimage arranged and sponsored by another
country, advising them to think carefully before deciding to travel to
perform the Hajj ceremonies with any person or group of people.
Those who believe they have been deceived are advised to seek legal action
by informing their local chief district officer, deputy district chief,
subdistrict headman, village headman, provincial Damrongtham center,
district Damrongtham center or the Secretariat of Thai Hajj Affairs
Promotion Committee (Islam and Hajj Affairs Organization Promotion
Division), Tel. 02-223-6740 or 02-221-0151-8 Ext. 3186 and 3187.
ADB says Thai economy could grow 4.2% in next 5 yrs
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Asian
Development Bank (ADB) has released a report forecasting Thailand's gross
domestic product (GDP) will grow 4.2 percent per year in the next five years
due to improving economic indicators across the board and the country's
mobilization of infrastructure projects.
The ADB released its report on infrastructural needs of 45 Asian countries.
The report indicated that between 2016-20, the region plans on investing a
total of 881 billion US dollars in energy, transportation,
telecommunications, plumbing, and public sanitation.
Thailand is expected to require an average of 14 billion dollars per year to
fund its infrastructure projects, but expects it to receive six billion. To
bridge the gap, the ADB advised the Thai government to reform its tax
structure to encourage private investment and borrow money from abroad, a
feasible option as Thailand's public debt ratio remains stable.
Should the Thai government mobilize investment according to plan, the ADB
expects the country's GDP to grow at a rate of 4.2 percent per year in the
next five years. Meanwhile, growth this year is expected at 3.5 percent and
next year at 3.6 percent.
Clearer overview for EEC projects
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Thailand's export sector in July expanded by 10.5
percent to 18.85 billion US dollars, reflecting global economic recovery.
Exports in the first seven months of the year grew at the fastest pace in
The Ministry of Commerce reported good economic growth in all markets,
including the United States, the European Union, and Japan. China recorded
the most growth at 29.2 percent. Thai exports grew across the board, with
rice products expanding by 98.8 percent due to the government's policy of
decreasing its stockpile to less than one million tonnes.
Exports in the first seven months of the year totaled 130 billion dollars,
expanding the most in six years at 8.2 percent growth. The ministry expects
2017 exports to grow 5 - 6 percent, up from its original forecast of around
July imports were valued at 19.04 billion dollars, marking an 18.5 percent
increase. This resulted in a 188-million-dollar trade deficit, the first in
over two years. However, the ministry said the deficit was due to short-term
gold buying and that trade in the first seven months of the year is at a
surplus of over six billion dollars.
Crowd control measures in place for Yingluck's supporters this Friday
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Royal Thai
Police is planning to invoke the 2015 Public Assembly Act and adopt the
Korakot 52 plan to keep the supporters of former premier Yingluck Shinwatra
under control this Friday.
Deputy Police Chief Sriwara Rangsipramanakul attended a meeting with police
and security units nationwide to formulate safety measures ahead of August
25th when Yingluck’s supporters are expected to turn up at the Supreme Court
to give their support to the former prime minister.
The Supreme Court is going to hand down a ruling over the rice-pledging case
in which Yingluck is accused of dereliction of duty.
The Deputy Police Chief insisted that Yingluck's supporters will be asked to
stay inside a designated area of 1,500 square meters. Around 3,700 crowd
control police and 4,000 traffic police will be deployed at the Supreme
Court to maintain law and order.
Metal barriers will be set up around the court to prevent unauthorized
personnel from entering the premises. Those coming to support Yingluck will
have to go through security checkpoints for safety reasons.
NLA launches self defense against domestic violence program for students
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and the
Department of Women's Affairs and Family Development (DWF) has organized a
self-defense training program for students as domestic violence is on the
NLA member Suwannee Siriwetchapan, in her capacity as the committee
chairperson on women’s affairs, opened the self-defense program organized by
the DWF and the NLA with the objective of teaching the students to protect
themselves against violence at home.
The program is aimed at encouraging the students to be compassionate towards
others in society. She says the number of domestic-violence related
incidents in Thailand has been on the rise.
Most of those who physically abuse family members had once been victims of
abuse themselves, said Suwannee, adding that family violence also stems from
the abusers’ use of illegal drugs and alcohol.
Pavena Foundation saves Thai woman from human trafficking in Bahrain
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Pavena Foundation for Children and Women has
successfully coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to return a
Thai woman deceived into prostitution in Bahrain home.
