By Barry Kenyon

Anything and everything about Thailand
Post Reply
User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Additional Thai tourist entry tax still under a cloud

By Barry Kenyon

April 29, 2022

Tourist authorities are seeking to clarify the upcoming 300 baht fee on international visitors, but the issue remains murky. Permanent secretary Chote Trachu said the long-delayed 300 baht (US$10) tax would be added to the airfares of international travellers, both tourists and expats, from August or September this year, with exceptions for foreign infants, work permit holders, diplomats, Thai nationals and guest workers from bordering countries.

To achieve this complex result, the cooperation of airlines would be needed to integrate their websites with the Thailand Tourism Fee (TTF) system to screen which passengers are exempt. The final passenger manifest will have to be submitted to the data link shortly after take-off. Initially, the system will not include arrivals by sea or land as nobody has yet worked out how to charge 300 baht without huge queues forming at border crossings or even ports.

In reported remarks to the Bangkok Post, the tourism ministry said that the TTF system would automatically give 30 days insurance cover to new arrivals. Presumably this can only be for specified misfortunes, such as death, as no insurer could offer comprehensive treatment for such a small sum. How this fits in with the latest requirement which insists on minimum cover of US$10,000 Covid cover from May 1 is not addressed.

The 300 baht tax has a colorful history pre-dating the pandemic but successive starting dates have been put off again and again. It has always been a proposed tax to improve tourist infrastructure – repairing temples and building public loos have been specifically mentioned – with only 10 or 20 percent devoted to tourist insurance issues. What is obvious at this stage is that TTF is not a substitute for comprehensive health safety policies. Test runs with airlines begin next month.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... oud-397074

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Question: Do the Thai powers-that-be ever come up with anything that doesn't cause confusion?
___________________________________________

Proposed tourist tax in Thailand derailed yet again

By Barry Kenyon

May 4, 2022

Thailand’s prime minister has pushed into the unknown a date for the introduction of a new 300 baht (US$9) tax on most foreign visitors. Prayut Chan-o-cha told a press briefing that the scheme needed more discussion, even though a start date of August or September had been indicated by the tourist ministry. The premier stressed that the surge in international arrivals meant that national income would steadily increase throughout the year without the surcharge.

The proposed tourist tax continues to hit the buffers, but to no surprise amongst travel gurus. Airlines would be expected to include the extra in the price of international tickets, but would need to find a way of excluding Thai nationals, diplomats, children under two years and all foreign work permit holders. However, most expats – even Elite card holders, retirees and those married to Thais – would be expected to pay even though they were not tourists. Some airlines had already intimated that the bureaucratic complexities of implementation were formidable to say the least.

Moreover, much confusion had been created by some government officials who had maintained that part of the proposed tax income would be reserved for tourist insurance even though 80 percent would be earmarked for physical improvements at tourist sites. In reality, there was never any intention to offer Covid or general medical insurance to foreigners by this route: eligibility would be restricted to death payments, bomb outrages and similar holiday hazards. Even in these rare scenarios, it was never explained how claims would actually be processed by hospitals.

A further unsolved problem was how to introduce the tax at land borders which have recently been reopened to international tourist traffic. The only suggestion to date was to collect the fee at kiosks located at the immigration checkpoints. But many foreigners would not have the correct change or would be trying to pay in their own currency, leading to mammoth queues as both international and local travellers waited in huge lines. Greg Watkins, a UK-based travel agent, summarized, “Thailand tourism is recovering quite nicely after the ending of Test and Go requirements. The last thing she needs now is a complex entry tax ideally suited to confusion, annoyance and bad publicity for the Land of Smiles.”

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ain-397566

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

You won't find me shedding any tears over the loss of Chinese group tours with the multitude of Chinese tour buses plaguing Pattaya's traffic. I have nothing against the Chinese people themselves. My problem is the incompetent way the traffic problems caused by the buses were handled.

You also won't find me shedding any tears over the misfortunes of businesses and venues that catered specifically to Chinese tour groups to the exclusion of everybody else. Ever since the pandemic restrictions got started and these businesses found themselves in trouble, I have been saying it was a huge mistake to cater to one specific group. If these ventures ever manage to reopen, I hope they won't repeat that very costly mistake.
________________________________________________

Pattaya’s miniboom ignores the missing Chinese tourists

By Barry Kenyon

May 5, 2022

Pattaya is finally shaking off its ghost city image as the tills ring merrily in the entertainment districts. But what’s missing are the long lines of Chinese tourists following the “flag” and sporting cell phones and sun hats. In pre-pandemic 2019, Chinese visitors amounted to almost a third of the country’s 40 million tourists. Steve Saxon, partner at travel specialists McKinsey and Company, summed up, “China has stopped issuing passports and any returning nationals have to spend up to three weeks in quarantine to try and stamp out the pesky virus.” He added that group travel had been outright banned by Beijing and wasn’t returning any time soon.

The Pattaya businesses still under lock and key are those dependent on the lost market. Thepprasit Road, the Chinese hub which houses hi-tech cabaret extravaganzas such as Kaan, Imagine 79 and the Colosseum, once entertained up to 1,200 tourists nightly crammed into dozens of huge coaches. The car parks were (and are) many times larger than the actual theatres. Now the abandoned area has an eerie silence as the empty spaces have been taken over by feral dogs and the occasional mobile shop selling fruit or second-hand shoes.

