Koh Lan Faces Water Shortage as Daily Tourist Arrivals Surge13 Apr 2023
PATTAYA (NNT) - Koh Lan, a well-known tourist destination off the coast of Pattaya, is experiencing a water shortage due to a significant increase in daily visitors. After over two years of limited tourism due to the pandemic, the number of Thai and foreign tourists visiting the island has risen to approximately 10,000 per day. This influx of tourists has put a strain on the island’s water supply, which receives roughly 300 cubic meters of treated water per day from Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Plc (Eastwater).To cope with the water shortage, business operators on Koh Lan have resorted to purchasing treated water from private suppliers on the mainland, at a cost of 70 to 150 baht per cubic meter. In the short term, Eastwater will be requested to increase the water supply to Koh Lan to 1,000 cubic meters per day to address the issue.According to Manoj Nongyai, the deputy mayor of Pattaya City, officials now plan to revive an old proposal to lay an undersea pipeline that would deliver treated water from the mainland to Koh Lan. The plan had been previously discussed several years ago but had not been implemented.Koh Lan’s water shortage has become a significant issue, with local businesses and residents expressing concern over the situation. The increasing number of tourists, combined with the limited water supply, has highlighted the need for a sustainable solution that can ensure sufficient water supply for Koh Lan’s residents and visitors in the future.
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Highways Dept Suggests Alternate Travel Routes11 Apr 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Department of Highways (DOH) is taking steps to ensure road safety and facilitate people’s travels during the Songkran long holidays.The DOH’s Bureau of Highway Safety estimates that from April 11-17, a little over 7 million automobiles will be entering and leaving Bangkok via 10 highways and motorways.The projected figure is 5.3% higher than during last year’s Songkran travel period.April 16 is projected to be the peak day for inbound traffic, with around 610,000 vehicles expected to enter the city.To help travelers avoid severe traffic congestion, the DOH is suggesting alternative routes for those traveling on certain highways. These suggestions are available on the DOH’s Facebook page, enabling people to plan their journeys accordingly using the information provided.The DOH is also urging drivers to exercise caution, observe traffic rules and ensure they are physically fit for the long journey. To assist with any queries or assistance required during travel on highways or motorways, a hotline number 1586 is available around the clock. Alternatively, the Highway Police can be reached at the number 1193.
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Phi-Phi Island Entry Fees Surge With E-Ticketing10 Apr 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The e-ticketing system introduced by Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation (DNP) in July 2020 has led to a 20-30% increase in revenue from entry fees to the Phi-Phi islands. The DNP reports that the system has generated an average of 1 million baht per day, totaling 137 million baht to date. The islands receive approximately 4,000 daily visitors, with the majority being Russian and European tourists.Despite the success of the e-ticketing system, the chief of Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi-Phi National Park has noted issues with e-ticket verification due to poor telephone signals. Additionally, tourists traveling to other islands such as Ko Phai and Phi Phi Don cannot use the e-ticketing system due to weak signal strength.DNP Chief Atthaphon Charoenchansa aims to promote e-tickets for entry fees to all national parks within two years. The pandemic led to the Hat Noppharat Thara Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park’s closure for two years, resulting in environmental improvements and the restoration of the ecological system on several islands. One example is Maya Bay, where several black-tipped reef sharks have returned.In September 2020, Thailand’s five national parks announced a 100% increase in entrance fees for their attractions. Depending on the park, entrance fees range from 300 to 400 baht for adults and 150 to 200 baht for children.
