Skytrain emergency drill

The Transport Safety Center recently arranged a safety drill in preparation for emergencies that could occur on BTS trainlines, to limit inconvenience to passengers.

Minister of Transport, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith recently presided over the opening ceremony of the drill procedure and participated in it. The activity played out an interference scenario of an object falling from a nearby building onto the BTS railway line, stopping the Skytrain reaching Saphan Kwai station.

In such cases, staff in the control room will activate a back-up travel plan for passengers, and devise a route-changing plan to enable other trains to get to Ari and Mo Chit stations. They will also notify passengers of the time needed to clear the accident scene.

The BMTA will also be contacted to provide buses to pick up passengers who are stranded, and the Transport Safety Center will be contacted to provide more public transport options for passengers.

Information and Source
Reporter : Vipaporn Pooritanasarn
Rewriter : Rodney McNeil
National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

Travelers Spend More Money in Thailand Than Anywhere Else in Asia

It’s the fourth-most-profitable tourism destination in the world.

Just more than a year ago, I ate at Nahm, in Bangkok—and walked out after paying barely $60 for a tasting menu that currently ranks 49th on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. My grand, five-star hotel, the Anantara Siam, with its gilded murals and landscaped courtyards, cost $150 a night, including a breakfast buffet that was truly fit for royalty. Even the most expensive souvenir I bought in town, an elephant figurine with inlaid mother of pearl, cost less than a typical outing to McDonald’s back home in New York.

Yet, according to a visualization of recent UN World Tourism Organization data by HowMuch, a financial literacy and infographics agency, Thailand outranks every other nation in Asia when it comes to tourism spend.

Last year, it collected $57 billion in international tourism receipts, nearly doubling Macao ($36 billion), Japan ($34 billion), Hong Kong ($33 billion), and China ($33 billion). Globally, the only countries that out-earn Thailand in terms of tourism dollars are France ($61 billion), Spain ($68 billion), and the United States—which handily takes the gold medal, at $211 billion.

It all comes down to volume. Foreign arrivals could hit 40 million next year, which is more than half the country’s population.

“In Thailand, you’ve got something for everybody,” says Rebecca Mazzaro, a specialist for bespoke outfitter ATJ. “From the private island with the private villa to amazing street food meals that only cost a couple bucks, it has a diversity and variety that exists in few other markets. It’s no surprise lots of people are going—and spending,” she says.

A Coming Luxury Boom

Though gaps in the WTO’s data make it difficult to ascertain the per-visitor spend in each of these countries, given recent and forthcoming developments, that number is likely to be rising.

“There’s no question that historically Bangkok—and Thailand in general—has always been perceived as a value destination,” says John Blanco, general manager of the forthcoming five-star Capella Bangkok, opening next spring with 101 suites facing the Chao Phraya River. “But there has been a real effort to shift that perception.”

photo.marketingbyraj.com
Tuk tuks are a key local transport mode in Bangkok. Source: http://photo.marketingbyraj.com

Bangkok’s iconic Tuk-Tuk Taxi

Mastercard’s annual Global Destination Cities Index recently ranked Bangkok as the most-visited city in 2017 for the third year in a row. The study, based on undisclosed public data sources, rather than cardholder transactions, indicates that travelers shell out $173 for a day in the Thai capital, compared to $537 in Dubai or $286 in Singapore. This year, it forecasts travelers will spend an additional 14 percent more.

By next year, the city will have gained even more opportunities to spend, such as superlative new resorts from Four Seasons, Rosewood, Mandarin Oriental, and Waldorf Astoria, plus a $1.6 billion Bal Harbour-esque mixed-use retail development called Icon Siam. When it opens in November, the latter will claim restaurants from top-tier chefs, including Alain Ducasse and an outpost of Tokyo department store Takashimaya. The Capella hotel will house Mauro Colagreco restaurant, whose Mirazur in Menton, France, has two Michelin stars. “There’s a lot more meat on the bone now,” Blanco says of luxury offerings in the capital.

