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Golfers flock to Laguna

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Golfers flock to Laguna | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The newly re-designed Laguna Phuket Golf Club is winning the hearts of golfers with the island’s very first offer of shorter, five or 10-year memberships, Paul Wilson, the club’s director, told the Phuket Gazette.

This new product sits between a lifetime membership and the one-year access card that most clubs, including Laguna, offer. The new memberships target several key markets in Phuket.

“Those people could be expats on the island who are not sure they are going to be here in 10 years. It is also for older people who maybe don’t think they are going to play golf that regularly after five or 10 years,” said Mr Wilson.

The freshly upgraded 18-hole course currently has an even spread of members with Laguna’s varying range of hotels and the properties drawing in a lot of different markets.

“We have quite a large percentage of Hong Kong-based members; not necessarily Chinese people, but a lot of expats that work and live there,” Mr Wilson explained.

“We also have a lot of European members who have invested in Phuket. They’re often called snow birds. I think this is because they come here for the winter and then they leave for the summer.

“We have a reasonable number of Thais who play golf all year round – it’s a very even spread to be honest.”

Mr Wilson also revealed that the club is working on a junior event, which will be the first-ever Phuket Junior Golf Tournament.

“We are working with one of the international schools. This is almost ready to be confirmed now; it will be coming soon. At the moment it is in a planning stage,” he said.

“We are also talking about doing an internationally-recognized golf event in the future. Previously, in 2009, we held the Thailand Open on the Asian Tour. We would really like to bring some sort of golf event back to Phuket.”

As Phuket moves into the low season, Laguna is gearing up to refurbish its three tennis courts and turn one of its two hard courts into a soft one with artificial grass. This is very popular among tennis players, because it is easier on the knees and better for amateurs, as they move a bit slower.

While tourism and golfing businesses are always slower from the end of April through November, Mr Wilson pointed out that seasoned travellers and players are aware that it rarely rains all day, every day during the southwest monsoon season in Phuket, and with a bit of flexibility, they could get a better experience.

“The golf course is a lot quieter, there are fewer people around and you get more time to yourself. There is not so much waiting for tee times and things like that, and also the rates are considerably lower,” he said.

“The only thing you don’t get in the low season is swimming in the sea, because it is quite choppy. So, you will need to use your swimming pool instead.

“You just need to be a little flexible with your timing. Maybe you wake up in the morning and it’s raining, so you wait a couple of hours for it to stop, and then play. Or, maybe you play half the game and it starts raining, so you have time to go have some lunch and then continue after that.”

— Nina Suebsukcharoen

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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