The 21 year old woman from Chaiyaphum province was swindled into being a
human trafficking victim after being told she could travel to Bahrain to
apply for a job. After reaching out for help, the victim’s family was told
by her captors that they would have send a replacement or pay 180,000 baht,
prompting them to contact the Pavena Foundation, which in turn coordinated
with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Thai Embassy in Bahrain and
Bahraini police to secure her return.
Upon returning, the woman gave a statement to police indicating she was not
harmed but was kept with 10 other Thai women being sold into prostitution.
The foundation has warned the public of being enticed into work abroad,
especially to jobs promised in Bahrain, Malaysia and South Korea, where many
Thai women have been deceived into prostitution or illegal labor.
Foundation Chairwoman Pavena Hongsakul reported that in 2016, her
organization saved 95 women, the most from Bahrain at 33 followed by 16 from
Malaysia. Since January of this year it has received 66 reports, 33
Thai GDP posts 4-year record growth in Q2 2017
BANGKOK,(NNT) – A GDP growth rate of as high as 3.7 percent has been
recorded in the second quarter of this year, leading to an upward revision
of the growth estimate for the entire year.
The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has announced
that GDP in the second quarter jumped 3.7 percent, the highest rate in 17
quarters or over four years. The significant increase signified a more
robust recovery in the Thai economy fueled by public spending and private
consumption and investment.
Exports, meanwhile, were valued at over 56 billion US dollars, increasing by
8 percent in line with growing economies of Thailand’s trading partners.
Judging from the improvements in exports as well as public and private
investment, tourism and agricultural household income, the NESDB decided to
adjust the annual economic growth forecast up from 3.3-3.8 percent to
Nonetheless, there remain some risk factors for the Thai economy, such as
uncertainties in the US economic and trade policies, geopolitical conflicts
that could affect trading partners and continuity of the government’s mega
MRT ridership increases due to Blue-Purple lines connection
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The number of MRT passengers has increased up to
50,000 daily due to the connection between its Blue Line and Purple Line at
Tao Poon station.
Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA)'s Deputy Governor Rithika
Suparat revealed the number of MRT passengers has risen, given the
interchange Tao Poon station between the Blue Line and Purple Line.
He said the ridership has surged from 33,000 passengers to 50,000 passengers
daily, with the average of 47,000 passengers per day since the opening of
the connected line on 11 August 2017. The ridership during weekends has
increased to 29,000 from 22,000 daily.
The promotional fare for MRT Purple Line will remain valid until the end of
this year, after which the fare structure might be revised.
Police to introduce barcode traffic tickets
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Royal Thai
Police is preparing to introduce new traffic tickets later this year and
bring back the penalty point system.
According to the Royal Government Gazette, the latest traffic tickets will
contain English translations and barcodes, allowing motorists to pay fines
at branches of Krung Thai Bank with Police Ticket Management (PTM) booths.
The new system will come into effect within 120 days.
Deputy Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police Pol Lt Gen Wittaya
Prayongpan disclosed that the e-ticketing system, which will be released in
December, will allow ticket holders to contest fines if they can prove that
the offending vehicle does not belong to them. The English translations will
also help foreigners with traffic violations comply with penalties.
Traffic tickets issued by police and those sent to motorists by post will
remain in use. The Royal Thai Police explained that the new system aims to
facilitate record-keeping and compliance with traffic regulations. Police
also plan to revive the penalty point system to deter traffic violations and
is discussing the issue with relevant agencies.
Treasury Dept announces royal funeral commemorative coins
RATCHABURI,(NNT) - The Treasury
Department of Ratchaburi Province has unveiled a four-coin set commemorating
the royal funeral of His Late Majesty King Rama IX, available for
reservation from August 22nd to September 30th this year.
Anchalee Rodpon of the Ratchaburi Provincial Treasury Office revealed that
the set includes a gold coin priced at 50,000 baht, a silver coin at 2,000
baht, a blackened bronze coin at 3,000 baht and cupronickel coin at 100
baht. People can reserve the coins by presenting their national ID cards at
20 provincial treasury offices across the country.
Each person can make up to three reservations. Each reservation is eligible
to purchase 1 gold coin, 2 silver coins, 1 bronze coin, and 1 cupronickel
coin. Anchalee indicated that the bronze coin can only be reserved Treasury
Department units. The coins will be distributed on January 29th next year.
