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More international flights to be sought

BANGKOK: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday (Dec 6) ordered the Transport Ministry to directly contact international airlines to increase flights into the country following a surge in demand, according to government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri.

Wednesday 7 December 2022, 11:11AM

Suvarnabhumi airport is filled with travellers amid a resurgence of international arrivals buoyed by a steady recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb

Suvarnabhumi airport is filled with travellers amid a resurgence of international arrivals buoyed by a steady recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb

The prime minister issued his instructions on the same day that he told a Cabinet meeting that the country’s tourism and travel industries are on course to recover, with an estimated 10 million foreign arrivals visiting for the year up until Dec 10, according to Mr Anucha.

Prayut has also called on the Transport Ministry to add more ground service staff to facilitate the rise in visitor numbers, the Bangkok Post reports the spokesman as saying.

The premier also welcomed Fitch Ratings’ affirmation of Thailand’s Sovereign Credit Rating at BBB+ with a stable outlook, Mr Anucha added. Fitch forecasts Thailand’s GDP growth to accelerate to 3.8% next year from 3.3% in 2022, with the growth underpinned by a robust recovery of inbound tourism.

Meanwhile, the Tourism and Sports Ministry reportedly postponed its plan to seek Cabinet approval for its proposal to allow night entertainment venues in selected areas to operate beyond the 2am closing time.

The proposal, initially planned for submission to the Cabinet for consideration yesterday, will now be forwarded to the Cabinet on Dec 20 along with the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” (We Travel Together) tourism promotion programme.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Tourism and Sports Minister, said yesterday the proposal was unlikely to be implemented in January as initially planned while adding it could be implemented after March.

The ministry had selected locations in nine provinces for the scheme, with nightspots on Bangla Road in Patong of Phuket to be the first to be allowed to operate until 4am if the Cabinet approves the proposal.

The proposal, aimed at boosting the tourism industry and local economies, has drawn intense criticism from anti-drink driving groups who fear extended hours would lead to more alcohol consumption and, therefore, more accidents.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the ministry disagrees with extending the night venue operating hours. He said the current 2am closing time is appropriate due to the COVID-19 situation and concerns for the general public’s health and safety.

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Taswegian | 11 December 2022 - 10:07:55

Travel agents in Australia are already beginning to report a softening in Bali bookings due to concern about the laws, including restrictions on alcohol. There has been an increase in searches for Thailand, Vanuatu and Fiji. Get ready to see more drunken, ugly Aussies!

Pooliekev | 10 December 2022 - 11:43:59

dded to which the Indonesian law wont change for another three years, which, taking into consideration the age of the commenters here, is irrelevant to them. 

christysweet | 09 December 2022 - 12:54:25

Reading past the headline on the Indonesia sex 'ban' story, only complaints brought up by family members will be prosecuted. Yes this is is beyond human rights but, will not affect tourists. 

Kurt | 09 December 2022 - 12:14:13

Indonesia is a sad story. That country moves from relaxed, pleasant enlightend , to dark times. And what for? Is there another word for repression? What will be the name for Indonesian taliban. So sad.

Taswegian | 09 December 2022 - 09:52:04

Should be careful what they wish for. Indonesia is in the process of implementing strict Islamic morality laws, commonly called a bonking ban, outlawing all sex outside marriage. All the Aussie bogans who regularly head to Bali will now be looking elsewhere. Hopefully Fiji..

Kurt | 08 December 2022 - 11:08:49

Perhaps, many supposed Thailand tourists this year instead spend their money on expensive flights to and lodging in Doha, Qatar, for joining life the World Cup fun?

Kurt | 08 December 2022 - 11:03:45

International airlines are well aware what is needed to operate marketing wise when it comes to more/less flights to Thailand. They don't need signals/suggestions from the receiving end, the Thai Transport Ministry. A silly initiative of general prayut.

JohnC | 08 December 2022 - 09:13:26

@Old guy. The current government certainly doesn't. have a clue. Remeniscent of the chaos of the Taksin regime when greed was all that mattered to those in power.

Pooliekev | 07 December 2022 - 20:23:33

@Old guy. Thats one airport, there's a few more international airports to consider. Doesn't anyone foreign have any idea............etc.

Old guy | 07 December 2022 - 12:30:03

Just to clarify ... Last week it was reported that Phuket airport was operating at or above its safe capacity in December. And, now, the authorities want to add even more. Is this safe?
Shouldn't this be examined? 
Doesn't anyone in Thailand have any idea how things should be done? 


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