BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Over 1,000 people on Sunday joined in a fun run activity in Phuket to promote tourism of the southern Thai island.
Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn ran alongside the 1,000-plus runners along Patong beach under the “We Run Thailand In Phuket” campaign.
The 10-kilometer fun run was conducted in New Normal style with the runners wearing face masks and observing the social distancing rule.
The Thai government has launched a domestic tour campaign to promote tourism in all regions of the country and stimulate domestic consumption in the pandemic situation.
Sports Authority of Thailand Governor Kongsak Yodmanee confirmed such fun run activities will be organized and participated in by members of the public at other major tourist destinations in all six regions of the country later this year.
Cross-Border Commerce Plunges in Pandemic
Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce on Friday reported that the country’s cross-border trade fell 8.5 percent year-on-year in the first seven months, mostly due to the closure of border checkpoints amid COVID-19.
Overall cross-border trade, including transit trade, totaled 741 billion baht (23.68 billion U.S. dollars) from January to July, said the Ministry’s Foreign Trade Department.
Of the total figures, exports were 429 billion baht (13.7 billion U.S. dollars), down 8.2 percent year-on-year, while imports shrank 9 percent to 312 billion baht (9.97 billion U.S. dollars), resulting in a trade surplus of 116 billion baht (3.7 billion U.S. dollars), said the department in a press release.
Border trade with four neighboring countries amounted to 434 billion baht (13.87 billion U.S. dollars), down 12.8 percent year-on-year.
Of the total, exports stood at 256 billion baht (8.18 billion U.S. dollars), down 10.9 percent, and imports were 178 billion baht (5.69 billion U.S. dollars), down 15.4 percent.
However, the Foreign Trade Department also said that cross-border trade prospects for the remaining months are likely to improve after the department worked with nearby countries to reopen more border checkpoints.
As of Aug. 13, Thailand had reopened 40 of the 97 border checkpoints nationwide.