SCB unveils SCB Easy to support mobile banking services
BANGKOK - Siam Commercial Bank
has unveiled its application SCB Easy to support the country's national
e-payment policy, aiming to reach eight million users by the end of next
SCB Easy enables users to make transfers, deposits, bill payments, and other
financial transactions on their mobile devices at all time. The app is
secured with Easy App Protection, which protects accounts in the event of
phone theft or hacking.
The Bank of Thailand revealed that the number of mobile banking transactions
increased from 13 million accounts in 2015 to over 20 million in 2016.
Automatic Channel for foreigners launched at Suvarnabhumi Airport
BANGKOK,(NNT) – The Immigration Bureau has launched the Automatic
Channel to register foreign passengers for the first time at Suvarnabhumi
Pol. Lt. Natthorn Phrosunthorn, Commander of the Immigration Bureau, and Mr.
Sirote Duangrat, Director of Suvarnabhumi Airport, jointly opened the
Automatic Channel for foreigners at Suvarnabhumi Airport after opening the
Automatic Channel for Thai nationals.
This is the first time to open the Automatic Channel for foreigners, and
Singaporean passengers were the first to be allowed to use it. Suvarnabhumi
Airport will later consider expanding the services of the Automatic Channels
to passengers from some other countries by taking into account security
Singapore is the first nation allowed to use the Automatic Channels under
the mutual cooperation between Thailand and Singapore. Meanwhile,
Singaporean immigration authorities are also considering the use of
Automatic Channel for Thai passengers traveling to their country.
In addition, Automatic Channel Passport for foreigners will be extended to
other international airports nationwide, and will soon provide services to
more foreign passengers such as Japan and Hong Kong.
NCPO receives over 1,000 complaints in a month
BANGKOK – The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has
received multiple complaints in the month since launching its complaint
Colonel Sirichan Ngathong, the deputy spokesperson of the NCPO, said the
NCPO’s complaint center which was officially open on July 14th received a
total of 1,310 complaints during its first month of operation. Of that
number, 688 complaints were made on the Hotline 1299, 433 complaints in mail
to PO Box no. 444, and 209 complaints were received via complaint centers in
Colonel Sirichan said 129 complaints were lodged against state officials for
misconduct and corrupt practices, noting that other complaints were in
regard to people’s well being and hardships.
The deputy spokesperson said complaints involving corruption and state
officers will be dealt with first while asking the public to make sure their
information is reliable.
Deputy education minister urges new teachers to follow in HM the late King’s footsteps
BANGKOK,(NNT) – Deputy Education
Minister M.L. Panadda Diskul has called on new teachers to espouse the
principles of HM the late King.
Giving a special lecture to 573 new recruits, the deputy minister said
teachers are students’ role models because they are the ones students look
up to, thus it is the teachers’ responsibility to set an example for the
youngsters to follow.
M.L. Panadda said it takes patience, commitment, and kindness to educate
others while urging all educators to adopt the teachings of His Majesty the
late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
He then asked the teachers to instill honesty, responsibility,
self-sufficiency, and morality in their students, because these are the
attributes that will move the country forward.
Update August 19 - 20, 2017
Thailand Live Gastronomy festival organises to boost culinary tourism in the Kingdom
from left: Mrs. Thaniwan Kulmongkol, President of Thai Restaurant
Association; Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor; Associate Professor Wisanu
Subsompon, Ph.D. Vice President for Property and Innovation Management,
Chulalongkorn University; Chef Natthapol Pavapaiboon, Thai Celebrity Chef,
jointly announced the plan to host the Thailand Live Gastronomy at today’s
Bangkok,The Tourism Authority of
Thailand (TAT) is organising the ‘Thailand Live Gastronomy’ festival as part
of the strategies to put greater emphasis on Gastronomy Tourism, which is
considered as an important part of the travel through unique Thai local
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “Gastronomy Tourism is one of the
key highlights in the TAT’s marketing plan 2018 to heighten Thailand as a
preferred destination. We aim to leverage the uniqueness of Thai food to
motivate tourists and foodies to embark on a culinary journey to taste
signature dishes in renowned towns and cities across the country as a way of
exploring unique Thai culture and ways of life.”
The Thailand Live Gastronomy, which will be presented with a tagline
‘Flavours to the World’, is scheduled to take place next week, from 25 to 27
August, at one of Bangkok’s famous shopping and dining venues, Siam Square.
