Although delayed by several months, the proposed 300 baht “tourism fee” is back in the news, with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports providing more details on how the fee will be charged and what it will be used for.
The proposal was originally planned for early this year, but was put on hold due to the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid and a lack of details on how it would be charged.
The new mandatory arrival fee will now apply to all foreigners “without exception” and will provide coverage worth 500,000 baht per person during their stay in Thailand for up to 30 days. For air passengers, it will be included in their ticket.
While the ministry says they are now ready to launch, they are waiting for all land and sea border entrances to be equipped and ready to collect payments. The new 300 entry fee will apply to all foreigners entering Thailand by air, land or sea.
There are no waivers planned this time around — all foreigners, including expatriates, work permit or long-term visa holders, and diplomats will be required to pay the $300 fee. The minister’s spokesman said the system could not easily distinguish one visa from the other as they would be charging air passengers through the ticket. So unless you are a true Thai citizen, you will have to pay a new entry fee of 300 baht every time you enter Thailand.
Coverage will be up to THB 500,000 covering accidents, riots, terrorism, natural disasters or “other events”. In the event of death and cremation or funeral costs up to 150,000 baht, there will be a payout of 1 million baht.
However, general health, hospital or Covid expenses will not be covered, so passengers will still need to purchase general travel or health insurance to cover these possible situations.
Cabinet is expected to confirm the plan next month and take effect 90 days after it is published in the Royal Gazette.
Thai Airways’ progress report for July showed promising prospects for the Thai flag carrier, which is expected to exit its financial recovery plan earlier than expected.
The airline’s revenue has soared thanks to higher passenger traffic, but cost cutting, stock sales and debt collection have been the secret sauce for Thai Airways to get back on track.
After improving performance, Thai Airways filed a petition with the Central Bankruptcy Court on July 1, seeking to revive the airline’s current recovery plan.
The airline reportedly had a net cash reserve of 14 billion baht as of June 30. As a result, Thai Airways may need 12.5 billion baht in funding instead of the 50 billion baht allowed by the restructuring plan.
Passenger revenue in Thailand has increased significantly, with the average number of passengers using the airline reaching 12,654 per day in recent months. Compared with January this year, passenger traffic has increased by 6 times.
But cutting costs in each division is THAI’s way of building up its cash reserves. Thai’s cost dropped by a massive 73%, from 29.4 billion to 7.9 million. billion baht per year.
The airline cut operating costs by 8.5 billion baht by reducing the type of aircraft in its fleet from nine to four. The airline has sold 15 planes and has 18 more on the way. Overall, the entire fleet has been reduced to 43 aircraft. Maintenance costs are also reduced by 4.5 billion baht annually.
Thai Airways has also been chasing the Royal Thai Air Force and Royal Thai Police to repay overdue debts in a bid to boost cash reserves.
The entrepreneurial airline even made 9.5 billion baht from selling non-core business opportunities, such as auctions of merchandise and plane seats through its Facebook page TG Warehouse Sale. The airline also leases space at its headquarters to make money.
Now that Thailand’s travel restrictions have all but been lifted, the airline can only hope to get better from here. Thailand’s executive vice president predicts that this year’s peak season passenger numbers will be the highest in the past two years.
Thai Airways also plans to bring older planes back into service. The reactivated aircraft will be used on high-demand routes to South Korea, Singapore and Japan.
Some civic groups have raised demands for the party to strengthen its candidate screening process after Kadima Bangkok city councillor Arnuparb Tarntong was accused of sexual misconduct.
Sathorn councillor Arnuparb has come forward to police to deny the sexual harassment allegations by four young girls.
He tweeted yesterday that he was ready to fight and prove his innocence. He thanked his followers for their moral support.
Arnuparb is the second politician to be accused of sexual harassment this year after former Democratic Party deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi. As early as April, 20 people came forward to accuse the politician of sexual abuse and rape.
After his tweet, people were quick to draw comparisons between the two politicians and demanded that Anupabu step down, similar to Pullin, who was outgoing as deputy leader of the Democratic Party.
According to the civil rights group, political parties should investigate members’ backgrounds to check if they have a record of inappropriate behavior, such as sexual assault or harassment, or disrespect for gender rights.
The torrential rains that have caused chaos across Thailand are expected to taper off from today (Friday) to Wednesday, July 20.
The monsoon should weaken from Friday to Sunday, according to the Thai Meteorological Department. The department’s director general said the trough of low pressure will move northward to Myanmar, upstream Laos and upstream Vietnam.
The department noted that there was still heavy rain, but only in some areas. These include parts of eastern Thailand and the west coast of southern Thailand. While waves in the Gulf and Andaman Sea are 2-3 meters high, they are expected to drop to 1-2 meters from Monday to Wednesday.
The calm rains will be a relief for many after the devastation that Thailand’s monsoon season has wreaked on many parts of the kingdom. A mother and daughter in northeastern Thailand nearly drowned in floodwaters earlier this week.
The mother accidentally drove into a flooded underground parking lot at Khon Kaen Airport. Fortunately, the airport dispatched a rescue team to bring the two to safety.
Earlier this week, Buriram, another northeastern province, experienced “the worst flooding in 10 years”. Heavy rain caused flash floods in Bandan district, where most people were sleeping. The floods damaged about 30 homes and restaurants, as well as country roads and farmland.
Thailand’s Ministry of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation has captured rare footage of a family of wild tigers feeding on their prey at the Dong Phayayen – Khao Yai Forest Complex in Isaan. With only an estimated 250 tigers left in the wild in Thailand, the chances of catching tiger footage are virtually nil.
The clip shows a family with 2 tiger cubs, their parents and 2 other tigers playing together in the forest. Later in the clip, the tiger is depicted feeding on the carcass of a large animal.
In 2005, this 6,155-square-kilometer forest complex was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and covers 5 protected areas in the East Payayan and Mount Kamphaeng mountains, namely Khao Yai, Dublan, Bang Si. Da and Ta Paia National Park and Dong Yai Wildlife Sanctuary.
The complex is home to more than 800 species of animals, including 112 mammals, 392 birds and 200 reptiles. Among them, 19 are vulnerable, 4 are endangered, and 1 is critically endangered.
Subscribe or join our YouTube channel today to become a Thaiger legend or a Thaiger cub for behind-the-scenes footage and other member-exclusive perks.