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Prime Minister to visit Phuket this month

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha is to visit Phuket on September 16 for the regional launch of a new nationwide initiative aimed at helping budding local businesses get off the ground and into the international arena of digital commerce.

The Startup Thailand 2016 campaign was launched by the prime minister in Bangkok in April as a joint government and private sector collaboration between 11 agencies to bring businesses up to date with contemporary international commercial practices and trends.

The Phuket seminar is scheduled to take place September 16-18 at Royal Phuket Marina with Gen Prayuth leading an entourage of about 200 experts, including Science and Technology minister Dr Pichet Durongkaveroj and Information and Communications Technology minister Dr Uttama Savanayana.

Phuket Vice Governor Kajornkiet Rakpanitmanee said on August 30 that keynote talks on the opening day of the seminar would include ‘Phuket as a Smart City and Startup Paradise’. The opening day activities will also include a panel discussion titled ‘Start-up and New Investment Opportunities in Thailand’.

Among the agencies participating in the drive are the ministries of Information and Communication Technology; Commerce; Finance; Industry, Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Sports; Education; and Agriculture and Cooperatives. They are joined by the SMEs Service Center and community organization Pracha Rath.

About 2,000 new businesses have been launched around the country in the past year and the organizers of Startup Thailand are hoping to help many more get access to information and technology so as to push Thailand as an ASEAN hub of digital innovation.

“One of the goals of Startup Thailand is to bring together talented people from a variety of different start-up companies from a broad spectrum of product and service sectors,” said Dr Pichet.

“Entrepreneurs can unleash their creativity by networking and exchanging ideas to formulate new business models for the future. New connections will be made and venture capital opportunities will arise to drive the country’s economy forward in the digital age,” he added.

Startup Thailand is heavily supported with strategic application-of-technology public organizations such as the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA), the Electronic Transactions Development Agency, the Electronic Government Agency (EGA), Thailand Post, CAT Telecoms and the Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT).

“This multi-sector collaboration will create more jobs, more income and a higher standard of living for the country, resulting in more stability, prosperity and sustainability,” he said.

For more information, visit thailandstartup.org.

— Sukawin Tanthavanich

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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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