While the latest tourist arrival statistics released by the Department of Tourism show that, only in August, the number of Chinese tourist arrivals was still on the rise year-on-year (up 11,34%) and Chinese tourists (891.382 nationwide) still accounted for nearly one third (31.01%) of all tourist arrivals in August, business operators in Pattaya are now reporting a sharp drop in arrivals from China.
Due to the government’s ongoing crackdown on so-called “zero-dollar tours”, tourism industry representatives are now complaining that the number of Chinese visitors to Pattaya has recently dropped by approx. 50% and hotel bookings have fallen drastically during the Chinese national holiday (October 1-9).
In the name of national security (what else?), Thailand now plans to issue foreign visitors to the kingdom with special SIM cards that would allow authorities to easily track them.
According to the controversial proposal, all foreign tourists and expats would be required to use a new style of SIM cards which would allow the authorities to track the card owner’s location at any time.
Yes, Big Brother wants to watch you in Thailand, too!
Here’s a distressing reminder that life – especially that of a foreign tourist who has run out of money and gets hospitalized – is worth very little in Thailand and that a decent travel health insurance is of utmost importance in the kingdom. In fact, many hospitals won’t even treat or accommodate you if you cannot pay for their services in cash or have an adequate insurance.
A 51-year-old British woman has now sadly passed away in an unnamed hospital in Bangkok after she suffered a shock collapse while on holiday in Thailand with her partner and spent two months on life support.
Over time, her medical bills added up to £36,000 or nearly two million Thai Baht that neither the woman herself nor her partner or her family in the UK could afford to pay.
To start with the quote of the day. In response to a question asked in an interview with the Reuters news agency regarding the role the country’s sex industry played in drawing visitors to Thailand, Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul (note: the minister is a woman) was in complete denial and replied without hesitating: Tourists don’t… Continue Reading
With three million arrivals in January and almost 3.1 million visitors in February, Thailand recorded an all-time high in tourist arrival numbers at the beginning of this year. Never had more foreign tourists visited Thailand in just two months. While we noted that tourists from European key source markets such as the United Kingdom or… Continue Reading
Once upon a time not so long ago, high season in Pattaya would last as long as five or six months each year, from November through March or even April. But that was then. In recent years, it appears, the peak season has gradually been getting shorter and shorter, with the biggest influx of visitors… Continue Reading
According to data compiled by the Thai Immigration Bureau and now released by the Department of Tourism, a total of 29.88 million foreign tourists visited Thailand in 2015. This wasn’t just a substantial 20,44% increase from the 24.8 million tourist arrivals the kingdom had seen in 2014 but also marks a new all-time record. While… Continue Reading
Visitors from a total of currently 19 countries, such as China, India, Taiwan and Ukraine, whose nationals don’t qualify for the visa exemption scheme (which allows tourists from most Western countries to visit the kingdom without a visa), may apply for a so-called „visa on arrival“ in Thailand. Rather than applying for a tourist visa… Continue Reading
Official figures have not been made available yet, but according to Thailand’s tourism and sports minister, an estimated 29.88 million foreign tourists, including more than eight million Chinese travelers and 60-70% repeat visitors, visited the kingdom in 2015. That’s an approx. 20% increase in arrival numbers from 2014 and just less than half a percent… Continue Reading
A young Indian man and his family were given a huge welcoming party and granted a number of rewards at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sunday after he became the “lucky” 28 millionth tourist to visit Thailand this year. The rewards for the family included two return air tickets to Thailand with free accommodation for five nights… Continue Reading
It’s always been a requirement for tourists who sought to extend their temporary stay in the kingdom for an extra 30 days at a local immigration office to indicate an address where they were staying in Thailand. This could be a hotel, guesthouse, condominium – whatever. In practice, immigration officials would never come and check… Continue Reading
So it’s official now. As other Thai embassies around the world, the Thai consulate in Vientiane, Laos, will no longer issue double-entry tourist visas after November 12, 2015. Instead, from November 13, only single-entry tourist visas will be available to foreign applicants who are not Lao nationals. The new multiple-entry tourist visa (METV) will also… Continue Reading