Overlooking the scenic ‘Land of Smiles’ – Bangkok Source: http://photo.marketingbyraj.com

Dino Michael, global head of Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, agrees. “We’ve been noticing the upscaling of Bangkok for a few years,” he tells Bloomberg. “The consumer has become more sophisticated; the dining scene has become more sophisticated.” And yet the timeless appeal is what led him to open the brand’s first southeast Asia property here in August—a glassy tower with dramatic skyline views from nearly every angle. Among Bangkok’s selling points, he says, are strong infrastructure and airlift, a “depth and breadth of tourists,” and an ingrained culture of hospitality. For tourists and brands thinking about charting the region, Michael adds, “It’s world renown—and an obvious starting point.”

The Pitfalls of Popularity

There may be a price to pay for popularity, particularly on Thailand’s beaches and islands. Already, throngs of partygoers on commercial yachts have done so much damage to the pristine marine ecosystem of Maya Bay—the picturesque backdrop to Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2000 film The Beach—that the area closed for four months earlier this year to recover. Unable to bounce back fast enough, it’s now being closed indefinitely. That follows similar measures in nearby Koh Khai and Koh Tachai islands, where coral was being destroyed at devastating rates.

n Phuket, Mastercard’s 12th-most-visited destination in the world, there’s been a sharp decline in the local turtle population, correlated with the rise in beachside pollution. It’s led 70 hoteliers to band together to promote sustainability and encourage better etiquette among travelers. And in Thailand’s north, the dramatic growth of tourism has led to a sobering spike in unethical wildlife tourism, often centering around elephants and tigers.

The capital, meanwhile, has stayed largely out of the way of these visitor-related troubles—perhaps because it’s hard(er) to justify bad behavior in a city with 40,000 Buddhist temples. “Of course, red light tourism is alive and well—like it or not,” says Catherine Heald, founder and chief executive of Asia outfitter Remote Lands. “But ultimately, tourism has really lifted the local economy.” At $57 billion a year, there’s no denying that.

A birds-eye view of the second-hand market in Bangkok Source: Asia Transpacific Journeys
Phi Phi Island, in Thailand.
Source: Remote Lands
PM Prayut instructs officials to boost tourists’ confidence

The Prime Minister has instructed related agencies to step up efforts to boost tourist confidence.

Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha meanwhile, denied claims that Thailand had limited the number of visas for Chinese travelers, an allegation that went viral via YouTube, while the Thai consulate generals and Embassy in China also confirmed the reports were groundless.

Gen. Prayut has accordingly instructed related agencies to keep a close eye on all news and reports, to preempt false news, while clarifying the issue with the public, as there are groups that have been trying to hurt Thailand’s reputation, particularly among the people of China.

The PM confirmed that the Thai government has reacted to the false claims in social media, and various units have already been asked to reinvigorate Thailand’s tourism and to prevent any repeat of such attacks.

He added that the Royal Thai Embassy and Thai consulate generals in China, have already addressed the problem of a shortage of visa stamps and confirmed that there has never been any policy to limit the number of visa applicants while working with Chinese authorities to take action against those, who have spread false reports.

Information and Source

Reporter : Kitti Cheevasittiyanon Rewriter : Rodney McNeil National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

Thailand remains most visited destination among Chinese

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has reported that Ctrip.com, China’s largest and most influential online travel agent, has ranked Thailand the number one global destination among Chinese tourists during this year’s National Day vacation, or the Chinese Golden Week 2018.

Thailand comes out on top of Japan, Hong Kong SAR, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea, among more than 1,000 destinations in nearly 100 countries. Favorite Thai destinations among Chinese tourists include Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said China is Thailand’s largest tourist market, and this latest Ctrip’s study shows that the kingdom continues to win the hearts of Chinese tourists with a wide range of attractions, ranging from local experiences, abundant natural beauty and a remarkable variety of activities, including soft adventure, health and wellness, weddings and honeymoons, and sports tourism.

