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And the new Phuket mascot is ‘Nong Joong’

The Thaiger



And the new Phuket mascot is ‘Nong Joong’ | The Thaiger
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PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The Phuket mascot has officially been announced and the winning mascot is ‘Nong Joong’ – a baby lobster created by Jin Sataponsathitsuk, who received 100,000 for his efforts.

The baby lobster mascot represents a naughty kid who loves eating, exploring, and loves learning new things. His goal is to discover Phuket through fun activities, delicious food and great experiences. His best friend, Umi, a baby sea urchin, keeps calling him Joong, instead of Goong (that means prawn in Thai).

The mascots are expected to be the representative and symbol for Phuket tourism and will welcome tourists from all around the world. The organisers laid out the concept of the mascot, saying that it had to be “outstanding, beautiful, charming, impressive and approachable”.

The event was organised by the BIC Event Group. Earlier when the contest opened, there were more than 200 pieces of art submitted from many provinces across Thailand.

Phuket’s Governor chaired the award ceremony and handed out the prizes to the winners. Apart from first prize winner, Nong Joong, the second prize went to ‘Nong Ang Lai’ created by Panatratha Sae-Eung – a 12 year old girl who has pineapple head. The pineapple represent the ‘lucky fruit’ and also Phuket signature fruit. Nong Ang Lai is a playful and friendly character and wears a Chinese red dress, considered a lucky colour in Chinese culture.

The second place winner received a 20,000 baht prize, who also won the popular vote prize by Phuket Tourism Association.

The winner of the competition received a Bangkok Airways round trip ticket for Bangkok – Phuket and 3 nights complimentary stay at Baba House Phuket. The third place winner was ‘Andaman Boy’ created by Thani Muannut, who received a 10,000 baht prize.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

And the new Phuket mascot is ‘Nong Joong’ | News by The ThaigerAnd the new Phuket mascot is ‘Nong Joong’ | News by The ThaigerAnd the new Phuket mascot is ‘Nong Joong’ | News by The ThaigerAnd the new Phuket mascot is ‘Nong Joong’ | News by The ThaigerAnd the new Phuket mascot is ‘Nong Joong’ | News by The ThaigerAnd the new Phuket mascot is ‘Nong Joong’ | News by The ThaigerAnd the new Phuket mascot is ‘Nong Joong’ | News by The Thaiger

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Online “Global Pride” marks 50th anniversary of gay pride movement

Jack Burton



Online “Global Pride” marks 50th anniversary of gay pride movement | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Barron's

Half a century after the first Gay Pride march, the world’s LGBT community and its supporters took many of their events online yesterday in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although some activists still took to the streets to mark the event, much of the movement’s focus was channelled into Global Pride, a 24 hour online event broadcast live online.

One of the biggest events in the Gay Pride calendar, London Pride, was a major victim of the new restrictions imposed to fight the pandemic. Online events replaced it under the slogan: “Postponed, but still united.” Some events were broadcast on the giant screen in Piccadilly Square and London’s mayor tweeted his support, saying “We may be apart, but we are still united, as neighbours, as allies, and as one city.”

68 year old veteran campaigner Peter Tatchell, wearing a rainbow coloured mask, led a group of 12 fellow activists to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the London Gay Liberation Front.

“We are seeking to reclaim Pride as an event for LGBT and human rights.”

Police in Berlin estimated that around 3,500 people turned out to march, in temperatures of around 30°C. German foreign minister Heiko Maas tweeted a message of support to the Global Pride event…

“Be proud of yourself! No matter who you love, no matter where you live.”

In Vienna, some 200 cars and motorbikes decked with rainbow flags and inflatable unicorns paraded down the city’s famous Ringstrasse. Organisers say around 5,000 people turned out to watch the scaled-down event. The city’s Rainbow Parade, which usually attracts hundreds of thousands, was otherwise replaced by online events.

The online Global Pride event, running with the slogan “Exist, persist, resist,” got underway at 0500 GMT in London. Put together by the organisers of several of the major Gay Pride events around the world, it aimed to attract hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.

Former US president Barack Obama released a video message saluting the gay New Yorkers who rioted at the Stonewall Inn in 1969, a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations, effectively launching the modern gay rights movement. The first Gay Pride march was held in 1970 in New York to mark the first anniversary the Stonewall riots.

“Because of the movement they sparked and the decades of work that followed, marriage equality became the law of the land five years ago and just this month the Supreme Court ruled that employers can no longer discriminate against LGBTQ workers.”

Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden issued his own video, in which he referred to the recent Supreme Court ruling reaffirming the rights LGBT workers.

SOURCE: Barron’s

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Q&A with David Barrett on travel, tourism and MICE

Jack Burton



Q&A with David Barrett on travel, tourism and MICE | The Thaiger
PHOTO: David Barrett

Industry expert and respected marketeer David Barrett chatted with travel writer and media consultant Andrew J Wood on the recovery from the impact of Covid-19 on Thailand’s formidable travel and tourism industry.

AW. As Thailand starts to emerge from lockdown what do you believe are the most important points to consider to ensure success?

DB: As we begin to recover, we are presented with an opportunity to reset Thailand’s tourism model and build a better future. Thailand is set up for mass tourism and if we want to see sustainable growth and development we need better control and management of destinations and resources.