Oddly, City Hall has ensured that a Chinese revival is impossible in any case. Thepprasit Road (along with many other Pattaya thoroughfares) is largely dug up as it waits for a massive drainage and underground cable panacea labeled “short term pain for long term gain”. However, work came to a halt last month and is now scheduled for completion sometime next year. Public anger has mounted as the area is now plagued daily by huge traffic jams and single-lane overcrowding which, of course, would make access by coaches impossible.

A spokesperson said there were many reasons for the delays: bad weather, late delivery of tractors, shortage of guest-worker laborers from Myanmar and budgetary issues created by the hiatus as Pattaya is in campaign mode for the election of a new mayor. For the time being, Chinese tourists will have to take selfies in their own land.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... sts-397634

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Latest Thai-Cambodia border immigration rules cause a few hiccups

By Barry Kenyon

May 6, 2022

Although international tourists can now enter Thailand by Cambodian land borders, they must register at least 48 hours in advance on the Thailand Pass portal. They must carry with them their allotted QR code as well as proof of at least two injections against Covid and health insurance worth at least US$10,000 lest they become infected.

Those who are not fully vaccinated must still register in advance via Thailand Pass and will be allowed to enter without hassle provided they bring proof of a negative RT-PCR test taken within the previous 72 hour, as well as the US$10,000 insurance requirement and the QR code. Those without the required health test result must be quarantined at their own expense for at least five days.

Aranyaprathet immigration police said that a small number of would-be international entrants did not have the required documents and were refused entry. Entry clearance officer Kittisak Saetang said, “Some tourists were misinformed about the border pass which does not require prior registration. But the border pass is only for visitors whose visit is for three days or less and does not cover travel to provinces which lie beyond the border region.”

As regards tourists travelling by land from Thailand to Cambodia, Pacific Travel Association spokesman Thourn Kheav said the rules were easier. No prior registration or insurance certificate was required for most nationalities as long as they were doubly vaccinated. Both 30 days e-visas and visas on arrival were available at most border posts to allow unrestricted travel to popular venues including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

About 50,000 foreigners are believed to have entered Cambodia or Thailand by land since the rules were relaxed on May 1. However, there is no way of subdividing the figures which will include returning residents, border market stallholders and guest workers as well as international tourists. The land borders are busier than expected because international air schedules are not yet back to normal.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... ups-397892

Dodger
Posts: 1670
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:58 am
Has thanked: 43 times
Been thanked: 383 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Dodger »

Barry Kenyon wrote:
Fri May 06, 2022 6:34 am
...... “China has stopped issuing passports and any returning nationals have to spend up to three weeks in quarantine to try and stamp out the pesky virus.” He added that group travel had been outright banned by Beijing and wasn’t returning any time soon.
Too bad they didn't do this when Covid was first discovered.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Dodger wrote:
Sun May 08, 2022 5:57 pm
Too bad they didn't do this when Covid was first discovered.
Given a choice of possibly spreading a deadly virus or trying to avoid embarrassment, China chose the latter. After all, who cares about people's lives if we can avoid embarrassment . . . .

Don't forget, they even silenced the doctor who first realized what this was and went public with it. Then China tried to downplay it and cover it up. How many people in the world ended up dead as a result? According to Google, the number has reached 6.25 million - so far.

billyhouston
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:16 am
Location: Chiang Mai
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by billyhouston »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sun May 08, 2022 7:52 pm
How many people in the world ended up dead as a result? According to Google, the number has reached 6.25 million - so far.
"New estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that the full death toll associated directly or indirectly with the COVID-19 pandemic (described as “excess mortality”) between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021 was approximately 14.9 million (range 13.3 million to 16.6 million). "

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

billyhouston wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 2:16 am
approximately 14.9 million (range 13.3 million to 16.6 million). "
Unfortunately, that sounds more accurate to me than the Google estimate.

I also never understood why China tried to cover it up. It wasn't China's fault that this disease came into existence. It could have happened anywhere. China's mistake was trying to lie to the entire world about it.

User avatar
Jun
Posts: 3455
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 470 times
Been thanked: 221 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 6:18 am
I also never understood why China tried to cover it up. It wasn't China's fault that this disease came into existence. It could have happened anywhere. China's mistake was trying to lie to the entire world about it.
Regarding the "fault" part, it depends on which theory you follow regarding the origins of the virus. Either natural causes or from the virus research centre in Wuhan. Even if natural, keeping all those animals in close proximity in a market is bad practice.
Also, the WHO investigation into the origin of the virus was obstructed.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 19515
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 1082 times

Re: By Barry Kenyon

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 2:47 pm
Also, the WHO investigation into the origin of the virus was obstructed.
There is much about the way the Chinese think, especially the Chinese government, that I just don't understand. In my opinion they really shot themselves in the foot on this. Of course no apology or even an admission of trying to cover it up, but that only brings to mind one of my favorite movie quotes - and unfortunately I found it to have been appropriate to use the quote many times in previous posts, including this time:

"Of course, dear. What did you expect?"
- Gladys Cooper (Mrs. Higgins), 'My Fair Lady'

Post Reply