Photo courtesy of Focus Malaysia

Thailand’s tour buses are now set to roll into Malaysia, promising a surge in cross-border travel. According to Malaysian Minister of Transport Anthony Loke, this exciting development allows Thai buses to bring in tourists, provided they secure temporary permits from the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) beforehand.

Speaking to the press yesterday, Loke emphasised that tour bus operators must submit comprehensive details to APAD.

“Operators need to provide full information, including the tour package specifics, the number of passengers, and the accommodation locations.”

This requirement is not limited to just the border states like Kedah and Kelantan but applies nationwide.

Official statistics reveal a robust tourism exchange between the two nations. In 2023, approximately 4.56 million Malaysian tourists visited Thailand, representing 16.2% of Thailand’s total foreign arrivals. By November 2023, three million Malaysians had journeyed to Thailand, with Hatyai being a particularly popular destination. Conversely, around 700,000 Thai tourists explored Malaysia during the same period, reported VN Express.

This regulatory update is expected to enhance the tourism landscape significantly, fostering closer ties and boosting the economies of both countries.

In related news, a tourist bus driver callously struck a foreign cyclist on Pattaya Second Road, near Pattaya 8 School. Caught on camera, the driver heartlessly fled the scene, leaving the injured victim behind.

The disturbing footage reveals the unidentified cyclist being knocked off his bike as the blue and white tourist bus veered into his path without warning. Ignoring the injured party, the driver callously carried on without offering any assistance.

In other news, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced on March 5 the potential removal of the necessity for Malaysian tourists to complete arrival and departure cards at primary border crossings, aimed at promoting tourism and business growth.

Currently, all visitors arriving via the Sadao checkpoint in Songkhla, regardless of nationality, are waived from the requirement to fill out the Tor Mor 6 (TM 6) cards.

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