The hottest stories in Thailand from the last week: Maiden flight from Saudi Arabia arrives, Russian and Ukrainian tourists in Thailand facing financial transaction and travel problems, and more

PHOTO: Naewna

Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, February 28th, to March 6th with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.

PHOTO: BMA Health

1. Maiden flight from Saudi Arabia officially arrives in Thailand for the first time in 32 years as Thai Tourism leaders turn focus to Middle Eastern tourists

The direct flight of Saudia Airlines from Saudi Arabia carrying 71 Saudi travelers has arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport at the end of February to symbolically represent a reviving relationship between the two countries after 32 years while promoting Thai tourism in the Saudi market. The TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) also saw the opportunity to launch and promote tourism products and services, namely Medical, Health, and Wellness groups, Beaches groups, and Shopping groups.

Maiden flight from Saudi Arabia officially arrives in Thailand for the first time in 32 years as Thai Tourism leaders turn focus to Middle Eastern tourists

2. Russian and Ukrainian tourists in Thailand beginning to face financial transaction and travel problems due to sanctions, invasion

Following a ban of selected major Russian national banks in late February, many Russian tourists in Thailand’s popular tourist destinations, including Pattaya, are facing problems of making money transactions, such as making payments via credit cards and international transfers. Most of them could not proceed with hotel room payments and were even stuck in the country because of flight bans, including Ukrainians. Some hotels in Phuket and Krabi also reportedly refused to accept credit cards from Russian banks as they couldn’t complete the transaction. Related authorities were already informed about the problems, but it seemed that they could not be solved anytime soon.

Russian and Ukrainian tourists in Thailand beginning to face financial transaction and travel problems due to sanctions, invasion

3. As Thailand continues to adjust to “living with covid” the national Covid-19 hotline being overwhelmed with record daily phone calls from worried Thais

Due to the increasing number of Covid-19 daily infections as the government urged the public to live with the disease cautiously, the national Covid-19 hotline 1330 had received an amount of 70,000 calls a day, exceeding the capability of the National Health Security Office (NHSO). Most of the callers were patients or relatives of patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, or what the government called “green” patients, reporting the infection and inquiring about the isolation and other procedures. To facilitate as many people as possible, the Office said that they would deploy more staff from related departments for public assistance.

As Thailand continues to adjust to “living with covid” national Covid-19 hotline being overwhelmed with record daily phone calls from worried Thais

4. Thailand’s Tourism Authority aims to attract 10 million foreign tourists in 2022, with India as a leading focus

Following the approval of a Travel Bubble agreement between Thailand and India, the Tourism Authority of Thailand then planned to welcome a large number of tourists from India to gradually revive global and domestic tourism industries in 2022. Moreover, the authority also planned to propose corporations with several local airlines in Australia and ASEAN countries to jointly plan marketing strategies to promote tourism experiences. The plan was partially to replace the major loss of tourism income from Chinese tourists following their country’s “Zero Covid” closing border policy.

Thailand’s Tourism Authority aims to attract 10 million foreign tourists in 2022, with India as a leading focus

And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!

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National News Writer at The Pattaya News. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.