The event will be showcasing must-try
signature local dishes from around the country in the ‘Original’ section,
special menus from seven famous Street Food areas of Bangkok, and fresh
seafood from fisherman villages in the Southern Region. Thailand’s signature
dishes including Tom Yum Kung. Phat Thai, Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad),
Massaman Curry, and Green Curry – voted among the World’s 50 Best Foods by
CNN Travel readers – will also be available for visitors to enjoy. In
addition, four of Thailand’s famous tuk-tuks or three-wheeled auto rickshaws
will also be converted into local food trucks.
There will be a ‘Gastronomy Innovation’ section where talented Thai and
foreign chefs will be showcasing innovative ways of cooking Thai food in a
specially-designed kitchen. Local and international visitors will also have
the chance to try and buy some rare tropical fruits from local orchards. In
addition, organic food will be available while Thai rice, the staple food of
Thailand, will be presented in an exhibition as well as in the forms of many
The three-day food festival will be
entertaining visitors with traditional performances including Thai
kick-boxing or Muay Thai, mini concerts by Thai pop singers, cultural shows
and traditional Thai music produced by Thai musical instruments.
Mr. Yuthasak added, “We hope that after
having the chance to taste the many signature dishes on offer at the
Thailand Live Gastronomy, local and international visitors will be inspired
and motivated to visit many parts of Thailand to taste local dishes in their
destinations of origin.”
Some of the other highlighted
activities in the TAT’s Gastronomy Tourism initiative are the launch of the
Michelin Guide Bangkok at the end of this year, and the hosting of the 4th
UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in Bangkok next year.
Dinosaur fossils found in Phitsanulok
PHITSANULOK, (NNT) - A group of
students of Naresuan University have found fossils in Phitsanulok province.
Geologists have been invited to study the petrified remains.
The fossils were discovered near a reserved forest in Wang Thong district
where the geography students were surveying the strata. The prehistoric
remnants have been unearthed for the first time there. The remains are
believed to belong to carnivorous marine dinosaurs.
Ban Klang Subdistrict Administrative Organization has put the site off
limits to the general public to pave the way for geologists’ examination
which will begin on 19th August.
Thais continue to mourn HM King Rama IX
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Thais from across the country have journeyed to the
Grand Palace to pay their respects to His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol
Dusit Throne Hall welcomed Thais from all walks of life from Bangkok and
distant provinces such as Lamphun, Nan, Sa Kaeo, Surat Thani, Ranong, Phuket
and Mukdahan. All were united in their gratitude for His Majesty's
dedication to his people throughout his 70-year reign. Palace officials have
also been stationed to service visitors and provide free food and water.
Meanwhile, officials have set up a station at Ban Manangkhasila on Lan Luang
Road to gather artificial flowers made for the royal funeral. Deputy
Governor of Bangkok Chakkapan Phewngam revealed that the capital will set up
a total of 39 stations. He added that officials will then conduct drills on
manning the stations and ensuring safety for visitors.
Chiang Rai raises flood alert, Maha Sarakham & Bueng Kan expedite aid measures
CHIANG RAI,(NNT) - A return of heavy rain has led to the inundation
of some areas of Chiang Rai, prompting the northernmost province to raise a
A downpour on Wednesday night caused the Sai River to overflow its banks,
swamping nearby shops and houses and making the road under the
Thailand-Myanmar border bridge impassable. Governor Narongsak Osotthanakon
has asked the chiefs of Mae Sai district and Mae Sai Subdistrict
Municipality to monitor the situation round the clock.
In the Northeast, Vice Governor of Maha Sarakham, Phusit Somchit has called
a meeting to discuss aid measures for flood-disrupted residents. Local
administrative organizations have been assigned to assess the damage to
properties and agricultural areas in the districts of Kosum Phisai and
Muaeng Maha Sarakham. The flooding reportedly damaged eight houses and more
than 585,000 rai of farmland, killing four people.
In Bueng Kan, floodwaters continue to recede thanks to a pause in rainfall
over the past couple of days, causing the water level of the Mekong River to
drop to 8.80 meters. The situation is expected to return to normal in the
next two weeks. Governor Pisut Bussayapanpong, meanwhile has traveled to
inundated areas to hand relief items to villagers.
IEAT eyes redesigning industrial estates to cater to SMEs
BANGKOK, (NNT) – The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT)
is ready to adjust its industrial estate development plans to better
accommodate small and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
While delivering his policy address to executives of the IEAT, Minister of
Industry Uttama Savanayana suggested that more focus be placed on industrial
development in each community in keeping with the national strategy. As a
way of raising the potential of SMEs, the minister instructed the IEAT to
shift its development plans for industrial estates towards the cluster
format in order to attract more SME operators. The authority will draw
conclusions on the plans within two months.
