PHOTO: The Hotel Specialist
“Diversifying Phuket’s market to rely less on Chinese tourists is key to improving tourism in the province.”
It will be a quiet Christmas in Phuket as the island’s high season will come late for hotels this year, with most reservations are for after the Christmas celebration. Tourism in Phuket usually increases in November, but this year’s November occupancy rate was just 50-60%. That’s down 10% from last year, according to Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, president of the southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association.
“The low numbers are continuing in the first half of this month, with the exception of 4 and 5 star hotels located near beaches and some hotels in the Patong area.”
But Kongsak expects occupancy to be back up to 90% or above the Christmas to New Year period. He says hotels in Phuket are suffering from a chronic oversupply as the expanding tourism business continues to attract new investment, and illegal hotels and the growing popularity of accommodation-sharing apps.
Phuket province has 250,000 rooms in 3,000 hotels, but only 600 hotels and 50,000 rooms are legally registered under the country’s Hotel Act, a tiny proportion. Of the remaining 2,400 hotels, about 1,000 are awaiting licences, while the rest have no licences and no plans to register, according to Kongsak.
He believes Phuket will remain a preferred destination for international tourists in 2020, even with many Chinese heading to other countries like Vietnam or the Philippines. He is calling on the government to facilitate visa applications, especially waiving the 2,000 baht visa-on-arrival fees to help offset some the effects of the strong baht.
The director of the Phuket office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand says new pitches other than sun and sand are needed to better disperse visitors within the province.
They note that the traditional west coast popular towns in Phuket are now having to compete with newer holiday zones around the island – to the north around Mai Khao, Rawai and Nai Harn in the south, Cape Panwa and Cape Yamu and the eastern areas, as well as a growing popularity for the business hub Phuket Town.
The TAT will next year introduce emerging destinations such as Koh Lon, which is only 12 minutes from the mainland and offers abundant natural beauty, Koh Racha where tourists can experience life like a local, and a day trips to Koh Mai Thon.
SOURCE: Bangkok PostKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Thai Airways’ pilot under investigation for botched landing at Frankfurt
A Thai Airways International pilot, flying for Thailand’s national flag carrier, is currently being investigated by Germany’s BFU (Bundesstelle für Flugunfalluntersuchung), the country’s civil aviation investigators, for flying a Thai Airways plane below the standard altitude as the flight he was piloting, was approaching Frankfurt International Airport. The flight had originated in Phuket.
The incident has been related through the Outsider’s Aviation Facebook page.
The Thai Airways branded Airbus A350-900 direct flight from Phuket to Frankfurt, was approaching Frankfurt airport at a reported altitude of 800 feet above ground, which was below the standard safe minimum altitude for approaches to Frankfurt International Airport.
The pilot took the decision to initiate a go-around and took the plane up to about 5,000-feet before lining up for a second attempt, and landed successfully. The plane landed safely on 07R runway about 15 minutes after the first attempt.
Despite the safe landing, the BFU says the incident is “a serious violation of aviation safety standards” and ordered an investigation. The identity of the pilot has not been disclosed.
SOURCE: Thai PBS WorldKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Police shoot knife-wielding attacker in Phuket Town
A police officer has shot dead a robber in Phuket Town early yesterday (Wednesday). The knife-wielding robber, 34 year old Aekkasit Kesorn, from Nakhorn Sri Thammarat, had attacked the officer whilst being interrupted in the middle of a robbery. The policeman ended up with a knife wound to the neck.
The officer pulled out his firearm and shot the attacker in self-defence.
The incident happened at an apartment building in Soi Hongleng-U-Thit in Phuket Town around 2:30am yesterday. Police were called to the apartment after locals called police with reports of a young couple being robbed.
Officers Cpl Warat Jairerng and Snr Sgt Maj Nirute Boonrat arrived to find the attacker still in the middle of his attack on a young couple from Krabi and Trang. He was threatening them with a knife. The attending police noted that the woman had already received a knife wound to the stomach.
“They were frightened and asking for help. (The woman) was bleeding from a knife wound on the left side of her stomach.”
The attacker was holding the women’s bag when the police arrived at the scene. The attacker turned his attention to the two police, lunging at both of them with his knife.
“Snr Sgt Maj Nirute drew his gun and fired one shot to stop him,” police reported on The Phuket News.
“Aekkasit was shot in the neck. He collapsed and died at the scene,”
After firing the fatal shot that killed the attacker, Snr Sgt Maj Nirute faces charges of manslaughter. Both Snr Sgt Maj Nirute and the young female victim were released from Vachira Hospital after receiving attention to their wounds.
Police have also confirmed that the attacker was arrested and charged with illegal possession of a gun in Phuket eight years ago, with other drug charges in Nakhon Sri Thammarat in 2012.
SOURCE: The Phuket News | Phuket Hot News
PHOTO: Eakkapop ThongtubKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Three massive condo developments along Phuket’s up-market Layan Beach
by Bill Barnett – c9hotelworks.com
Two new condo developments are going ahead in the Layan Beach area of Phuket’s up-market west-coast beach strip. And there’s another one underway next to the Dream Beach Club at the northern end of the Layan beach strip. All in all, another 1,200+ keys added to the available rooms along the Bang Tao/Layan Beach area.
On the northern side of Bangtao Beach, next to Maan Tawan and nearby Banyan Tree Phuket is the upcoming Sunshine Beach development. With a plan for 771 hotel and residences units on 12.6 rai, the high-density project is targeting Mainland Chinese buyers with pricing points reportedly starting from 4 million baht. Construction is expected to start in June of this year and complete in 2022.
From our discussion with sales staff the developer has claimed they have reached an agreement with the government for beach fronting facilities in the National Park strip in front of the project.
While in Layan next to Lotus Gardens is the upcoming 400 unit Layan Green Park. Pricing points run from 2.5 million baht. Unit configurations will range from studio, to one, two and three bedrooms. Guaranteed returns of 10% for a period of 10 years are being promoted.
Phuket’s Layan area is seeing a surge in new real estate led projects and rising land values. At the same time as these two projects are underway, next to the Dream Beach is an oceanfront luxury project promoting sales of Grand Beach Villa and Ocean View Suites tagged as ‘N5’. The developer of the project is VIP Thailand who have another project in Rawai.
Based on our research the primary source market tragets of these three projects are mainland Chinese and Russian buyers. Local concerns in the Cherngtalay area over mounting traffic, water shortages and strain on municipal infrastructure are becoming issues.
Traffic in and around the central Cherngtalay shopping district is becoming increasingly clogged with little hope for respite other than improved traffic management.
Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
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