By Barry Kenyon

Anything and everything about Thailand
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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Thailand wants to attract the very wealthy. I wonder just how many in that kind of financial position are all that interested in Thailand in the first place, let alone spending substantial amounts of time and huge amounts of money in Thailand. And even if their scheme works, who and where do they think that kind of money will be spent? On businesses and people who are in most need of it?

I'll say the same thing I've been saying. There are plenty of expat farang living in Thailand who have normal amounts of money, but are stuck with the 800,000 baht in a Thai bank requirement. You want money injected into the Thai economy and people spending it on more mundane things rather than the fabulously wealthy spending it on luxury accommodations, the finest restaurants, and exclusive country clubs? Very simple. Release us from the 800,000 baht requirement and let us spend our money instead of having to let it just sit there virtually untouchable in a bank account.
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Plans to lure the ultra-rich with relaxed immigration rules still bogged down

By Barry Kenyon

June 8, 2021

The Thai government’s ad hoc committee to consider the future of Thai tourism yesterday presented a preliminary report to the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), but has been told to look again at the details. The committee is led by ML Chayotid Kridakorn, a former director for JPMorgan Thailand.

The general premise is that mass tourism isn’t coming back any time soon and that Thailand must seek to attract the world’s richest business people, investors and retirees with tax and immigration bonuses. For example, high-end retirees would qualify for a 10 year visa, be allowed to buy property on selected estates, work 20 hours a week without a work permit and pay just 17% tax on local earnings. But the qualifications are steep: an annual income of at least US$40,000 plus investment capital (eg government bonds) to the tune of US$250,000.

There are also proposals to lure wealthy investors in Thai companies, highly skilled digital experts and the global rich with time on their hands to have a base in Thailand without immigration hassles for a full decade. One suggestion is a 10-year visa for those of any age with $1 million in assets and an investment record in Thailand. However, the Finance Ministry is not happy about the low tax and exemption rates which could affect the government’s revenue collection. The Interior Ministry which houses the immigration bureau is also asking questions about trading entry and exit regulations for a cash-rich, privileged minority.

The ad hoc committee also proposed last April that the unpopular 90 days reporting system be abolished, although that idea did not form part of the recent presentation to CESA. Actually, the three-monthly reporting has already been ditched for the holders of the four-year Smart visa which allows experts in “S” curve industries to work without an employment permit. Other ideas still circulating are a rejigged Elite visa for the top spenders and even the possibility of permanent residency for long-term investors who stay the course.

Supporters of the committee say that Thailand must intensify its efforts to attract the world’s 200 million richest guys and gals. Critics argue that the recommendations are too complex to draw traction. There already exists a rarely-used 10-year “X” visa aimed at retirees and their families. Moreover, several rival countries are willing to sell citizenship to investors with several hundred thousand dollars to spend on a second passport. No chance of Thailand following that route.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... own-358780

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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What is not mentioned in the article is the risk of could happen if there is yet another outbreak. I think we all remember what happened during an earlier outbreak when so many foreigners found themselves trapped in Thailand and couldn't go home because flights were canceled and entry restrictions imposed in their home countries. Many were forced to remain in Thailand for months, and you don't get to remain in Thailand for free. What was supposed to be an enjoyable holiday quickly became a nightmare. Don't convince yourself that it can't happen again.

Also, while people might be in Thailand having a marvelous time, if an outbreak occurs in their home country, that could also prevent them from being able to return home.

If you do plan a trip to Thailand, make sure you truly understand the risks involved when making your decision whether to go or not - and do your thinking and planning with your head, not your crotch.
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Thai Sandboxes jeopardized by British traffic lights

By Barry Kenyon

June 11, 2021

British travel gurus are describing as “unbelievable” their government’s reliance on traffic light colours to dissuade the population from travelling abroad this summer. ABTA chief Mark Tanzer said, “It is difficult to know why we have the highest vaccination rate in Europe and the fewest number of flights.”

Under the traffic lights system, the British government heavily discourages, or bans outright, all leisure travel to countries graded amber or red. Thailand is amber alongside most countries. There are only eleven countries graded green-for-go but most of them (for example Singapore and Australia) are not allowing foreign tourists at present. The traffic lights are virtually an instruction to remain in UK.

The only two green countries on the list which actually welcome British tourists are Iceland and Gibraltar which account for 0.5 percent of international flights and are not dream destinations for most vacationers. In other words, Brits are all ready for fun in the sun but have nowhere to go. This matters because the UK in 2019 sent more tourists to Thailand than any EU country except Germany.

But China sent 40 percent of all international arrivals in 2019 and the figure rises to 50 percent if you include India. Those governments have banned leisure travel for now. So their nationals will not be present for the three Sandboxes which Thailand is preparing to open this year for fully vaccinated travellers: Phuket (July), Chiang Mai (August) and Pattaya (October).

Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) spokespersons have said that the early Sandboxes will be reliant on tourists from Europe and the USA, although it should be noted that America provided fewer arrivals than did the UK in 2019. TAT speaks of a possible travel bubble with South Korea, but that would mean four hundred passengers a week at best, not the umpteen thousands/millions needed to justify Sandboxes.

Thai Airways and other airlines have stated that they have planes ready to take off to Thailand from London and other European destinations starting next month. But, of course, flights can be cancelled if demand is non-existent or insufficient. Both France and Germany have warned their nationals to holiday in Europe this year, as indeed they did in 2020, because of the dangers posed by virus variants

Greg Watkins, of the UK’s Last Minute Travel, said, “The Brits simply won’t be coming this year. They have to risk the wrath of their government and have to deal with a complex and expensive vetting process by the Thai embassy in London. It’s not even clear which facilities will be open and which still closed once the planes land in Thailand.”

He suggested that Europeans would return to Thailand in big numbers only when the whole situation was much easier. “My customers want sun and fun and in Thailand you can’t even enjoy a glass of wine with your dinner right now.” He concluded, “As for myself, I’ll come to Thailand when all you need is a passport, an air ticket and a vaccination certificate to flash at immigration.” Sadly, that won’t be anytime soon.

https://www.pattayamail.com/latestnews/ ... hts-359193

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Gaybutton wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:59 pm
If you do plan a trip to Thailand, make sure you truly understand the risks involved when making your decision whether to go or not - and do your thinking and planning with your head
That's exactly what I will do when winter comes.
Currently the UK government has Thailand as "amber", which means when returning, I would need some covid tests and need to "isolate" at home for 10 days. Exactly the same as I did when returning from the last trip and not a big problem. A little extra expense, but for a long holiday, it's not a deal breaker.

In the event that Thailand were upgraded to "red", that would mean over priced hotel quarantine. In such circumstances, I would probably investigate spending 2 weeks in a third country when returning.
I believe the government only discourages and does not stop outbound travel to "amber" countries. If I have got that wrong, I shall investigate all the loopholes when the time comes (education, business, going via a third country etc).

If anyone questions the ethics of my approach, well looking at the results, the current UK government rules are inconveniencing travelers, but not actually stopping the import of covid variants.

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Re: By Barry Kenyon

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Jun wrote:
Sat Jun 12, 2021 7:43 pm
That's exactly what I will do when winter comes.
Certainly for you a holiday in Thailand is different from most people, if not all, who are reading this. You spend months in Thailand while most people spend a couple weeks.

In your case, unless the UK forbids travel to Thailand, your problem is not at the beginning of your holiday. Your problem is what the circumstances will be at the end of your holiday. Obviously no one can predict that. I suppose the same is true for anyone traveling to Thailand, whether they are going to be in Thailand for a short time or long time.

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