Thailand News Update | Thailand to Reclaim Top Spot for Travel Destinations and Weddings
Gas-powered cars are still in vogue, but electric vehicles, or EVs, are definitely on the rise. That’s the takeaway from this year’s Bangkok International Motor Show, which saw sales of some 34,000 vehicles, a 14% increase from last year’s show. The 43rd edition of the popular motor show was held over a two-week period at Impact Muang Thong Thani, near Don Mueang Airport, and ended on Sunday. Traditional gasoline vehicles took the lion’s share of sales, while electric cars stole the show from car enthusiasts with many new models on display. Electric vehicle reservations rose 10% to more than 2,000 vehicles, with SAIC Motor and MG taking the most orders, followed by Great Wall Motors with their Haval, Jolian and Good Cat range. A total of 1,500 sales were made between Chinese manufacturers MG and GWM. Toyota was the big winner with over 5,000 sales, followed by Honda (3,000), Mazda (2,900), Isuzu (2,600) and Mitsubishi (2,500)…following the general popularity of these Japanese companies, but all built in Thailand. Electric vehicle sales were fueled by the government-backed electric vehicle promotion, but gasoline-powered vehicles still won sales over the two weeks. Currently, the government is offering a special package for the next two years, including tax cuts and subsidies ranging from 70,000 to 150,000 baht for electric vehicles.
Foreign film crews have shot a total of 196 movies, series and commercials in Thailand since July 2020, generating over 6 billion baht in revenue for the country. The Ministry of Culture now plans to increase revenues from foreign cinema by introducing more favorable tax measures. The country’s culture minister plans to use “soft power” to “promote Thailand’s image” on the world stage through entertainment media around the world. He is also pushing for film to become an optional subject in high schools to encourage more Thais to enter the industry, already thriving with one of the busiest film industries in the world, per capita. Film crews from 33 countries have filmed in Thailand over the past two years, generating a total of 6.4 million baht in revenue for the country. The countries that came to film the most were India, France, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The three countries that spent the most to make films in Thailand were the United States, Australia and Hong Kong with budgets of 1.95 billion, 702 million and 616 million baht respectively. But how did foreign filmmakers enter Thailand when the borders were closed…? The CCSA granted ‘special entry’ to film crews to enjoy Thailand’s scenery and skilled labor, while Thailand’s beaches were devoid of tourists but under full surveillance and Covid restrictions . Currently, there are over 230 animation and visual effects companies in Thailand producing films, animations, TV series, commercials, media and games for domestic and international clients.
With the Songkran holiday fast approaching, the National Health Security Bureau is ready to deal with an expected increase in new Covid infections with its 1330 hotline. The number of new infections in Thailand is expected to increase after the New Year Thai, according to the NHSO Deputy General Secretary, as the Thai government has decided to let the limited Songkran celebrations go ahead…without splashing water or alcohol. The hotline will help with information for the vulnerable, or the elderly, people with pre-existing health conditions or disabilities, and children aged 5 and under…. sign up for home isolation first, before helping them find hospital beds if they report more severe symptoms. For people who test positive but are asymptomatic or showing mild symptoms, they can call 1330 ext 14 for health authorities to guide them on their options. Songkran runs from April 13-17, followed by a weekend, which makes the vacation at least 5 days long… I bet there will be a lot of additions from their free time to make a new one even longer year with their families this year.
Thai netizens are going wild over photos posted to Facebook yesterday of six ugly wild baby elephants that ran away from their herd to cool off in a mud pool at a national park in central Thailand’s Prachin Buri province. The baby elephants played for so long that they got exhausted and couldn’t get out. Their muddy bodies slipped and slipped everywhere and the calves just couldn’t seem to escape the mud. Park rangers approached the “defense” and helped the calves out. Rangers at Thap Lan National Park used shovels and pickaxes to dig a slope for the elephants to climb. Apparently, there is a particularly mean elephant who is the leader of the gang. The park rangers are sure he was the one who misled the others. Then the national park chief revealed that the incident actually happened three years ago in 2019, but park rangers only posted the story on Facebook on Monday, attracting a lot of attention from netizens. Thai. Maybe a little late but very cute.
To get on the romance radar of soon-to-be married Indian couples, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is inviting 15 Indian wedding planners to highlight popular wedding destinations in the land of smiles. Wedding planners traveled to Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui in Surat Thani province and Khao Lak in Phang Nga province from March 15-22. The main objective of the project was to promote Thailand as a safe travel destination for Indian couples. The move comes after Travel + Leisure India selected Thailand on its 2021 top prize list for the best honeymoon destinations in its 10th anniversary edition in December. The TAT points out that Phuket, Koh Samui, Khao Lak, Krabi, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Rayong are the most popular wedding destinations among Indian couples and their lavish entourages and parties. The TAT’s Indian office says Thailand was also a great place to honeymoon or plan a pre-wedding photo shoot. Other target groups among Indian tourists are golfers, millennials and digital nomads.
A Thai TikTok user shared a video of a woman motionless on the sidewalk in Pattaya in the middle of the night. Thai netizens commented on the post, saying she may have been homeless, and only took a step or two, then stood motionless for hours. Many people are urging the authorities to take care of her to prevent her from suffering. The TikToker woman posted a video featuring a woman with long hair wearing a long white dress and standing in the street with her face down. The caption read… “Why is she standing like that!? I saw she was there for so long before I started recording. It’s 11:35 PM now. It gave me goosebumps. I I tried to honk her horn, but nothing happened.” Pattaya netizens commented on the post, saying locals know her as “Always Stuck Aunty” because she always stops after walking just a step or two. She has been spotted all over Pattaya City. … at intersections, on sidewalks and even in shopping malls. No one knows who she was or where she came from, and everyone is still curious about her symptoms and any illnesses that might cause her to act that way.
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