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Phuket

A Decade Ago: Jet-ski woes

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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A Decade Ago: Jet-ski woes | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Without a doubt, the Phuket Gazette sounds like a broken record from time to time, as the publication continues to push important issues into the headlines. One such monotonous tune – also regularly played by ambassadors and honorary consuls – revolves around the seemingly invincible jet-ski business operators on the island. Almost inexplicably, they were the first allowed back on the beaches after the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) began to eradicate a number of deeply seeded issues on the island. Unfortunately, some parasitic plants’ roots simply grow too deep.

The harm caused by allowing unlicenced tourists to rent out the expensive, dangerous watercrafts crashed into the December 3 – 9, 2005 issue of the Gazette when an Australian teenager was critically injured after colliding with a jet-ski operated by his 20-year-old friend. The man’s friend, who told police that he was just ‘horsing around’ when he approached the teen at high speed, was charged with negligence causing grievous bodily harm.

How the police managed to charge the man given the fact that his critically injured 19-year-old friend was expected to be undergoing brain surgery – and was in no shape to file a complaint – is difficult to say. The situation seems especially strange to Phuket news junkies who are aware that more often than not, it seems police on the island require the injured party to file a complaint before taking action; apparently some things do change.

Another common issue that continues to plague local tourism also found its way into the issue with the headline: High season kicks off with a severe shortage of staff.

“Hotels, bars, restaurants and tourism-related businesses are struggling to find competent staff,” Gus Reynolds wrote in the 2005 column ‘Across The Bay’.

Though dumbfoundingly low English-language abilities in Thailand continue to create high-demand for Thais working in the tourism industry, the problem – unlike the jet-ski one – is likely to come to a head with the opening of the Asian Economic Community (AEC) at the end of the year. Though anticipation is soaring like Icarus as hoteliers prepare to bring on board staff from other AEC countries, the sun has yet to burn off the morning haze on exactly what the AEC will mean for Phuket. Will the multitude of jobs set aside for ‘Thais only’ remain, or will this be one of the first barriers dashed by the multinational agreement?

Not so long ago, the hospitality industry made enormous headlines – Reuters, New York Times, You Name It – when Marriott International Inc committed to buying Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc for US$12.2 billion to create the world’s largest hotel chain with top brands including Sheraton, Ritz Carlton and the Autograph Collection. A building block in that collection, in fact, made a debut ten years ago in the Gazette when Starwood announced that it had completed its acquisition of the Le Meridien brand, related franchises and management contracts. Starwood dished out US$225 million to gain control of the 130 hotels and resorts worldwide – including Le Meridien’s two properties in Phuket, one in Khao Lak and one in Koh Samui. Now if we could only find some benevolent broker to buy out the jet-skis and allow the ambassadors to Thailand, honorary consuls and Gazette editors to focus on other issues handicapping Phuket’s growth and success.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

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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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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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