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Phuket business: Tourism campaign lures swingers; Tourism and hotel college enrolls for May

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket business: Tourism campaign lures swingers; Tourism and hotel college enrolls for May | The Thaiger

PHUKET: With the Thai summer just around the bend, club swingers are among the latest tourist group that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has set its sights on.

In a bid to increase golf tourists to the country by 10%, TAT this year has partnered with MasterCard to launch the “72 Hours Amazing Thailand Golf Paradise” campaign.

All in, 86 golf courses in 20 provinces of Thailand’s five regions will participate in the scheme by offering special privileges to golfers who opt on paying with their MasterCard.

TAT Deputy Governor Sansern Ngaorungsi along with MasterCard Worldwide’s Vice President Gregg Hirano, and Head of Marketing S.E. Asia, Deborah Goldingham recently launched the campaign with a press conference at Phuket’s Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa.

“TAT has partnered with MasterCard in various campaigns over the previous five years and all have been successful,” said Mr Sansern.

Previous campaigns that TAT and MasterCard have partnered in include the “72 Hours Amazing” destinations “& Beyond” series to promote tourism in Bangkok, Chiang Mai , Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Khao Yai and Krabi.

“. . .Thailand has up to 250 standard golf courses, and the sport is growing in popularity among Thais and foreigners alike.

“Golfers who use their MasterCard will receive discounts of between 10 to 40% at the participating golf courses. We expect this to result in a 10% increase in golfers,” he said.

Mr Sansern said that golfer tourist groups comprise of groups from Asean and the greater Asian region including those from Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.

Participating gold courses in Phuket include the 72-par, 18-hole Blue Canyon Country Club, Laguna Phuket Golf Club, Loch Palm Golf Club, Mission Hills Phuket Gulf Resort and Spa, Phuket Country Club, Red Mountain Gulf Club, in addition to the 9-hole, 36-par Phunaka Golf Course and Golf Academy.

Krabi’s 9-hole, 28-par Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort and Koh Samui’s 18-hole, 72-par Santiburi Samui Country Club are the only other golf courses in Southern Thailand on the list.

For the complete list of all 84 participating golf courses, see thailand72hrsamazing.com.

New tourism and hotel college enrolls for May
In response to swelling demand in the island’s booming services industry, Thalang Technical College will be developing into the Phuket Hotel and Tourism College.

The move was announced by the college’s director, Suthep Yongyuth.

“We first opened in 1997 as the Phuket Technical College number two, and then changed our name to Thalang Technical College in the year 2000.

“At present, we have a total of 350 students studying for vocational diplomas (“Por-WorChor”) and advanced vocational diplomas (“Por-WorSor”) for industrial, commercial, tourism and services business.

“This new development is in line with government policy to increase readiness of hotel and services personnel, as well as to produce diploma and advanced diplomas students that have skills consistent with the demand of industry operators.

“We aim to be a leader in the Asean region for applied academics, and to be a training hub for hotel and related fields for locals and non-locals alike,” he said.

The college will comprise six departments at the PorWorChor level: Hotel, Tourism, Economics, Business Computer, Spa and General Management. 50 per cent of the courses will be in English.

At the advanced diploma level, there are plans for five departments including Hotel and Services, Kitchen and Culinary Arts Management, Spa Management and Meeting and Seminars.

All of the subjects will be instructed in English, with the exception of Thai and other foreign language courses.

Opening in May, the PorWorChor Hotel and Tourism departments will fill an enrollment of 90 students, while the PorWorSor Hotel and Services department will accept 30 students.

The remaining departments will open at a later date.

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

Thailand

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military

Maya Taylor

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Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook

Facebook has confirmed the removal of 185 accounts run by the Thai military and allegedly involved in information-influencing. The social media giant says the accounts were deleted for engaging in what it calls, “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”. In total, 77 accounts, 72 pages, and 18 groups have been removed from the platform, in addition to 18 Instagram accounts. It’s the first time Facebook has taken such action against accounts linked to the Thai government.

