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Phuket pushes for first dedicated hospitality college

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: With Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s arrival on Phuket for the Cabinet meeting tomorrow, more details of the proposed transformation of Thalang Vocational College into Phuket’s first dedicated hospitality and tourism college have been unveiled.

The college’s director, Suthep Yongyut, told the Phuket Gazette that the plan is to be proposed to the Cabinet tomorrow for budget approval of 300 million baht.

“We have had many discussions with business operators, directors of educational institutions, teachers, and other people involved with the hotel and tourism industries – and they all agree that our college should be developed into a hotel and tourism college for Phuket,” said Mr Suthep.

“The classes we offer here overlap with those offered by Phuket Technical College, which means we have less people enrolling in our classes – and now it is simply not worth operating the school,” he added.

“Each year, the hotel and tourism industries generate billions of baht for Thailand. If we can develop our curriculum so we become a hotel and tourism college, then we can become an educational institution that produces quality human resources for the hotel and tourism industry in the future,” he added.

Mr Suthep said he had received much support for the project.

“Dr Chaiyapruek Serirak, the secretary-general of the Office of Vocational Educational Commission (OVEC), came down here to inspect the college facilities, and he agreed that our college was appropriate for developing into a ‘Phuket Hotel and Tourism College’,” he said.

“Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha also seems to support the project,” he added.

High on the list of goals of the revamped curriculum is to produce graduates with English skills and hands-on experience in the hospitality trade.

The college is looking to offer two courses: vocational diplomas (Por-WorChor) in hotel and tourism, dubbed the “Mini English program”; and advanced vocational diplomas (Por-WorSor), called the “English program”.

The vocational diploma course would include classes in domestic science, business computing, spa operations and general management.

The advanced vocational diploma course would offer classes in hotel management, food and beverage management, spa business management, and conference and seminar management.

“The buildings, classrooms and laboratories will be set up to look like a real hotel and the curriculum will be designed with help from specialists in the hotel industry to provide a real hotel environment and situations,” said Mr Suthep.

“We aim to be a leading hotel and tourism educational institution within ASEAN [Association of South East Asian Nations], and I expect this project will help solve the recurring shortage of qualified hospitality personnel in Phuket and other provinces in Andaman region.

Mr Suthep is looking to offer the courses in May 2012. “We can handle 90 students in the vocational level course, and 30 students in the ‘high level’ course,” he said.

OVEC is now recruiting foreign teachers to be part of the team for the new curriculum, he added.

— Warisa Temram

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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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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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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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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January

Maya Taylor

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Domestic air passenger numbers double those of January | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Vietjet

Passenger numbers on domestic flights within Thailand have doubled within a month, rising from 4,000 in January to over 10,000 this month. Having nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels, domestic travel plummeted once more when Covid-19 resurfaced late last year.

Apirat Chaiwongnoi from the Department of Airports says 15 of Thailand’s 29 airports are now operating domestic flights, with more expected to follow. He believes the aviation sector will continue to recover further in the coming 6 months, bolstered by the national vaccine rollout.

Around 120 domestic flights a day are now operating, which is twice the number that were operating at the lowest point in the crisis. Prior to the resurgence of the virus in December, domestic passenger numbers had recovered to 30,000 – 40,000 a day, around 80% of pre-pandemic numbers.

The DoA says airports must continue to adhere to the Covid-19 hygiene measures put in place by the Health Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Samut Sakhon’s shrimp market to remain closed until February 15

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Samut Sakhon’s shrimp market to remain closed until February 15 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Kom Chad Luek

Samut Sakhon’s Central Shrimp Market, the epicentre of Thailand’s recent wave of Covid-19, will remain closed until February 15. The market can reopen once the overall hygiene situation at the market and surrounding area has improved, according to the province’s disease control committee.

Local officials say the shrimp market needs to remain closed until the market structure and nearby residential facilities are inspected. People who violate the order face up to a year in prison and a fine up to 100,000 baht.

More than 12,000 people in the province have tested positive for Covid-19. The increasing number of infections is a result from the active case finding to contain the spread of the virus.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | Thairath Online

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