Cha-am and Hua Hin to be Destinations for Wellness Sandbox Program

Thailand is preparing to attract international health tourists by introducing the “Thailand Wellness Sandbox” program, with Cha-am and Hua Hin serving as pilot destinations.

According to government spokesperson Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s proposal for the program has been approved by the Center for Economic Situation Administration (CESA). The Hua Hin district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province and the Cha-am district of Phetchaburi province will become pilot destinations for the “Thailand Wellness Sandbox” project, which will attract tourists from around the world.

Health services, activities and products in these two districts will be upgraded to meet international standards and promoted to assist districts in developing their brand reputation as wellness destinations. They will in turn be developed alongside the “Thailand Riviera” campaign to promote the tourism industry along the Kingdom’s western coast.

The wellness destination program is expected to be expanded to other regions in the future.

Spokesperson Thanakorn added that the government believes these pilot campaigns will mark the start of developments for new types of tourism, fostering economic growth at all levels and spreading prosperity to local communities.

Information and Source

Reporter : Natthaphon  Sangpolsit

Rewriter : Paul Rujopakarn

National News Bureau :

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Thai Fruit Takes a Major Step in the International Market

Thai processed fruit is taking a big step in the export market. To improve the potential of export products, the Thai government is lending farmers support as well as helping to increase sales opportunities in the global market.

Agriculture contributes largely to Thailand’s economic growth. Produce remains the biggest source of income for the Kingdom and producers, making agricultural improvement a pivotal task for the administration.

Thailand is well-known for its natural products and gastronomy, with fruit being one of the best selling products alongside crops like Hom Mali or Thai jasmine rice that are consumed the world over.

However, fresh crops collected from farms can spoil or suffer damage during long distance transportation. To tackle the issue, the government is educating domestic entrepreneurs about product preservation and the use of modern packaging innovations that prolong the storage life of harvested produce.

One of the most successful products has been processed bananas known as Chip and Chill, from Pimporn Company. The company uses local bananas in Sukhothai province as the main ingredient, then transforms them into chips with various flavors such as butter and tom yam kung. The manufacturer can produce over 3,000 kilograms daily and the brand owner is aiming to sell the product in additional countries.

Products under the brand “Chip and Chill” are now selling in many supermarkets in China.

To increase awareness about Thai goods in the international market, the Department of Trade Negotiations is urging local SMEs to take advantage of the existing free trade agreements. The department also provides consultation to local agriculturists about improving products and helps them standardize their goods to meet international standards.

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Reporter : Natthaphon  Sangpolsit

Rewriter : Paul Rujopakarn

National News Bureau :

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7th International Gem & Jewelry Conference to be Held in Chanthaburi in February

Gems and jewelry make up a category of products considered among Thailand’s five most valuable exports. To further the export potential of Thai gem and jewelry products, an international conference will be held in early February to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between experts within gem and jewelry circles.

Sumed Prasongpongchai, director of the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT), said the COVID-19 pandemic caused exports of Thai gem & jewelry products to drop by 40% amid receding demand due to lockdowns imposed around the world. Given the relaxation of lockdowns, exports in the first 11 months of 2021 grew by 27%, with the growth tendency expected to continue this year.

Sumed said the 7th International Gem & Jewelry Conference (GIT 2021) is being held to foster confidence in Thai gem and jewelry products while reinforcing Thailand’s standing as a global trade center for gems and jewelry.

GIT 2021 will be held in a mixed format that makes use of both virtual and physical conference sessions. The concept of this year’s conference is ‘Towards the Sustainable Gem Industry’. The physical event will take place on February 2 and 3 at Maneechan Resort in Chanthaburi. Some of the conference topics include gem and precious metal deposits, exploration, mining and trading; innovative identification and characterization; manufacturing and cutting edge technology; and smart jewelry.

According to Sumed, about 150 experts, researchers, and gem and jewelry business representatives have already accepted invitations to the conference.

Concurrently, the International Chanthaburi Gems and Jewelry Festival 2021 will take place from February 3-7 at the Chanthaburi Gems and Jewelry Center, KP Jewelry Center, and on Srichan Gems Street. Some 300 booths will be offering gems and jewelry products, while the GIT will provide gem inspection and certification services at its ‘mobile lab’ on the festival premises.

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Reporter : Natthaphon  Sangpolsit

Rewriter : Paul Rujopakarn

National News Bureau :

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Thailand reinstates Test & Go entry, effective 1 Feb

Thailand’s COVID-19 task force has approved the reinstatement of the quarantine-free Test & Go entry program for vaccinated travelers, with new arrivals and entry clearance applications to be accepted from 1 February.

The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) today approved the reinstatement of the Test & Go entry scheme for international visitors, according to CCSA Spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin. He said travelers applying for Test & Go entry clearance must pre-pay for their hotel rooms which shall include two RT-PCR tests.

Thai authorities will be working to improve the tracking system to ensure all visitors comply with the second post-arrival test requirement, with the Mor Chana contact tracing application now required to be installed on their phones.

From the meeting today, the CCSA extended the validity of the Emergency Decree for another two months, now through 31 March.

The color-coded provincial alert levels have also been adjusted, with the orange control areas now reduced to 44 provinces from 69 provinces, while the yellow alert level is applicable to 25 provinces.

Effective from 24 January, more relaxed restrictions will be applied in yellow zones, with restaurants certified with either the SHA Plus or the Thai Stop Covid 2 Plus standard allowed to sell alcohol. Restaurants in the blue special tourism areas will be able to sell alcohol until 11 pm from the current 9 pm deadline.

More tourism areas will be introduced as Sandbox areas namely Bang Lamung district of Pattaya; Si Racha, Ko Sichang, and Sattahip districts of Chon Buri; as well as Ko Chang in Trat. Visitors arriving in the Sandbox areas will be required to take RT-PCR tests on day 1 and day 5 or 6 after arrival. They will stay within the Sandbox areas for 7 days.

Information and Source

Reporter : Tanakorn Sangiam

Rewriter : Thammarat Thadaphrom

National News Bureau :

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Jamaica signs tourism memorandum with Spain

Jamaica minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has signed a memorandum of understanding with his Spanish counterpart as the Caribbean destination continues to rebuild its hospitality sector.