The accounts were associated with the Thai military and were targeting people in the southern provinces, Facebook said its regular report on coordinated inauthentic behavior. The south of the country has been the scene of decades-long conflict, with insurgent groups in the majority-Muslim, Malay-speaking region calling for independence. To date, around 7,000 people have died in the ongoing struggle.

Facebook says the deleted accounts were most active last year and used both fake and real accounts to manage pages and groups, both openly military pages and pages that hid their links to the military. Some of the fake profiles pretended to be people from the southern provinces.

The report mentioned a post by the now-removed account named “comprehending the operation” in Thai. The page posted the logo for Amnesty International Thailand and wrote “The NGO never cares about ordinary citizens because they have no role in society. Normal people are not famous. Any case is not big news. They are not worth the investment of foreigners so they will not do anything to help. This is why we don’t see anything from the NGO.”

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | News by The Thaiger

Image overlay translates to “The NGO never cares about ordinary citizens because they have no role nor money.”

On another now-removed account, named “truth about my home Pattani” in Thai, a post said “Muslim leader declares southern border is a peace zone. The southern separatists started a movement by spreading the idea that Thailand is under control by different believers so that people would come and fight for their religion. This was declared that the action clearly violates Islam faith.”

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | News by The Thaiger

Image overlay translates to “Southern border is not Jihad zone.”

When contacted by Reuters, the military had no comment on the removal of the Facebook accounts, with a spokesman saying the organisation does not comment outside of official press conferences.

The head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, Nathaniel Gleicher, has confirmed the reasons behind the platform’s decision.

“This is the first time that we’ve attributed one of our takedowns to links to the Thai military. We found clear links between this operation and the Internal Security Operations Command. We can see that all of these accounts and groups are tied together as part of this operation.”

He adds that the accounts had spent around US$350 on advertising on both Facebook and Instagram. One or more of the pages had about 700,000 followers and at least one of the groups had 100,000 members. Gleicher says the accounts were removed because of their misleading behaviour and not because of the content being posted. The content included support for the military and the monarchy, with allegations of violence and criticism of insurgent groups in the south.

It’s not the first time accounts linked to the Thai military have been removed by a social media platform. In October, Twitter removed 926 accounts it says had links to the army and posted pro-military and pro-government content. The Thai army has denied any involvement with the accounts in question. In November, Twitter also suspended an account posting pro-monarchy content that was found to have links to the palace and to thousands of other accounts posting similar content.

To read the February 2021 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report, click HERE.

SOURCES: Reuters| Facebook

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Central Thailand

Airline executive arrested for failure to pay wages of 150 workers

Maya Taylor

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Airline executive arrested for failure to pay wages of 150 workers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

An airline executive has been arrested in the central province of Samut Songkhram, after complaints from150 employees that they had not been paid. Chawengsak Noiprasan, who had a court warrant issued against him in October, was taken to Don Muang police station from a property in the Bang Khan Take sub-district. He is a board member of Siam Air Transport.

The airline began operations in October 2014 with services out of Don Mueang to Hong Kong, using 2 Boeing 737-300s. 2 Boeing 737-800s were added to its fleet in late 2015. It expanded by adding Zhengzhou and Guangzhou in China to its network in early 2015. In late 2015, the airline launched flights to Macau and Singapore. In 2017, the airline ceased all operations.

But according to an article in the Bangkok Post, the carrier operates a number of scheduled and charter flights from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport. The Post reports that, as Chawengsak signs the company’s legal paperwork, all legal matters concerning the airline fall to him.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau says the executive has admitted to ignoring a 30 day notice issued by the labour inspector and ordering the payment of wages to 150 workers. It’s understood he is also wanted in relation to 7 other cases.

The authorities sought Chawengsak’s arrest following complaints from employees who say they haven’t received their wages for 2 months. It’s understood the airline had previously deferred salary payments for over 8 months. 150 workers filed an official complaint with Don Mueang police and also approached media outlets, asking them to pressure the airline into paying the money owed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

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

The Thaiger

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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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