This year, TAT is maintaining its target of 10.5-11 million arrivals from China, up from last year’s 9.8 million. Already this year, from January to August, Thailand has welcomed 7.7 million Chinese tourists, generating 423 billion baht.

Buddha statue bathing ceremony in Phetchabun attracts 10,000 spectators

More than 10,000 people participated in the annual Phra Buddha Maha Dhamaracha Bathing Ceremony in Phetchabun province on Tuesday.

Petchabun Governor Mr. Suebsak Iamwicharn carried the statue into the Pasak River as part of the bathing rite which took place at Wat ChanamanTemple.

The statue, also known among the local people as Phra Buddha Maha Dhamaracha, was brought to the temple on a traditional barge with a Himavanta animal figurehead specifically designed for this year’s event.

The barge was among 24 others in the procession that traveled along the river from Wat Trai Bhumi Temple before arriving at Wat Chanaman Temple where the bathing ceremony was held. Many people on both embankments came to see the spectacle.

Phetchabun City Mayor Mr. Seksarn Niyompeng said today that the bathing ceremony is one of the biggest events that bring people from all over the country to Phetchabun. Up to 20 million baht is expected to be in circulation throughout the 10 day-event. Hotel bookings also rose by 80%.

Information and Source

Reporter : Nuppol SuvansombutRewriter : Thammarat ThadaphromNational News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

10 Places in Thailand to join and enjoy the ongoing 2018 Chinese Vegetarian Festival:

#1 Bangkok Vegetarian Festival
Location : Yaowarat Road
When : October 8 – 17 , 2018

#2 Trang Vegetarian Festival
Location : Trang Municipality
When : October 8 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 75 – 218 – 017

#3 Hat Yai Vegetarian Festival
Location : Tong Sia Siang Teung Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 74 – 350 – 955

#4 Phang Nga Vegetarian Festival
Location : Phang Nga Municipality
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 76 – 411 – 780

#5 Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Location : Jui Tui Shrine and Chinese Shrines in Phuket
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 76 – 213 – 243

#6 Krabi Vegetarian Festival
Location : Krabi Provincial Administrative Organization and Chinese Shrines in Krabi
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 75 – 600 – 280

#7 Ranong Vegetarian Festival
Location : Ranong Municipality and Chinese Shrines in Ranong
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 77 – 811 – 422

#8 Samut Sakhon Vegetarian Festival
Location : Samut Sakhon Municipality
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 34 – 411 – 208, +66 34 – 413 – 853

#9 Pattaya Vegetarian Festival
Location : Sawang Boriboon Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : + 66 38 – 222 – 474

#10 Chiang Rai Vegetarian Festival
Location : Chiang Rai Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 53 – 711 – 016

10 Places in Thailand to join and enjoy the ongoing 2018 Chinese Vegetarian Festival:

#1 Bangkok Vegetarian Festival
Location : Yaowarat Road
When : October 8 – 17 , 2018

#2 Trang Vegetarian Festival
Location : Trang Municipality
When : October 8 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 75 – 218 – 017

#3 Hat Yai Vegetarian Festival
Location : Tong Sia Siang Teung Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 74 – 350 – 955

#4 Phang Nga Vegetarian Festival
Location : Phang Nga Municipality
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 76 – 411 – 780

#5 Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Location : Jui Tui Shrine and Chinese Shrines in Phuket
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 76 – 213 – 243

#6 Krabi Vegetarian Festival
Location : Krabi Provincial Administrative Organization and Chinese Shrines in Krabi
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 75 – 600 – 280

#7 Ranong Vegetarian Festival
Location : Ranong Municipality and Chinese Shrines in Ranong
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 77 – 811 – 422

#8 Samut Sakhon Vegetarian Festival
Location : Samut Sakhon Municipality
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 34 – 411 – 208, +66 34 – 413 – 853

#9 Pattaya Vegetarian Festival
Location : Sawang Boriboon Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : + 66 38 – 222 – 474

#10 Chiang Rai Vegetarian Festival
Location : Chiang Rai Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 53 – 711 – 016