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TCEB’s 3 strategies on innovation & technology for MICE industry, Strengthening domestic & overseas competitiveness31 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (TCEB) - TCEB unveils 3 key strategies on the utilisation of innovation and technology in its five-year action plan to enhance Thai MICE industry’s competitiveness in the global market. One of the planned projects in the action plan is MICE Techno Mart 2023, a platform to demonstrate the ultimate innovation ranging from robots to data analysis for the MICE industry. Simultaneously, it is serving as a business-matching platform between MICE entrepreneurs and technology developers, which will drive the Thai MICE industry to use innovative products and technologies in addressing new and post-COVID-19 needs. Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB, stated that in response to more vital roles of innovation and technology in several sectors, TCEB has prioritised the development of MICE Intelligence & Innovation to drive the MICE industry and national economy, which will contribute to value-based or innovation-driven economy. Towards this end, 3 strategies are to executed: 1. Intelligence Center & Consultation Support focuses on the dissemination of information and knowledge on MICE industry ranging from distinctive trends, macro picture of the industry to its economic and social impacts. The other roles are the compilation and analysis of statistical data of MICE industry and MICE Standard Process Development by which Thailand MICE Index will be developed as a tool to ensure the improved efficiency of business operation. 2. Innovation Service for MICE Advancement will promote the use of Open Innovation in MICE event organisation processes that are jointly executed by MICE entrepreneurs and innovation service providers. To realise this purpose, Inno-Voucher is on offer along with BizConnect, a platform to facilitate and enhance the efficiency in every stage of MICE event organisation. 3. MICE Marketplace Platform supports e-commerce of MICE industry and aims to develop digital market and marketing campaigns. Currently, TCEB has Thai MICE Connect platform, which compiles product information and services of every kind related to the MICE industry that belong to 12 business categories. The platform is instrumental in connecting organisers with product and service providers, thus, enabling design of event plan by themselves or through auto-matching system. So far, the platform is hosting around 5,000 traders featuring their products and services free of charge. Mr. Chiruit added that as part of the strategies, TCEB is continuing MICE Winnovation project for 4 consecutive years. The project has been successful in supporting MICE entrepreneurs to efficiently apply innovation and technology to deal with their pain points. It also entails the compilation of information sources, marketing budget support, business-matching, sharing of knowledge for practical purposes and business differentiation to increase competitiveness at global scale. For MICE Techno Mart 2023, it is held under the MICE Winnovation project on 31 March 2023 at True Digital Park Grand Hall. This year edition offers more diverse choices of innovation for utilisation, ranging from data analytics, robot to AR/VR technology and others belonging to 10 technology categories. To support organisers and venue operators to use innovation and technology, TCEB provides innovation coupon called MICE Inno-Voucher with the total value of more than 3.5 million baht. In this regard, MICE Techno Mart 2023 also features Business Matching session for the exchange of viewpoints and creating business opportunities between 200 buyers or MICE entrepreneurs and 27 sellers or innovation and technology service providers. It is expected that the number of successful business matching will reach 200. In addition, there are also seminar and special lectures delivered by highly-experienced speakers from Thailand and abroad, who will share and build knowledge and understanding on innovation for entrepreneurs. MICE Winnovation project is a multi-sectoral collaboration. Project partners include National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) or NIA, Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thai Exhibition Association (TEA), Thailand Incentive and Convention Association (TICA), Thai Hotels Association (THA) and FutureTales LAB. Partners representing education sector comprise of Kasetsart University, Khon Kaen University, Mahidol University, Bangkok University, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA). In the past years, there were 64 events held under the support of MICE Winnovation project. MICE Innovation Catalog platform is now featuring more than 240 innovations attracting 13,129 users with 68,959 page views. Business matching under the project has now totaled 478 pairs, while around 500 MICE entrepreneurs across Thailand attended sessions on knowledge about digital technology. In 2022, the project earned UFI Marketing Awards 2022 from UFI The Global Association of Exhibition Industry, a recognition of its marketing strategy in using innovation and technology to drive event organisation.
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Transport Company Plans 4,500 Daily Trips for Songkran Travel31 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Transport Company has announced that state-owned and private buses and vans will be arranged to make 4,500 trips per day, carrying an estimated 60,000 people back home to the provinces from Bangkok for the upcoming long Songkran holidays. According to Sanyalak Panwattanalikhit, the managing director of the state-run Transport Company, the number of passengers is expected to rise by 10% during the April 10-12 period. After the five-day holiday period, the company expects around 53,000 people to return to Bangkok each day from April 16-18. To accommodate this, the Transport Company and its private concessionaires will arrange buses and vans to provide 3,300 trips to Bangkok. Sanyalak advised passengers to arrive at bus terminals about two or three hours before the scheduled departure time. He added that passengers can buy tickets from ticket booths at the terminals or through the company’s website, app, or ticket agents nationwide. The Transport Company will also provide a 10% discount to travelers before and after the long Songkran period, and free checking for private vehicles at its maintenance service center in Rangsit from now until April 12. The company has also sought cooperation from the Krung Thep Apiwat Central Terminal to use the central railway station for the buses to make U-turns during the Songkran traveling period when traffic at the Morchit Bus Terminal is congested.
