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New tourism minister says tourist numbers in Phuket “not as bad as media say”

Tanutam Thawan

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PHOTO: Pipat Ratchakitprakarn, Thai Sports and Tourism minister, on his weekend fact-finding mission – Manager Online

Thailand’s new Sports and Tourism minister says that the drop in tourism in Thailand has been greatly exaggerated in the media.

Pipat Ratchakitprakarn, for whom it is very difficult to find any information online about his past posts or qualifications, told reporters in Phuket at the weekend that Phuket is not “lifeless” as some media have suggested.

According to Manager Online, the Minister conceded that it may be “a bit down” but things are not as bad as some media have reported.

The Minister says that Indian visitors are “on the up” and there are more and more charter flights landing in Phuket. He said that the government had a target to “raise tourism revenues to 30% of Gross Domestic Product” within two years (that’s a direct translation from the Minister’s mouth).

“To achieve this all ministries such as the ministry of interior, transport and the environment must work closely with the ministry of tourism and sports.”

He told Manager Online that his purpose in visiting Phuket was to hear the problems that operators and people on the ground are facing.

“Phuket does not have a low season or a high season – it is a 365 day a year tourism place,” he told the rather bemused Phuket media pack.

The Minister says he wants to make Thailand a “hub of ocean-going tourism”. With this in mind he wants to attract cruise ships to Phuket that would take tourists around the Malay peninsular.

During his fact-finding missing to the island, the minister attended lifeguard training at Patong and a football tournament.

The Thaiger has reported that anecdotal reports from tourism operators and hoteliers say that tourism was at least 30% down during April and May. The claims of the 30% figure were also backed up by the local President of the Thai Hotels Association. Read that report HERE.

But a report by our regular ‘guest reporter’ on Phuket hotel matters says that bookings are already strong for September and October and that the signs are good for the next high-season. Read that story HERE.

Also a story about about 55 new hotels planned or under construction on the holiday island HERE.

SOURCE: Manager Online

New tourism minister says tourist numbers in Phuket "not as bad as media say" | News by Thaiger New tourism minister says tourist numbers in Phuket "not as bad as media say" | News by Thaiger

 

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

Environment

Patong official denies wastewater to blame for macro algae bloom along beachfront

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A Patong official is denying that wastewater flowing into the beach’s bay is causing a large influx of algae, leading to mass amounts of red sea urchins being stranded on the shore. Nattawut Thepthon, Chief of the Patong Municipality Sanitary Works Division told The Phuket News that the appearance of sea urchins is a natural phenomenon.

But the chief of the Phuket Marine Biological Centre disagrees, saying the urchins are swarming the shore as they are attracted to algae. He says the algae blooms are the urchins’ food source and high tides during the spring season are adding to their increasing presence on the beaches.

He went further by saying the algae form directly from wastewater, refuting that it is a natural phenomenon. Nattawut says the wastewater has been treated, which would not spur the growth of algae. He went on to say that it is regularly tested for contaminants.

“We collect and test samples of the treated wastewater every week, and the result has shown that the water has passed the standard required for treated wastewater.”

“After the Covid-19 pandemic began, only a small amount of wastewater has been sent to our treatment plant, as we have only a small number of tourists. much smaller than normal.”

“As for many urchins being washed ashore, I have searched the internet to find out the cause of the phenomenon. The algae need nutrition, good weather and suitable sunlight to grow well. Right now, it is summer season, so there is good sunlight for the algae. For the nutrition, I believe that Patong Beach is on a closed bay which is full of food for algae. This is all my personal idea.”

But Nattawut did not voice concerns over the impact of untreated wastewater from homes and businesses flowing into the bay that are not connected to the municipality’s sewerage system.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Events

Rescue workers remove 4 metre long python from Patong resort

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Rescue workers from the Kusoldharm Foundation branch in Patong, Phuket, say they have removed a 4 metre long reticulated python from a resort in Karon. The python was estimated to weigh around a whopping 20 kilograms.

Vinnie Modell, a rescue worker, told the Phuket News that his team was dispatched to the Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort & Spa, near Karon Circle, at about 11pm last night.

“It was a big old boy. It took all my strength to lift it. A beautiful 4 metre python weighing more than 20kg (approximately) was having a nap behind the building.”

With some help from fellow rescue workers, Modell says he soon held the python safely and they removed it from the resort.

“These are beautiful snakes, the orange colour of their eyes are stunning. Although they are non-venomous, I would not attempt to remove a snake of this size alone. One wrong move and I would be in life-threatening trouble.”

“The snake bites its prey with its rows of inverted teeth up to and including 52! Then it wraps its body around slowly suffocating its prey! Yes it could easily kill me. That’s why we ideally have a minimum of two more people to help deal with it.”

Modell also told The Phuket News that he disagreed with the Director of the Khao Phra Thaew Natural and Wildlife Education Centre, who announced last month that all snakes caught in homes would be taken off the island.

“King cobras should not be removed from their natural habitat. The king cobra is the predator snake of the snake world. They eat all the other snakes; monocled cobras and other snakes that do all the biting.”

“They do not attack people because they are just not interested in you. They know they can’t eat you, so they do not even want to waste the venom.”

“Removing king cobras from the wild allows the smaller problem snakes to get bigger, to grow until they become a problem.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Why do foreign men like Thai women? A Thaiger vlogger wants to know

Caitlin Ashworth

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Why do foreign men like Thai women? Bibi, a vlogger for The Thaiger, went out to the Patong walking street in Phuket (before Covid-19) and asked foreign men “do you like Thai girls?”

 

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