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15% of Phuket’s advanced bookings cancelled

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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About 15% of advance bookings have been cancelled in the past week in the wake of the boat capsize 8 days ago.  Chinese tourists are voting with their bookings citing a loss of confidence in Phuket marine safety, and safety generally.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Pongpanu Svetarundra says, “Chinese tourists are Thailand’s most important market at the moment.  The Phuket boat tragedy has already affected not only Phuket’s tourism but also mental and economic confidence. We are seeing clear signs of a back-lash.”

“There are more than 10 million Chinese tourists visiting Thailand each year which has already generated more than 500,000 million baht. More than 3 million of them are travelling to Phuket each year which has generated at least 150,000 million baht.”

“About 15% of advance rooms booking have been canceled. Chinese tourists are not confident in Phuket safety at the moment. The Chinese government has also made announcements about tourism safety in Phuket and Thailand.”

“I am also the president of the Tourism Assistance Fund. We are funding compensation to be paid to boats tragedy victims as soon as possible. We need to get back Chinese tourist confidence after this boat tragedy as fast as possible. We are keen for Chinese tourists to keep coming to Thailand and Phuket. ”

- Kritsada Mueanhawong

Collecting the daily news around Phuket for many years. One of the island's most accurate and timely news-gatherers.

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National

Singapore Airlines back on top. Thai Airways in 10th place.

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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PHOTO: Flyer Talk

Singapore Airlines is back on top after a decade held out of the top airline position by middle-eastern competition. It’s their fourth win since the Skytrax World Airline awards started back in 2001.

The island nation’s national carrier was named Airline of the Year at the 2018 Skytrax World Airline awards. Singapore Airlines was last top of the list in 2008. This year it forced out last year’s top honours winner, Qatar Airways, into second place.

Yeoh Phee Teik, Singapore Airlines’s senior vice president of customer experience, said “We’re very ecstatic.”

The airline  also claimed best airline in Asia, best first class and best first class seat.

Asian airlines made a return to the winner’s list this year with ANA All Nippon Airways receiving third place, Taiwan’s EVA Air in 5th position, Cathay Pacific in 6th, Hainan Airlines in 7th, Garuda Airlines in 9th (an extraordinary achievement considering their reputation only a decade ago) and Thai Airways in 10th place.

Singapore’s victory marked a resurgence in Asian carriers in the annual UK-based aviation industry review. Skytrax began its awards in 2001 and is recognised for its fairness due to passengers voting in all categories. Aside from a win by Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific back in 2014, all past seven years have all gone to middle east based airlines.

“We’re glad that our work has been recognised and our customers have voted for us to be the world’s best,” said Yeoh.

Garuda Airlines, which has turned its service around since the early days of Skytrax, when it was banned from flying into European airspace, was presented with the prize for best cabin staff along with its 9th place overall.

Not one US airline picked up a single award.

Locally Air Asia picked up an award for Best low coast airline – Asia, Thai Airways won the award for best airline catering in Economy Class (The Thaiger thinks the voters weren’t flying on the same flight when Thaiger experienced the economy class ‘food’) and Bangkok Ailines won Best Regional Airline – Asia.

The top 10 world’s best airlines for 2018
1. Singapore Airlines
2. Qatar Airways
3. ANA All Nippon Airways
4. Emirates
5. EVA Air
6. Cathay Pacific
7. Lufthansa
8. Hainan Airlines
9. Garuda Indonesia
10. Thai Airways

Best airlines by global region
Northern Europe – Finnair
Western Europe – Lufthansa
Eastern Europe – Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Africa – Ethiopian Airlines
Australia / Pacific – Qantas Airlines
Central Asia / India – Air Astana
China – Hainan Airlines
Central America / Caribbean – Copa Airlines
South America – Avianca
North America– Air Canada
Asia – Singapore Airlines
Middle East – Qatar Airways
Europe – Lufthansa

Best low-cost airlines
Africa – Mango
Australia & Pacific – Jetstar Airways
Asia – AirAsia
Central Asia / India – Indigo
China – West Air
South America – Sky Airline
North America – WestJet
Middle East – Flynas
Europe – Norwegian

Best airline catering
Economy – Thai Airways
Premium economy – Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Business – Austrian Airlines
First class – Air France

Best airline seats
Economy – Japan Airlines
Premium economy – Air New Zealand
Business – Qatar Airways
First class – Singapore Airlines

Best regional airlines
Africa – Royal Air Maroc
Asia – Bangkok Airways
South America – Azul Brazilian Airlines
Central Asia / India – Azerbaijan Airlines
Europe – Aegean Airlines

Best airline lounges
First class – Qatar Airways
Airline alliance lounge – Star Alliance Los Angeles
Independent airport lounge – Plaza Premium Heathrow Terminal Two
First class lounge dining – Air France
Airline lounge spa facility – Thai Awards

Best airlines staff service by global region
Africa – South African Airways
Australia / Pacific – Qantas Airways
Central Asia / India – Vistara
China – Hainan Airlines
Central America / Caribbean – Copa Airlines
South America – Azul Brazilian Airlines
Asia – ANA All Nippon Airways
Middle East – Emirates
Europe – Austrian Airlines

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Samui

Burmese maid returns bag containing $11,000 to tourist

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Daily News is reporting that a tourist from the Netherlands has thanked a Burmese maid at his hotel on Koh Samui. 37 year old Sawee Let Mau showed it was not just the Thais who are high up in the honesty stakes.

Sawee found the green bag under some stairs – it contained AUD$ to the tune of 280,000 baht – several years wages for a maid.

Police were called to the Ark Bar Hotel in Chaweng and CCTV was checked before 31 year old Alexander Joseph was confirmed as the rightful owner.

He gave the honest maid $100 as a reward. Daily News praises the maid for helping the tourist image of Thailand.

SOURCE: Daily News

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National

Sangkhla Buri floods declared a disaster zone

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Kanchanaburi Governor Jirasak Phumsawat has declared Sangkhla Buri a flood disaster zone to speed up help to affected villagers.

The governor took the action after seven villages in Tambon Nong Lu and three villages in Tambon Laivo were hit by floods on Friday morning following heavy rains that hit 70 per cent of the district.The disaster-zone declaration allowed the provincial administration to bypass the bureaucratic process to send help and compensation directly to the affected villagers.

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