We need to be targetting quick-win markets from bubble source markets close to home as the first step. A focus on high yield tourists is the way to go, in tandem with wooing back mass tourism, whilst being mindful of the need to better manage the Kingdom’s resources, protecting the environment.

AW. When people start to think about travel again, what do you believe they are looking for in a post Covid-19 world?

DB: Biosecurity measures will be top of the list for first movers in international travel. Reassurances that their health and well-being are being taken care of. Hygiene and health measures may cause a little inconvenience compared to the free-spirited travel pre-Covid, but new measures need to be visible to reassure travellers, as safety is paramount. The first wave of travellers are most likely to take baby steps, travelling nationally this year, flying next year short haul within 4 hours and long haul hopefully will rebound in volume by 2022. If you’ve broken a leg and you’re on the mend, you don’t enter a marathon. The global tourism industry has been broken and is now in recovery, we need to take little steps close to home first.

AW. In a recent poll 75% of respondents said that the hotel industry in Thailand cannot thrive with only domestic tourism. Do you agree?

DB: We have to rely and survive on domestic tourism as this is the first market to travel. Thankfully the Royal Thai Government also sees the domestic sector as key to kickstarting the tourism economy and their stimulus package of 22.4 billion baht with subsidies and incentives to boost domestic tourism is a way to go. Tourism will continue to be a driver of growth for the Thai economy. Historically, international visitors have propelled the industry, but it is Thais’ desire to travel around Thailand that has seen the domestic tourism market grow.

If you take a look at one of the niche segments — ecotourism, more than 60% of small ecotourism operators in Thailand have websites and promotional collateral only in Thai. That says something about the past success and drive to build back domestic tourism as the first-move segment. Neglect domestic tourism at your peril.

AW. Your name is often linked with the MICE (Meetings Incentives Conventions Exhibitions) industry. With new social distancing guidelines in place for meetings in Thailand do you think the industry can bounce back in Thailand?

DB: MICE will return. However, if you cut through all the positive spin, the reality is that international MICE, that traditionally has been higher yield, will take much longer to rebound. Hopefully short haul MICE with Singapore as the regional corporate hub, feeding meetings to Thailand, will return by the third quarter of 2021. Long haul markets such as Europe and the high rolling incentives from the US, that we started to see growth pre-Covid, won’t be back en mass until the latter half of 2022. It’s a waiting game.

The challenge is for the DMCs (Destination Management Companies) who’ve banked their futures on these long haul markets. Do they have deep enough pockets to ride through this waiting game? Many of the small DMCs have turned to retail to tide them over, but are stressed about the timeline for the return of their business.

In terms of safe distancing at business events, the industry will adapt and as confidence in international travel resumes, I am sure some of the stringent hygiene and health guidelines will be relaxed. The desire to travel and meet people is in our DNA, and I am confident MICE will resume to pre-Covid levels, but it may take 3 to 5 years.

AW. The Thai PM is keen to engage with industry experts. What Travel and Tourism advice would you give him?

DB: Please introduce cooperation between the Ministry of Interior, who issues hotel licenses, and the Ministry of Tourism & Sports. The two ministries need to communicate and cooperate for control of Thailand’s tourism development. And ideally bring the Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment into the conversation too. We need better control and planning of tourism resources.

AW. There is much talk about resetting the industry. What do you think our priorities should be?

DB: To reset the industry:

  1. Carefully introduce bilateral government agreements on travel, so we can open up key source markets, though elimination of entry restrictions.
  2. A long-term master plan for Thai tourism that is sustainable for the environment and stakeholders A plan that everyone buys into, even if there are controls that may impact business operations.
  3. Continue the great work of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in promoting Thailand as the jewel in Asia.

And please can we have a new campaign and drop “Amazing,” which has run its course.

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Partial solar eclipse today, starts just after 1pm

Maya Taylor



Partial solar eclipse today, starts just after 1pm | The Thaiger

A partial solar eclipse will be visible this afternoon, if your local weather allows. Bu in some other parts of Asia and Africa, residents will be treated to a spectacular total eclipse. If you miss this phenomenon today, the next solar eclipse, a total eclipse, on view in the Thai skies will be on April 20, 2023.

For Bangkokians, the moon will begin to move in front of the sun just after 1pm, with maximum coverage reaching 40% at 2.48pm. The eclipse will end just after 4pm. The further north you are in the country, the greater the coverage of the moon as it passes in front of the sun.

It’s likely you wouldn’t even notice it if you weren’t aware of the event as your eyes would get used to the slight drop in light during the slow process as the moon moves in front of the sun. (Flat-earthers will need to figure out their own explanation for the routine natural phenomenon.)

These details will vary depending on where in the country you are, but you can check the exact timing for your region HERE.

Partial solar eclipse today, starts just after 1pm | News by The Thaiger

It goes without saying (but we will, anyway) that looking directly at the sun can be extremely dangerous, potentially causing permanent eye damage. To view the partial eclipse safely, you should use protective eyewear and binoculars or a telescope. You can also make your own pinhole projector by following these instructions.

Partial solar eclipse today, starts just after 1pm | News by The Thaiger

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