In the News


BANGKOK, February 15, 2008 — H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, the new Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports paid his first visit to the offices of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) this morning for discussions about the future directions of Thai tourism.He was welcomed by TAT Governor Mrs. Phornsiri Manoharn who gave him a detailed briefing of the TAT’s various projects, programmes and activities worldwide.

H.E. Mr. Weerasak complimented the TAT executives for their professionalism and said he was very impressed with their promotion and marketing of an industry that has become one of Thailand’s most important foreign exchange earners and job creators. He also took the opportunity to identify some key areas where the new government could play a role in order to address outstanding issues and challenges including the importance of strengthening the Thai brand image.

He also took the opportunity to brief TAT on the priorities of the new Royal Thai Government with regard to tourism, as the Minister has a strong understanding of the industry itself and identified some key areas where the new government could play a role in order to address outstanding issues and challenges including the importance of strengthening the Thai brand image.

He also agreed for the need to focus more on generating high spending visitors rather than mass volume traffic, but also noted that projections of visitor arrivals and foreign exchange earnings should be regarded more as “hopes” and “expectations” rather than compulsory targets.

The Minister also mentioned the importance of the need of the public and private sectors to work together on the basis of mutual trust and respect along the principles of good governance and transparency, with a strong level of public accountability. Furthermore, they should clarify various issues such as convenience, hygiene, and safety and needs of tourists, which will all help to encourage more people to travel.

He said that a strong and efficient travel and tourism industry would benefit everyone and allow all the stakeholders to get their fair share of the resulting business. This would be further enhanced by conducting an inventory of Thailand’s tourism products and destinations with a SWOT analysis carried out to identify each of their strengths and weaknesses. The selected products will be classified into five “classes” — cluster, provincial, national, regional class and world class.

The Minister supported the continued promotion of Thailand as a film-making destination, noting the positive and long-lasting visual impact of documentaries, advertising clips and feature films, as well as, stressed the importance of small and medium sized enterprises and called for more efforts to promote investments in travel and tourism, noting that it is not just visitors that the country must attract but those involved in the cinema industry and investors, too.

Although he made it clear that at the moment TAT executives were being provided with a sense of direction, the official policy would follow after being endorsed and approved by the Thai cabinet.

Mrs Phornsiri said, “The Minister is said to be one of the youngest members of the Thai cabinet, and because of his legal background, has a very clear and precise sense of direction about what needs to be done, how and over what timeframe. As such we all welcome that and are all very proud to have a young and dynamic Minister at our helm. He can certainly count on our continued support and commitment in helping him and the newly-elected Royal Thai Government fulfill their electoral promises and responsibilities”.

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PHNOM PENH - THAILAND and Cambodia agreed on Monday to allow foreign tourists to enter on a single visa. ‘This means a tourist can get a visa either for Thailand or Cambodia and can visit the two nations,’ Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said after signing the agreement with visiting Thai counterpart Nitya Pibulsonggram.

The deal was the first of a hoped for series also involving Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, he said.

‘We want to see the five countries become one tourist destination,’ Mr Hor Namhong said.

Thailand is aiming to have 15 million foreign tourists this year while Cambodia had 1.7 million last year, most of whom visited the ancient Angkor temples.

Earlier this month, Air Finland began the first commercial direct flight between Europe and Cambodia, where the tourism industry is growing 25 per cent per year.

Monday, February 11, 2008

VICTORIA — The Thai wife of a Victoria-born oilfield worker is accused of having him killed as he slept in their home in Thailand by paying a gunman close to $2,000, according to Thai reports.

Dale Henry, 48, was killed by a gunshot to the head. Marie-Christine Lilkoff, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, confirmed Sunday that the killing took place Feb. 3. She was unable to provide further details of the case due to privacy concerns.


Teaching overseas is the best way to combine great working conditions with living an exotic lifestyle. But it’s not without pitfalls for the unwary. I’m going to share a little story with you about how an experienced international teacher ended up having a really, really bad couple of days…
When you are getting ready to move overseas, you will definitely want to take a very close look at what kind of visa you need to get. Moving your teaching career abroad isn’t the same as going on holiday. You are not entering the country for tourism purposes, and most countries distinguish between tourism visas and, well, non-tourism visas!

You many need to get a non-immigrant visa, or a business visa or a working visa… there are many names and number designations that are country specific. For example, teachers who are moving to the United Kingdom require a working visa (or a working holiday visa if they’re under 30) but I needed a non-Immigrant B visa to enter Thailand to take up my post here.


Following the Thai government’s proposals to amend the Foreign Business Act which restricts the rights of foreigners to own or operate certain businesses in Thailand, CB Richard Ellis Thailand has been carefully monitoring the Thai residential, resort and office markets to judge the market’s actual response from news of the proposals to amend the law on foreign businesses and other recent events.

CB Richard Ellis has also looked carefully at the real effect of the current proposals in conjunction with major law firms and has considered the psychological effect and the perception of foreign businesses in Thailand and foreign purchasers of Thai property. The danger of these proposals is that they may be seen as a rejection of foreign investments with large potential losses for both the real estate and construction sectors of the economy and what might been seen as poor public relations or presentation of Thailand internationally.


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