free hit counter code Songkhla sings new tune: Lifting bus restrictions could drive cross-border travel – Freeht.buzz

Songkhla sings new tune: Lifting bus restrictions could drive cross-border travel

Songkhla sings new tune: Lifting bus restrictions could drive cross-border travelLegacy

Songkhla province is considering lifting restrictions on foreign-registered buses, potentially allowing them to cross provincial boundaries.

The move aims to attract more visitors, predominantly from Malaysia, to explore other scenic destinations in southern Thailand, reveals a local tourism authority.

President of the Phatthalung Tourism Association, Charoon Kaewwaveesub, disclosed today that Songkhla, in collaboration with the local land transport office, has proposed terminating the ban. However, the final endorsement from the Land Transport Department in Bangkok is pending.

If approved, foreign buses venturing outside Songkhla will still require authorisation from local authorities. However, buses without passengers will remain barred from entering Thailand.

Efforts to reach officials from Songkhla province and the local land transport office for comment were unsuccessful. The existing provincial decree, enforced since August 15, 2014, confines foreign-registered buses carrying passengers to operate solely within Songkhla’s borders.

Initially, the regulation aimed to support Thai bus operators in attracting Malaysian passengers. Nevertheless, stakeholders argue it has deterred tourists from exploring other parts of southern Thailand due to inconvenience.

President of the Songkhla Tourism Promotion Association, Songchai Mungprasithichai, asserted that the ban inflicted an annual loss of approximately one billion baht in tourism revenue.

Campaigns to lift the ban have gained momentum among tourism businesses across the southern region, anticipating increased spending by Malaysian tourists in provinces beyond Songkhla, thereby stimulating the local economy, reported Bangkok Post.

According to data from the Tourism and Sports Ministry, over 4.6 million Malaysian tourists visited Thailand last year, surpassing all other foreign holidaymakers. The majority enter via land, either by car or group buses, predominantly through the Sadao checkpoint in Songkhla.

In related news, Bangkok, Khon Kaen, and Yala have clinched spots in UNESCO’s 2024 Global Network for Learning Cities (GNLC), heralding a new era of lifelong learning across Thailand. Education Minister Permpoon Chidchob unveiled the exciting news, showcasing Thailand’s commitment to fostering continuous education and development.

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