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Authorities mull easing tourist vehicle ban

BANGKOK: The Transport Ministry is considering easing measures curbing the influx of foreign-registered tourist vehicles entering the North of Thailand, particularly from China, following a plunge in Chinese tourist arrivals which has dented tourism revenue.

accidents, Chinese, tourism, transport,


Bangkok Post

Friday 23 September 2016, 08:55AM


The plan was to restrict Chinese tourists from roaming all over northern Thailand in their private vehicles. The practice was that Chinese have virtually stopped coming at all through points like the Thailand-Laos Friendship Bridge at Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong district, seen here. Photo: Cheewin Sattha
The plan was to restrict Chinese tourists from roaming all over northern Thailand in their private vehicles. The practice was that Chinese have virtually stopped coming at all through points like the Thailand-Laos Friendship Bridge at Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong district, seen here. Photo: Cheewin Sattha

Transport Ministry deputy permanent secretary Daroon Saengchai yesterday (Sept 22) discussed the issue with Itthirit Kinglek, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, and tourism operators from Chiang Rai and Tak provinces.

The discussion focused on the impact the Land Transport Department’s (LTD) strict regulations on foreign-registered vehicles travelling into the country, which came into effect on June 27, have had on tourism operators.

The LTD imposed the rule after an influx of visiting motorists resulted in a spike in traffic accidents and waste management problems.

The benefits from this group of tourists also were called into question since many of them did not stay in hotels.

Tourism operators complained the number of Chinese-registered vehicles which entered the northern border provinces dwindled considerably after the regulation came into effect.

Each year, more than 80,000 Chinese tourists drive their vehicles to the North of Thailand.

On average, they spent about B30,000 per person a trip, according to tourism operators.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Daroon said tourism operators complained the regulations have put off Chinese tourists from driving their vehicles to northern Thailand, which in turn has adversely affected local tourism operators.

Mr Daroon said that 70 per cent of Chinese tourists travel in caravans arranged by Thai tourism operators while the rest come in private vehicles.

SAFE FERTILITY CENTER

The caravans, each comprising 5-10 vehicles, were unfamiliar with the surroundings but managed to stay their course and avoid accidents, as they were looked after by guides provided by tour operators, Mr Daroon said.

The department will consider relaxing the regulations for vehicles which are specified in the LTD announcement, he said.

He also said other types of vehicles that are not specified in the announcement may also be allowed to enter the country though they must make requests 30 days in advance.

However, Mr Daroon said the easing of the regulation will not apply to tourists driving private vehicles.

There has been a surge in Chinese motorists visiting the northern provinces following the opening in 2008 of the so-called Road 3 Asia, known as route R3A, linking southern China, Laos and Chiang Khong district in the northern province of Chiang Rai.

Apart from Chinese tourists, other foreign-registered motorists including those from Malaysia, Laos, Singapore and Myanmar have also been affected by the measure.

Only vehicles with a total of nine seats and pickup trucks with a maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes are currently allowed to travel into Thailand.

Motorists also need to seek permission and let authorities check their vehicles as they enter.

Read original story here.

 

 

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Kurt | 23 September 2016 - 12:28:53

CatainJack69, campers have beds, toilet, shower and cooking facilities.
They just need camper resting places at night ( they pay for!) for power connection and leaving toilet waste and garbage.
These Camper overnight locations are all over Canada, USA, Europe, Australia, N-Zealand. and I red here a short while ago also about locations in Thailand.
These stations make good money! 
Many are located in worldwide national parks were hotels are not allowed.

Foreign Campers pay for overnight stations, buy their food in shops, cook themselves, buy gasoline., etc.
It is a segment in international tourism.

Compare it with international boat yachting.  You rent a yacht for a few weeks, live and cook ( some times on board) on board.
Very popular all over the world. Countries not complain that shallow:.."They not sleep in hotels"..
Instead yachting harbors benefit of it.
Same as camper over night locations world wide.

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CaptainJack69 | 23 September 2016 - 11:56:00

If they don't stay in hotels where do they sleep? In their cars?

Also, reckless as the Chinese tend to be behind the wheel, I find it difficult to believe that they are any worse than the average Thai driver.

I mean really. These are independent travelers from regional neighbors with disposable income to spend. Denying them entry is bonkers.

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Kurt | 23 September 2016 - 11:48:37

Was expected.
When you live in a local bubble and implement 'bubble measures' than don't be surprised the foreign 'wallets' turn their back to you.
Very simple international thinking.

Thailand expressed very well that they not want foreign cars/campers entering Thailand.
That is visible in their ruling:
Must apply 30 days before entering. My goodness 
Must enter and depart at same border check point. What for?

I also red here in PN a while ago a readers comment that the Chinese people were driving unsafe and in case of accidents insurance matters were difficult to handle.

The Chinese are not driving more unsafe than the thai.
And insurance matters? Hey, we live in ASEAN, yes?
Agree among ASEAN countries to make international insurance handling.
Thai always put to much their heels in the sand when it comes to more international small problem solving.
( Xenophobia?)

Well, Chiang Mai province suffers now the financial consequenses of all of this.

Now they start to discuss it. Was foreseen. It is about money.
And that speaks always very convincing in Thailand. Money above everything.

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