10 Places in Thailand to join and enjoy the ongoing 2018 Chinese Vegetarian Festival:

#1 Bangkok Vegetarian Festival
Location : Yaowarat Road
When : October 8 – 17 , 2018

#2 Trang Vegetarian Festival
Location : Trang Municipality
When : October 8 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 75 – 218 – 017

#3 Hat Yai Vegetarian Festival
Location : Tong Sia Siang Teung Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 74 – 350 – 955

#4 Phang Nga Vegetarian Festival
Location : Phang Nga Municipality
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 76 – 411 – 780

#5 Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Location : Jui Tui Shrine and Chinese Shrines in Phuket
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 76 – 213 – 243

#6 Krabi Vegetarian Festival
Location : Krabi Provincial Administrative Organization and Chinese Shrines in Krabi
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 75 – 600 – 280

#7 Ranong Vegetarian Festival
Location : Ranong Municipality and Chinese Shrines in Ranong
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 77 – 811 – 422

#8 Samut Sakhon Vegetarian Festival
Location : Samut Sakhon Municipality
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 34 – 411 – 208, +66 34 – 413 – 853

#9 Pattaya Vegetarian Festival
Location : Sawang Boriboon Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : + 66 38 – 222 – 474

#10 Chiang Rai Vegetarian Festival
Location : Chiang Rai Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 53 – 711 – 016

10 Places in Thailand to join and enjoy the ongoing 2018 Chinese Vegetarian Festival:

#1 Bangkok Vegetarian Festival
Location : Yaowarat Road
When : October 8 – 17 , 2018

#2 Trang Vegetarian Festival
Location : Trang Municipality
When : October 8 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 75 – 218 – 017

#3 Hat Yai Vegetarian Festival
Location : Tong Sia Siang Teung Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 74 – 350 – 955

#4 Phang Nga Vegetarian Festival
Location : Phang Nga Municipality
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 76 – 411 – 780

#5 Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Location : Jui Tui Shrine and Chinese Shrines in Phuket
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 76 – 213 – 243

#6 Krabi Vegetarian Festival
Location : Krabi Provincial Administrative Organization and Chinese Shrines in Krabi
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 75 – 600 – 280

#7 Ranong Vegetarian Festival
Location : Ranong Municipality and Chinese Shrines in Ranong
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 77 – 811 – 422

#8 Samut Sakhon Vegetarian Festival
Location : Samut Sakhon Municipality
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 34 – 411 – 208, +66 34 – 413 – 853

#9 Pattaya Vegetarian Festival
Location : Sawang Boriboon Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : + 66 38 – 222 – 474

#10 Chiang Rai Vegetarian Festival
Location : Chiang Rai Foundation
When : October 9 – 17 , 2018
Tel : +66 53 – 711 – 016

Vegetarian Festival in full swing nationwide

Business has picked up significantly on Yaowarat Road in Bangkok now that the Vegetarian Festival is in full swing with both Thais and foreigners buying vegetarian food to join in the tradition.

Festivities have also kicked off in Phuket province where the Jui Tui Shrine has engaged in a Ko Teng pole lifting ceremony to signify the start of the Vegetarian Festival. The shrine is to host a variety of activities over the nine days of the festival, including displays of supernatural feats believed to be possible during the annual happening.

In Songkhla province, Thais of Chinese descent in Hat Yai district also lifted a Ko Teng pole with the Tao Bo Keng Foundation providing vegetarian dishes to attendants.

On Bangkok’s Yaowarat Road, a ceremony was held to call upon the Nine Emperor Gods, which are believed to bestow blessings upon those that engage in the festival. People of Chinese heritage have been seen donning white and taking part in spiritual ceremonies since the start of the tradition, most saying they are wishing for health for their families.

Tai Hong Kong Shrine has prepared two vegetarian meal dispensaries for those taking part in the celebration. The meals are free and available three times a day from 7-9AM, 11AM-1PM and 4-5.30PM.

The Style Souk