During the first nine months of the 2017 fiscal year, the IEAT reported that
property sales and rentals within industrial estates have expanded to 2,160
rai in total, most of which are located in the Eastern Economic Corridor.
Investment capital has increased to over 102 billion baht from 67 billion
baht last year. Most of the capital belongs to the automobile and parts and
Ministry of Industry delivers policy address on EEC development
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Industry
Minister Uttama Savanayana has delivered a policy address to the Industrial
Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) on developing the Eastern Economic
Corridor (EEC) according to the Thailand 4.0 agenda.
Uttama stressed the importance of accommodating industrial clusters in the
EEC, as they are target industries that connect the region with border
economic zones as well as China's One Belt, One Road Initiative.
The minister has received a report on the IEAT's 20-year strategic plan from
2017-36, which aims to add another 15,000 rai of industrial estate over the
next five years and incorporate new technologies in managing public
Regarding the development of industrial estates in the EEC, the IEAT will
develop the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate into a "Smart Park" to accommodate
high-tech industries, such as the petrochemical and medical technology
industries. The park will cover 1,466 rai and cost approximately one billion
Renovation of Royal Great Victory Carriage now 90% complete
BANGKOK,(NNT) - Renovations on
the royal carriage for the cremation ceremony of His Majesty the late King
Bhumibol Adulyadej is 90% complete.
Gold leaf and glass sheets are being used to restore 138 small angel
figurines. The figurines were removed from the Royal Great Victory Carriage
so they could be hand decorated by experienced artisans. Once this process
is complete, the figurines will be reattached on the carriage.
The installation of ‘Prak’, two long decorative wooden pieces in the shape
of the mythical Naga sea serpent, will soon begin after the carriage wheels
are replaced. The wooden pieces will be placed underneath the carriage,
close to the wheels.
The entire renovation process of royal carriage is expected to be completed
within the month. Troops from the Royal Thai Army will also help set up and
test the integrity of the Naga ladder, which will be used to elevate the
royal urn of His Majesty late King onto the carriage.
Finally, an asphalt road is being paved in front of the building which
houses the carriage, allowing it to travel during the royal funeral
Transport Ministry to report on high-speed rail project at mobile cabinet meeting next week
BANGKOK,(NNT) - The Ministry of Transport will report the progress of
the high-speed rail project for Bangkok - Nakhon Ratchasima route, under the
cooperation between the Thai and Chinese governments to the mobile cabinet’s
meeting next week.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termphitthayaphaisit disclosed the Ministry of
Transport will propose the signing of contract No. 2.1 on the design for the
high-speed rail project for Bangkok - Nakhon Ratchasima route under the
cooperation between the Thai and Chinese governments and report on the
progress in the high-speed rail project for Bangkok - Nakhon Ratchasima to
the mobile cabinet's meeting in Nakhon Ratchasima province next week.
The Ministry of Transport will also report on the progress of the
inter-urban highway's construction project, or the motorway from Bang Pa-in
to Nakhon Ratchasima, along with rehabilitation efforts for flood-damaged
roads in the Northeast.
Last weekend, the Ministry of Transport inspected the construction sites of
the project for constructing high-speed rail, Phase I, Klang Dong – Pang
Asok station, covering a distance of 3.5 kilometers.
Although the construction will cross into areas under the responsibility of
the State Railway of Thailand or SRT, the minister believes the issue would
not be problematic, as the Department of Highways is the responsible agency
for the construction project.
Thai-U.S. military exercise kicks off in Kanchanaburi
KANCHANABURI,(NNT) - First Army Region commander Lt Gen Apirat
Kongsompong presided over the opening ceremony of the Hanuman Guardian joint
military exercise 2017 between Thai and American soldiers in Kanchanaburi
Held at the 9th Infantry Division Headquarters, the joint military exercise
is hosted by the Royal Thai Army and US Army Pacific.
The Hanuman Guardian joint military exercise is an annual training aimed at
improving humanitarian assistance, disaster relief capabilities, infantry,
aviation, medical and battle staff.
Around 725 Thai soldiers and 683 American soldiers are taking part in the
exercise led by US Army Pacific Chief Brigadier General Peter B. Andrysiak.
The exercise will come to an end on August 25th.