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TAT and Partners to Host Songkran Festivities Across Thailand30 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and its partners will host a series of events in cities across Thailand to celebrate this year’s Songkran festival.According to TAT, the "Water Festival 2023" will be organized in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, and Phuket between April 13 and 16, 2023. The goal of the event is to promote traditional culture and improve the community while also aiming to have Thailand’s Songkran festival inducted into UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage.In Bangkok, the event will take place at locations along the Chao Phraya river. One of the highlights of the event in Bangkok will be the procession of Buddha images along the river, as well as entertainment activities and ancient markets.In the northern region, the festival in Chiang Mai will include workshops showcasing Lanna crafts to tourists and holidaymakers visiting the city. The Ancient Mansion Chiang Mai on Charoen Pratet Road will be the venue for this event. In Lamphun, festivities will take place at Phra That Hari Phun Chai, where tourists will witness a procession of Buddha images and musical performances.In the Northeastern region, Wat Sa Kaeo and Ban Chiang in Udon Thani will host the event showcasing traditional Songkran celebrations in the area. In Wat Chaisi in Khon Kaen, festivities will take place there as well which will highlight regional festivities for the Thai New Year.Meanwhile, festivities in Phuket will be held at Wat Maikhao on April 13 and at Phuket Old Town from April 15 to 16.The "Water Festival 2023" will be organized by TAT with cooperation from the Ministry of Culture, Royal Thai Navy, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), Thai Beverage Public Co Ltd (ThaiBev), private and public networks, as well as local communities.
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Phuket Predicts Increase in Hotel Bookings for Songkran Festival30 Mar 2023
PHUKET (NNT) - The southern province of Phuket is expecting a 10% rise in hotel bookings during the upcoming Songkran festival, following the months-long promotion of the government’s “We Travel Together” tourism stimulus campaign throughout the country. According to Phuket Tourist Association President Thaneth Tantipiriyakij, the province is set to celebrate the Thai New Year from April 13-15, with parties and fun activities taking place on popular beaches such as Kata, Karon, and Patong. Over 40% of all domestic tourism is expected to be concentrated in the island province during Songkran, up from 30% in 2022. The top three countries of origin for foreign visitors are Russia, China, and India, respectively. Phuket International Airport is also expected to resume full operations in May after the completion of taxiway maintenance to accommodate more airlines, especially those from China.Phuket has almost 200,000 hotel rooms with average April occupancy at 60-70%. A recent survey by Phuket City Development indicates a 5-10% increase in occupancy during Songkran due to the influx of tourists attracted by the “We Travel Together” campaign.
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Bangkok City Hall Prepares for Major Songkran Celebrations29 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has announced it will hold a major event to celebrate the Songkran festival this year, following a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said an area in front of City Hall in Phra Nakhon district has been designated as the main venue for the capital’s water-splashing celebrations. Additionally, all 50 district offices across the capital will organize their own events to celebrate the upcoming Thai New Year.To commence the celebrations, Phra Phuttha Sihing, a highly revered Buddha image, will be paraded on April 12 from Phutthaisawan Throne Hall at the Bangkok National Museum to City Hall, where it will be displayed until April 14. Other traditional rituals, including almsgiving and water blessing ceremonies, will also be organized nearby. Chadchart added that celebrations will take place near Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem. The Metropolitan Police Bureau will be responsible for ensuring peace and order during the festivities, and restrictions will be in place on the sale of alcoholic drinks, powder, high-pressure water guns and inappropriate clothing to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all participants.
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Embassies Assure Safety for Chinese in Thailand27 Mar 2023
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Chinese Embassy in Bangkok has reassured Chinese nationals in Thailand of their safety amid social media reports of security risks to Chinese tourists. According to Chinese media, the embassy affirmed that Thailand continues to remain China’s “friendly neighbor” and will spare no effort to protect the safety and legitimate rights of Chinese citizens visiting Thailand. The remarks follow recent media reports and social media posts that raised security concerns, citing cases of missing persons, telecom fraud and smuggling in Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand.The Thai Embassy in Beijing meanwhile emphasized that the safety of Chinese tourists is a top priority for Thailand, and that appropriate measures will be taken to ensure their security during their stay in the kingdom.Thailand and other Southeast Asian destinations continue to be popular among Chinese travelers, especially during the summer holiday season. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) estimates that around 400,000 Chinese tourists will have visited Thailand in the first quarter of 2023.
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