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Honda’s BigWing takes off in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Honda’s BigWing dealership announced its arrival in Phuket yesterday with drum rolls and engines roaring, as the island’s biking community were eager to get their hands on the latest offerings from the Japanese giant.

Following their successes in Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Udon Thani and Bangkok, the island was the natural choice for the brand’s expansion into Southern Thailand.

Honda has chosen to launch the BigWing dealership in Phuket now, A.P. Honda President Chiaki Kato said, as the “big bike” market had shown exceptional growth across the Kingdom.

“When you take on any new venture, everything is about timing. We feel that this is the perfect moment to penetrate this regional market, and are confident in our ability and experience to effectively address the needs of the rider in this segment in Southern Thailand.”

The president emphasized that Honda’s leading market position is a result of its “5s” business model: Sales, service, spares, safety and society.

He went on explain that in addition to serving Thailand’s Southern market, Honda has its scopes set on the greater regional market, particularly the Singaporean and Malaysian markets.

Indeed, timing is everything. Phuket will host the 19th annual Big Bike week (click here for details) from April 14-21, which is themed and oriented toward the ASEAN community, with Honda BigWing a national sponsor of the event.

President Kato added that another driving force for the anticipated momentum of the Phuket market is AP Honda’s strong, 20-year relationship with Phuket S.T., its local representative.

Chaiwat “Chai” Pornsirianant of Phuket S.T., gave the Phuket Gazette his outlook for the year ahead.

“First, we are hopeful that Phuket residents will increasingly start turning to big bikes, [by using our] outstanding service facilities.

Then, we want to continue to build and enhance the motorcycle riding community here, especially one [that emphasizes] safety.”

Asked about the sales target for the first year, he said that the dealership expects to sell about 1,200 bikes.

If the numbers of bikes ridden away from today’s launch is any guide, almost topping 100 units, predominately with the eagerly anticipated CB500, in its three versions, it would be of little surprise if BigWing’s targets are surpassed, and rapidly.

The motorcycles will not only be going to Phuket, but throughout the region, as the new dealership will serve as a main distribution and service point for the entire Southern region, Mr Chaiwat added.

Honda BigWing Phuket’s range of motorcycles start at 205,000 baht for the CB500F, on up to the King of Grand Touring, the 1800cc Goldwing priced at 1.65 million baht (click here for details).

— Steven Layne & Dean Noble

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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.

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Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

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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